Review: A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey

Review: A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
A Breath of Frost
by Alyxandra Harvey

Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Young Adult
Publication date: January 7, 2014
by Bloomsbury

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In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld.

Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.

Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

WARNING: The word ADORABLE has been used in excess

It was winter and I had been having a bad week; I was angry, sad, paranoid and detached, then along came A Breath of Frost and warmed up my black heart.

I read Haunting Violet in 2012 and fell head over heels in love. The book was incredibly fluffy and made me feel like I was floating on clouds. When I found out that the author was writing a new book that was set around the same time but instead of ghosts had witches, I knew I had to get my incredibly grabby hands on a copy.

A Breath of Frost did NOT let down. It was adorable and fluffy and just…. It’s hard to actually say anything about the book when all I want to do is post a bunch of quotes to prove how wonderful the book was.


Emma was a great female lead. She had her priorities in order (kind of), had not morphed into some sob story even though her father was an ass and also managed to be a lot of fun and was overall a very positive person. Things weren’t always good for her, people feared her because of her mother and where always quick to point their fingers when something went wrong, she grew a pair of antlers and let’s not forget, people were dying and she had just found out she was a witch.

Surely, she had priorities and they had nothing to do with the feel of his arms around her.

Girls wearing antlers instead of bonnets probably didn’t get many chances to flirt.

The best thing about the novel was not in fact the world building but the relationships. They were the highlight of the novel. The relationship between the 3 cousins was just heartwarming. They were always supportive of one another and would do anything for each other. From the opening scene where they get all huffed and puffed when an asshole called Penelope fat, to where they would go out their way to be protective of Emma when it came to Cormac.

“I’ll be better when I’ve planted my boot up Cormac’s backside,”

They could always rely and fall back on one another. They would comfort each other without being asked to. They were so close knit and the three of them were just ADORABLE.

“I wonder where the library is,” Gretchen said.

“I wonder if there are any handsome young men willing to dance a waltz?” Penelope added hopefully.

“I wonder if we can hide under the tablecloth,” Emma put in.

Her cousins were just a lot of fun, from Gretchen who may or may not have had a streak of violence to Penelope who was a romantic through and through to the not really there Gordic who was a delicate flower (in comparison to his twin sister, Gretchen).

I was also pleasantly surprised by the fact that at least one out of the four had great parents. The little moments with Pen’s mom were really fun and I am so glad that after seeing only parents who wanted to marry of their kids in historical books, we finally had parents who told her daughter there was enough money for her to live off of should she wish to not get married. Hell her parents actually encouraged her to not get married.

Let’s not forget Cormac’s (who I will get back to later) sisters. Cormac was the only one in the family without magic but as a keeper he had to work twice as hard to prove himself. His sisters of course would never let their big brother go about trying to get himself killed and almost always tried to come to his rescue.

“You don’t want the Order of Iron Arses to know your baby sisters saved you”

Cormac was a wonder though. When he was first introduced I was so worried he would turn out to be one of those annoying bad boys who treated the female lead like shit. I needn’t have worried because Cormac was absolutely adorable. Of course he would probably punch me in the face for saying that but how can a guy who says something like

She tilted her head. “I’m not afraid of the dark, Cormac.”

He sighed theatrically. “But girls clutch at me out of fear all the time. Apparently I am a great defender against bees, spiders, moths, and suspicious-looking scones.”

not be adorable?  What I liked most about Cormac; however, was that he respected Emma as an individual. He didn’t see her as some damsel in distress that needed saving, he saw her as a person, a person he was hopelessly in love with and therefore would do anything to protect.

“I suppose it makes a strange sort of sense,” Cormac allowed. “And he did save your life.”

“You both did.”

“You saved yourself just as much.”

The romance was just… it made me wish I could stuff my face with cotton candy. Cormac and Emma are such a cute couple. And thankfully, Emma tries her best to not spend the whole time drooling over him. She realizes he could be dangerous seeing that he was perfectly willing to hand her over to the order.

For some reason, Cormac kept turning her into an idiot.
And at some point, preferably before it killed her, she would have to remember that he was only kind to her for his own secret.

It did take a while for the two of them to come to their senses but there were so many sweet moments in between that it didn’t even matter that it took Cormac a while to man up.

Cormac just shrugged. He knew better than to say that he found Daphne boring. In fact, he was finding every girl he met who wasn’t Emma, boring. He’d never live it down if word got out. Never mind his friends, his sisters would be merciless. “Any news?” he asked.

One of the biggest drawbacks for me was Ewan and Theodora. While I didn’t mind Ewan, Theodora really got on my nerves and their romance really did NOT do anything for me. It came off as insta-romance and the way Ewan called her princess … was kind of creepy for me.

I cannot say much about the plot because while it wasn’t lacking, it wasn’t what grabbed my attention and made me feel warm and tingly inside. The characters and their relationships were so obviously the highlight that I didn’t pay much attention to the plot. Although I have to say, the cousins had some of the best reactions to finding out they were witches. Em asked if she could fly (I forgot to save the quote)

Pen:

“That’s something out of a gothic novel, Em. Well done. Are we tragic and misunderstood, doomed to wander unloved over the moors?”

And Gretchen:

“What if we don’t want to join witching society?” Gretchen asked. “I don’t like the rules I’ve already got, thanks very much. I’m not keen on learning new ones.”

Gordic just got himself drunk because the ghosts scared him.

I still have quotes I wish I could share because really, this book was just so GODDARN ADORABLE. If this book were candy, I would gorge on it. With a world full of witches, warlocks, balls, magic and Harvey’s magic, this book was fluffy and worth every minute I spend reading it. The only thing I ask of the sequel is for Cedric and Penelope to get together.. but since the sequel looks like it’s going to be Gretchen’s story, I am just going to have to wait a little bit longer.

 

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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    Yay! I loved this one too, Rashika. I was a little worried going into it, but I ended up enjoying it so much. The characters were so great and I loved the relationships between the 3 girls. They were full of life and yes, so adorable.
    And Cormac? *swoon* He was so hot! :P I loved that he didn’t view Emma as a damsel in distress either and that he truly supported her. And his kisses were perfect too.
    Great review, Rashika!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Kiss the Sky by Becca & Krista RitchieMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      CORMAC WAS SO ADORABLE.
      Nick you just made me go into fangirl mode.
      But honestly, I am DYING for Cedric and Pen to get together. I bet they are going to have the best romance ever. I get the feeling if they don’t happen.. I might lose it.. and if they do, I’ll be the puddle you slip on on the floor :P :P

      Thanks, Nick!! :)