Frostheart by Jamie Littler is book 1 of a magical fantasy adventure series that I would have gobbled up as a youngster. Actually, I’m a grown-up and I still gobbled it up! I am officially a Frostheart FanBoy.
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 little 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 . . . ?
Sounds gripping right!?
I just want to begin by saying how good this book is, it’s unreal! It’s one of the best Middle-Grade children’s books I’ve read. It has everything I like: magic, adventure, lovable characters, incredible world-building and storytelling that sucked me in like no other book has. For me, it’s up there with The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar as a book I wanted to return to immediately after I finished it.
The story follows Ash, a boy who has a gift. The gift of ‘song-weaving’. But the people of the Fira stronghold hate and fear the song-weavers because their ability allows them to connect with the creatures that lurk beneath the Snow Sea – the Leviathans! Nasty, vile creatures who want to kill the human-kin. Or do they?
Ash is alone, everyone hates him, his parents have disappeared and the only THING who seems to bother with him is a great big grumpy yeti warrior named Tobu. Then one day, a majestic Sleigh named Frostheart crewed by a skilled team of ‘Pathfinders’ rocks up to Fira in need of help. Without hesitation, Ash jumps to the pathfinders aid, but it comes at the high price of banishment. The crew of the Frostheart kindly offered to let Ash come aboard and help him on his quest to find his parents, and so begins their magical and treacherous quest.
When I said above that I gobbled this book up OMGoodness I absolutely GOBBLED IT UP! This is the type of book I would have obsessed over as a youngster, I would have tried drawing all the amazing characters that Jamie has brought to life and I want to ride the Frostheart so bad. It looks amazing, the fact that Jamie has created all the illustrations for this book makes it even more immersive.
The characters are excellent and I really like them all but I do have some favourites (sorry to the others). Ash as a main character is someone I liked straight away, he knew of his powers but he also knew everyone hated him because of them. His pain was evident from the start and I just wanted to be his friend. Then there’s Tobu, a hulking great yeti who is moody, short-tempered yet wise and thoughtful. He cares for Ash even though it’s not obvious at first, to himself or anyone else. And trust me, there is more to Tobu than meets the eye. He has secrets, and I’m dying to find out what they are.
Then we get to the crew of the Frostheart, the Pathfinders, each one with special skills and a role to play. My favourite of them all is Lunah, an excellent navigator and my favourite character design from the book with Rook being a close second. Watching the characters and their friendships develop really is wonderful, a real testament to Jamies’ writing.
If the illustrations don’t have you drooling (which btw I think are the best illustrations I’ve seen in an MG book) then the riveting story and immersive, imaginative world will. There is just so much mystery involved to keep you on your toes and the short chapters make it even more enticing.
Make this series the next series you read. You will not be disappointed. BUY NOW and let me know what you thought of it in the comments below.
Jamie has his own place on the interwebs where you can check out more of his creations… jamielittler.co.uk