Frostheart by Jamie Littler
|Frostheart by Jamie Littler|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Alex Mitchell|
|Summary: How to Train Your Dragon meets Frozen in this funny and heartwarming tale of adventure, belonging and bravery set in an intriguing and well-written world.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 448||Date: October 2019|
|External links: Author's website|
Life in the Fira tribe is fairly ordinary by this world's standards; playing football with the other kids, trying not to get eaten by Leviathans, avoiding his grumpy yeti Guardian. Such is the life Ash leads, walled up in the Fira Stronghold, surrounded on all sides by a sea of snow and monsters. Abandoned by his parents as a baby, the only thing Ash has to remember them by is a lullaby that he sings to himself whenever he's lonely. But, after a rescue attempt reveals that Ash also has a taboo power, he joins the crew of the Frostheart to embark on a life of exploration and discovery. But, Ash yearns to find his family, and he hopes the crew will help him with this...
The characters are varied and the interactions with each other provide some of the more heartwarming and funny moments in the story. The protagonist is Ash, a young boy of the Fira tribe. He is a song-weaver, a person able to communicate with the Leviathans. His guardian is Tobu, a very serious and stoic yeti. He and Tobu join the crew of the Frostheart, which is under the command of Captain Nuk, a stern-but-fair walrus-woman, and her first mate, Master Podd, a vulpis (an intelligent fox-like creature) of few words. Ash's main friends aboard the Frostheart are Lunah, an energetic and snarky girl about his age who serves as the ship's lookout, and Shaard, an older man with an interest in The World Before who wishes to steer Ash away from Tobu's teachings. They all look out and rely on each other despite any and all setbacks.
The setting of the book is very interesting. The book takes place in a world (which is heavily implied to be a post-apocalyptic Earth, given talk of 'The World Before' and ancient technology known as archeomek) that has almost entirely been frozen over, with a massive snow sea covering most of it. It is also overrun by Leviathans, lizard-like creatures that prey on humans, and communicate with each other via singing. This has left humanity spread out across the world, sealed up in numerous strongholds, where they have started to evolve some rather strange customs. For example, Ash's former home of Fira forbids both music and singing, lest it draw the attention of the Leviathans (and Ash's song-weaving is what causes him to be exiled in the first place). The only way to get between strongholds is via enormous wind or steam-powered sleighs, of which the titular Frostheart is one, crewed by pathfinders. It is certainly a very intriguing setting, and I hope that future books expand more upon it.
Since Littler is an illustrator as well as an author, the book also has pictures that accompany the text. The illustration of the songs is particularly effective: Ash's song-aura is drawn using smooth, flowing organic lines, whereas the Leviathan's song-aura is drawn in dark, jagged lines, making them seem a lot more vicious and angry. The art-style does remind me a lot of the animated TV series Avatar: the Last Airbender, as it shares the heroes' Inuit-like aesthetic. It certainly adds to the story and can help when visualising the characters and the setting as a whole.
Overall, this is a funny and heartwarming tale of adventure, belonging and bravery featuring great characters and an intriguing setting.
Similar books by other authors:
The How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell – a book series similar to this one in terms of both adventure and humour.
You could get a free audio download of Frostheart by Jamie Littler with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Frostheart by Jamie Littler at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Frostheart by Jamie Littler at Amazon.com.
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