Title: Kiss of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
First published November 29, 2011
337 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780758266941 (ISBN10: 0758266944)
My name is Mia Blackwood, and I’m a third-year student at the Mystic Academy. The upcoming semester is looking bleak as I struggle to keep up with my training.
The handsome and brooding Asher is assigned to be my combat partner, and he seems to enjoy making me look foolish. As if that’s not enough, a mysterious figure with deadly precision takes aim at me while I study in the Academy’s library.
Worse yet, I discover that a traitor is among our ranks, and they want me out of the picture. With Asher’s reluctant assistance, I must learn to fight for my life, or risk becoming the next victim of the Academy’s enemies.
Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep is a young adult fantasy novel first published on November 29, 2011. Estep is a New York Times bestselling author known for her Elemental Assassin and Mythos Academy series.
Kiss of Frost is the second book in the Mythos Academy series featuring Gwen Frost, a teenage Gypsy girl with the gift of psychometry, the ability to see the memories of objects she touches. Kiss of Frost picks up where the first book, Touch of Frost, left off, with Gwen and her classmates at Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors who battle mythological creatures.
The book is set in modern-day North Carolina, but with a twist: the academy is concealed behind a mystical barrier that hides it from the mortal world. Gwen is still reeling from the death of her friend and mentor, Professor Metis, and trying to cope with her growing feelings for Logan Quinn, the handsome Spartan who is both her ally and adversary.
The story revolves around Gwen’s quest to uncover the identity of the Frost Giant who is targeting Mythos Academy students for assassination. Along the way, she must navigate a web of secrets and betrayals, relying on her wits, fighting skills, and psychometry to survive.
The book is action-packed, with plenty of fighting, magic, and romance to keep readers engaged. Estep’s writing style is engaging and easy to follow, with a touch of humor and a splash of teenage angst.
Kiss of Frost is more than just a fun read, however. It explores themes of identity, loyalty, and the struggle between good and evil.
The characters are well-developed, with complex backstories and motivations that add depth to the plot. The pacing is fast but not rushed, with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.
Estep also weaves in historical and mythological references, adding an element of cultural significance to the story. One of the strengths of Kiss of Frost is how it builds on the world-building and character development of the first book without leaving newcomers feeling lost.
It stands on its own as a well-crafted story, while also expanding on the mythology and introducing new characters and conflicts. The romance between Gwen and Logan is a bit predictable, but Estep manages to keep it fresh with their witty banter and shared history.
One area where Kiss of Frost could improve is in its portrayal of diversity. While the book features characters from different backgrounds, there are some stereotypes and cliches that feel outdated or offensive.
For example, the Gypsy culture is romanticized and exoticized to some extent, and some of the characters’ traits and abilities are determined by their race or ethnicity. At times, the story relies too heavily on tired tropes instead of exploring the full depth of its characters.
Overall, Kiss of Frost is a well-written and enjoyable read for fans of young adult fantasy. It offers a mix of action, romance, and mythology that is sure to please.
The messages it conveys about perseverance, friendship, and moral ambiguity are relevant to readers of any age. While it may not be groundbreaking or flawless, it is a solid addition to the Mythos Academy series and a testament to Estep’s storytelling skills.
I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and thought-provoking read. Rating: 4/5 stars