Shadow Frost (Shadow Frost Trilogy, #1)

by Coco Ma

3.5 of 5 stars 2 ratings • 2 reviews • 13 shelved
Book cover for Shadow Frost

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Shadow Frost (Shadow Frost Trilogy, #1)

by Coco Ma

3.5 of 5 stars 2 ratings • 2 reviews • 13 shelved

In the kingdom of Axaria, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.

Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.

Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned.

When Asterin Faelenhart, princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields—though has yet to fully understand—Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless trained soldiers have failed. To kill it.

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the princess herself instead. Asterin and her friends begin to wonder how much of their lives has been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.

That is, of course, if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

  • ISBN10 1982527447
  • ISBN13 9781982527440
  • Publish Date 1 October 2019
  • Publish Status Active
  • Imprint Blackstone Publishing
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 362
  • Language English


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Quirky Cat 4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of Shadow Frost through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Shadow Frost is the first novel in a series of the same name by Coco Ma. It's a fantasy world where nothing is what it appears to be, yet our main characters will have to do whatever it takes to save their kingdom.
In a world where magic and gods interfere on the regular, a demon has been terrorizing and murdering the people. And it's up to Princess Asterin to stand up to this beast – and find the cause behind its appearance.
Asterin Faelenhart is the Princess of Axaria, and she's one driven and unique princess. She's magically gifted, determined to find her own path in life, and so much more. She's everything a little girl would want to see in a princess; she's feisty and sassy, and let's not forget that she's powerful as well.
Luna is a complicated character and the best friend of Asterin. She's also her lady in waiting, and she's got so much more to her plot than meets the eye.
Orion is the guardian protector of Asterin, which means he has his hands full. It may be his job to put his life on the line for the princess, but it is a task he'll willingly do again and again. Just so long as it means she and everyone else he cares for will be okay.
Quinlan is a royal soldier, and while it's tempting to assume he's a faceless and nameless character among many, there is actually so much more to his character. Even if he has to fight to prove himself.
Eadric is a unique character. Strong and silent, yet sassy to the brim. He's a man of many contradictions. He's not quite like anything you'd expect, while also being exactly what readers hoped for.
Rose, like Eadric, is full of secrets. She knows more about what is happening in this world, and she's got a plan for how to help stop it.

“'A task?' The creature's eyes glazed over in obedience even as the words left its mouth.
'A shadow. I need you to be a shadow... A shadow of death.'”

Shadow Frost is Cocoa Ma's debut novel, and she did a splendid job with this piece. It was a fast-paced novel, full to the brim of characters with their own goals and ambitions. The world itself was expansive and complex, and left me desperate to see more of it.
Because there were so many characters in this novel, it did take a while to introduce all of them, and their importance to the main plot. It was fascinating seeing how they all connected together, and more importantly, how their roles changed as the story progressed.
I adore the world in Shadow Frost, along with all of the politics and scheming that went along with it. I honestly can't wait to see what the next novels will reveal, as I'm sure it'll be equally dramatic and enticing.
There were some romantic subplots strewn throughout the novel, but nothing that readers would find overwhelming. More like they're in the budding stages – with plenty of room to progress in later novels. They certainly were distracting from the main plot at all. And in all likelihood, fans will each find a ship they chose to hang on to.
Shadow Frost was such a fun read. I'm almost sad I finished it as quickly as I did. It sort of feels like I should have savored it just a bit more. But I just couldn't help myself! Now I'm stuck waiting for news about a sequel. But it was worth it!

For more reviews check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

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Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The first word that pops into my mind to describe Shadow Frost is “indulgent”.

This isn’t, strictly speaking, a bad book. It’s relatively entertaining, but it’s extreme and predictable. It has that Disney-esque quality of good triumphing over evil. The characters are highly powered with limited training and few consequences. There were some pretty cool ideas in the skeleton of this novel, but I just didn’t believe it. At all.

And, yeah, okay, this is a fantasy and requires suspension of disbelief. I get that, I really do. But I also have a problem with characters who achieve the highest levels of power so quickly. While I don’t mind a runaway royal here or there having her own adventures (hello The Storm Crow) I have a difficult time with multiple royals running around without interference and doing dangerous things. Like – no big deal if you, the only heir dies! We’ll figure it out! The lack of rules and consequences holding the characters in this world made it so they could run around doing whatever they wanted.

For me, that’s a deal breaker. I love beautifully crafter worlds. I want to see the characters grow and fail and overcome and struggle beautifully. Without consequences, these characters had no apparent growth. The love stories came quickly and too easily. The friendships were uncomplicated. I wanted more depth to these people besides dead parents and lightning fast reflexes.

The one thing I wanted so badly to experience in more detail was the magic system. At the beginning of the book, I felt like Coco Ma had this beautiful, complex, fascinating magic system. Especially in the first chapters, I expected to see more about how this worked, and learn alongside the princess and she struggled to gain control. But that, too, fell aside. The reader was given a once-over of the rules of magic and the rarity of the different types, just enough to follow the plots… then everyone became rare magical experts real fast. I was so disappointed.

In as far as the plot goes, nothing surprised me. There were a lot of things going on to the characters, to the point where it seemed like the author wanted each character to have an equally, dramatic storyline. This novel had six different POVs and a complicated world-building system that was introduced in awkwardly timed flashbacks and a lot of telling.

Please don’t misunderstand – I didn’t hate this book. I think that the ideas in Shadow Frost were fun and interesting, and the characters had potential. But it felt raw and underdeveloped and I expected more. I was disappointed, but I believe that those less thoroughly read in epic fantasy would enjoy this one a lot. It was written as though it was an HBO series, with romance and adventure and fight scenes. There’s an audience out there for Shadow Frost, but it fell a bit short for me.