So I read this book back in March and looooooved it. It is honestly one of the most unashamedly fun novels I’ve ever had the pleasure to read and I definitely recommend it for a rainy day. Or any other day tbh – five stars, people, I showered them on this book.
I love stories about ~other~ towns, with the real world on one side and the more fantastical on the other. It’s just such a fascinating idea to me, that the extraordinary could be hiding among the mundane and a huge amount of my favourite novels incorporate this idea in some way. A Breath of Frost introduces us to our main character Emma and her cousins Gretchen and Penelope, who realise their family lineage when a powerful spell is broken. Emma and her cousins are the latest in a long line of witches but the novel doesn’t just focus on them – although Emma is our protagonist we still have other characters who add to the story and as I mentioned, it is these characters who (initially) illustrate the ‘other’ side of the mundane. This is a book brimming with magic, from goblin markets to shape-shifters, A Breath of Frost pretty much was written for me.
The plot moves at a wonderfully fast pace, with the characters never stagnating in one place for very long. The twists and turns, although not always unpredictable, are page turners and most of all the characters, every one of them, are engaging and interesting. The three cousins have a close relationship and are supportive of each other throughout the novel, and I love that because this book never falls into the trap of pitting teenage girls against each other or isolating the main characters from her parents and loved ones – Emma’s family are important to the plot and are never forgotten about as with so many other YA novels. I also want to mention the romance because it is so great. I know I’m not the biggest fan of romances in most books I’ve read but with this one, it just worked. Emma and Cormac have this super antagonistic relationship with so much UST and it’s so much fun. Cormac is kind of a ladies man but is affectionately bullied by his sisters; he is duty bound but can’t stay away from Emma, and is so adorably flustered when faced with a girl who doesn’t conform to the expectations of a Victorian society girl. For her part Emma is stubborn and has a temper, refuses to let herself pine for Cormac especially with so many other things happening around her and yet they still gravitate toward each other. I was not made for this kind of romance okay I am *weak*.
I loved everything about this book and it kind of took me by surprise – I literally cannot think of a single thing I don’t like about it. The writing is lovely and the dialogue is both funny and sweet, the characters and relationships are flawless, and the plot and fantastical aspects really appeal to me. It made for such a great change from the kind of stuff I usually read and I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series whenever it’s released.