Book Review: The Frost Eater by Carol Beth Anderson
The Frost Eater is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel with an intriguing magic system and a whole cast of unique characters each struggling with their own personal challenges. When plot events bring these characters together, the relationships that develop between them give the fast-paced, high-stakes plot even more depth and importance in a way that creates an engaging story from the first page to the last.
I love seeing real character growth and change in a story, not just on an individual level, but also in characters' relationships and interactions with each other. And this book absolutely delivers that. Nora is a likeable but spoiled and naive princess who has never wanted for much of anything, and when we first meet her, she has absolutely no idea what challenges daily life presents for people outside the monarchy. She 100% believes that everything the monarchy does is for the good of the people, and as certain events unfold, it's interesting to see her grapple with some of the questions and realizations she's presented with. A lot of those realizations come from Krey, our other protagonist, who is Nora's complete opposite in almost every way. He's cynical and sarcastic and often unable to hide the fact that he has some major beef with the monarchy and what it represents. Pairing these two together creates some great conflict, and their interactions are always interesting to read.
Then there's Ovrun, who gets dragged into the middle of things but quickly becomes a very important member of the group. I love big-tough-warrior-with-a-heart-of-gold trope, so obviously I loved Ovrun. There is a bit of a romantic subplot here, which I absolutely loved, and it is woven into the main plot of the story and the character development really well.
The magic system was really interesting, with magic users having to ingest fuel in order to use their specific brand of magic. It kind of reminded me of Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy in that way, but Anderson does some unique things here that were really interesting to learn about as the story progressed. I was especially interested in the post-apocalyptic angle of the story and the connection between this world and the one that came before The Day. I hope to learn more about that in future books of the series, and I absolutely cannot wait to read more.