Seventeen-year-old Ruby Otrera is a Fireblood from a remote mountain village, born with the ability to conjure "a river of heat"--and even fire. Her skin is unusually hot, and she has to be careful not to ignite things when her temper gets the best of her. The ruling class of Frostbloods, under the reign of the tyrannical Frost King, has all but killed off the Firebloods they despise. Sure enough, the king's soldiers do find Ruby, murder her mother, destroy her village and lock her up in Blackcreek Prison.

Two Frostbloods from an abbey dedicated to the north wind Fors want the Frost King dead, and they want the imprisoned Ruby, perhaps "the most powerful Fireblood left in the kingdom," to kill him. For sanctuary, eventual freedom and the chance to avenge her mother's death, she warily accepts the challenge. Arcus and Brother Thistle begin training Ruby to master her gift so she can complete her task. In the process, Ruby and Arcus's teasing banter heats up. The sparks that fly between them may not be unexpected, but they are fun to witness, especially as Ruby keeps glimpsing the handsome features of the "conceited icicle" beneath his monk's hood, and his nicknames for her ("Lady Firebrand, "my raging inferno") begin to escalate.

At its core, Elly Blake's exciting fantasy series debut is the story of a young woman's struggle to understand herself, her power and her role in a world that loathes her. Ruby's first-person voice is powerful and passionate, and readers will want to know what's next for her in the Frostblood Saga. --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI

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