Book review: Frostheart by Jamie Littler
I really, really, really wanted to love Frostheart by Jamie Littler.
How could you not love a book about a boy with magical powers on a quest to find his family in a weird and wild place?
Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea.
There, a boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them… and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu.
But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash.
When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he’s whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family . . . ?
Oh my! Frostheart has a beautiful cover!
Sorry to go all Fan Girl here, but there’s a cutout on the front, there’s gold embossed writing, there’s cute and stylish artwork.
I love it! I want it!
I would pick up the book on the cover alone.
The awesome illustrations don’t stop with the cover. Just to show what a talented chappie Jamie Littler really is, there are black and white line drawings throughout the book, which, along with some clever typesetting makes Frostheart a very special book.
Characters and writing
The writing style is lyrical and the descriptions vivid. Littler’s imagination has run wild with the world-building. It’s gorgeous prose.
There are a cast of colourful characters and the protagonist, Ash, goes on the ‘hero’s journey’ to discover, use and ultimately come to terms with his powers.
To love, or not to love, that is the question.
So, why did I keep reading a few chapters and then putting the book down?
Did I not care whether the boy with the song-weaving powers found his parents or not?
Well… kind of.
Was I not on the edge of my seat to find out if he would survive exile from the only home he’d ever known with his mentor?
Even if the mentor is a warrior-yeti?
OK, a bit.
Seriously, it took me weeks to get through this book. I finally figured out the problem.
The book starts off pacy enough with Ash using his song-weaving power for the first time to save his friend, but then the whole thing slows down while the villagers get freaked about the song-weaving, reject him and the Frostheart arrives. Then he has to decide to go on the Frostheart, and it just seems to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r.
No spoilers, but things do speed up for Ash to save the day, but on the whole, the pace was slower than I would have liked.
Frostheart is aimed at the 8 – 12 year old audience, the one’s who enjoy ‘How to Train your Dragon’ and ‘Frozen.’ It’s lovely writing, really imaginative, and don’t forget that to-die-for cover. I was really sad that I didn’t love it. It was a just bit too slow for me.
Have you read Frostheart? Do you agree with my verdict?
Let me know in the comments.