Nelson Mandela had said: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
In Kate Avery Ellison’s Frost this was most definitely true.
Life is hard in Frost for everyone. If the cold and the lack of supplies doesn’t do the villagers of Iceliss in, the Watchers sure do a good job of it. Terrifying monsters that feast on humans and come out after dark. But if things are tough for the regular folks of the Frost, they are definitely the toughest for Lia Weaver and her siblings. Living in an isolated farm, surrounded by the treacherous forest, the eldest Weaver has to fight everyday to make sure her family survives. With an air-headed sister, and a crippled brother, keeping up with the chores and her duties is a task in itself. Lia knows that she has no other choice, though. She must lower her head and tolerate that. All until her sister finds a wounded Farther in the woods. Now, the Weavers must not only fight to keep him safe, but they also have to accept their parents’ legacy and secrets, all the while Farthers and traitors from the village pursue the mysterious young man they saved… Can Lia and her siblings survive against all odds and help Gabe escape? Or will they, too, fall victims to the same dangers their parents couldn’t fight off?
I’ve been reading so many books that were not worth my time lately, I was reluctant to pick this one up. But hey, can you blame me?
So you can imagine how glad I was to find out that this story was not only worth it, it was also mind-numbing and breathtaking! A tale that brought shivers down my spine, not because it was frightening or way too emotional, but because there was so much suspense and you didn’t know who to trust, who to believe, who to blame. Backstabbing at every corner, secrets so deadly that could cost the safety of an entire village – as if the dangers that the natural environment the characters lived in had to offer weren’t enough. And in the middle of it all, Lia, a main heroine that is nothing like the ones we’re used to!
See, Lia isn’t brave or strong or even a super genius or extreme beauty or something. No, Lia was a normal girl, who was really hated by fate, it seemed, and had to care for her siblings as if she was their mother. Never mind the fact she was young and at the perfect age to get married, too, she kept all her problems in just to ensure her family stayed together. Forced to grow up before she was ready for it, forced to face the dangers of the forest to get to her village so many times a week and having to deal with villagers who did nothing to help her, one would expect her to be emotionally strong and stable. But she was anything but. In fact, the poor girl was scared out of her wits, and half of the time she was either panicking or trying to fix things up even if she knew she couldn’t. The fact that Ivy, her sister, didn’t seem to possess a lick of common sense in that head of hers made things worse, too. It was simply heart-breaking to see Lia try to deal with her problems, while at the same time, everyone around her tried to make her neglect her duties – and yet they acted shocked any time she would crack a smile or laugh, how ironic…
Even so, she put on her big girl panties, and faced the problems that came her way despite trembling inside. Gradually she kept being bolder and braver, and that showed how fast she was growing up into a wonderful woman – emotionally and mentally. Her connection to Gabe, the Farther, was a sweet one, and totally suited her personality and social position. It was nice to see the writer stick to the character she had created, and make her something more than just a mere farmer girl.
The story starts in a scary way, one that puts the reader right in the middle of the whole problem – the Watchers could pounce on the path any given moment while Lia was describing the situation in the first chapter, after all – and it onle escalated from there. I loved how the everyday life activities were not left out, but they were not stressed in the plot, either. Instead, the pace picked up over such moments, so that we could focus on the main storyline instead. Which was much appreciated, considering the tangled mess that was the political situation in this book.
All in all, a delight to read and experience – yes, it’s impossible not to “live” the story through Lia’s eyes, the narration is just that close and personal. Now that the truth is out in the open, I can’t wait to see how much more the Weavers will evolve as characters, and what other dangers their actions will bring forth as consequences!
***I was given a review copy from a LibraryThing Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***