by Amanda Hocking – St Martin’s Press, 2015
teens + y.a.
Modern mythical fantasy is all the rage these days. There have been books about Witches and Wizards, Vampires and Werewolves, Daemons and Demigods—you may be wondering what on earth is left. Well, Trolls!
But the ugly, grumpy ‘live under a bridge and eat whatever crosses’ kind of troll is nowhere to be seen in Amanda Hocking's Frostfire.
Set in modern day North America, Frostfire is set amongst the Kanin, a tribe of trolls who look human but exhibit some very non-human abilities—like changing their skin to blend with the surroundings.
The heroin of the tale is Bryn, a determined and capable young troll who, as a half-breed, has had to fight to gain acceptance in the Kanin community. Her dream is to one day join the Hogdragon, the elite force that guards Kanin royalty.
To get there, she must first train to be a tracker—someone who goes out into the ‘human’ world to find and bring back Kanin changelings:
Three years of tracker school—including extensive combat training, courses on social etiquette, and peer integration—and none of it ever changed the fact that I really hated human high school. Every time I started a new school to get close to a new charge, I found myself rethinking my career choice.
Back before I chose to go to tracker school, rather then finishing out Kanin high school to become a farmer or a teacher or maybe a horse trainer, I remember watching the trackers come and go from missions. They all seemed so worldly and powerful. They earned the respect and admiration of everybody in Doldestam.
I imagined the kinds of adventures they must be having, travelling the world. Most of them stayed in North America, but sometimes I’d hear stories of trackers going off to England or Italy, and some even went to Japan.
The prospect of travelling and protecting my people sounded exciting and noble. Then I had graduated, and I spent the next four years actually doing the job. If only I had know how much of my “missions” as a tracker involved wearing itchy school uniforms and trying to keep up on slang so I could fit in with spoiled rich kids. I might’ve reconsidered.
When Kanin changelings start to go missing, Bryn must use all her skills to unravel a mystery that leaves her questioning who she can trust and the choices she must make. Full of combat, intrigue and close escapes, Frostfire is a fun read for anyone who likes adventure.