Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey

A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher- Walker Children
Released- Jan 7th 2014
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

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?

My Thoughts:
I've always been a huge fan of Alyxandra Harvey since her debut novel, Hearts at Stake and continued to devour the entire Drake Chronicles as well as her ghostly novel, Haunting Violet and fantasy fae novel, Stolen Away. So I was thrilled to see that Harvey has come out with an entirely new trilogy to love, and love it I did. A Breath of Frost has everything I love about reading. Whodunit mystery and murder, magic and maddens, witches and warlocks, witty characters, a blossoming romance, all set against high society historical London. Perfection!

Emma Day has always hated high society parities and could never stand for the dull guest, and snobby proper ladies. Nothing exciting every happens…that is till Emma accidentally broke her mothers old perfume bottle setting off a chain reaction of binding spelled secrets and opening a gate to the Underworld, unleashing nasty wicked undead creatures. Emma should have been more careful for what she wished for…

Wow! What a fun book! I was afraid I wasn't going to enjoy this book the way I wanted to since I’m not the biggest fan of historical and find myself easily lost. But Harvey totally put my mind at ease giving unique and refreshing touches to the plot and her characters and I was able to really appreciate everything and just enjoy the captivating world, fun filled plot and hilarious characters.

There is a lot going on here plot wise, and even though I felt slightly confused and overwhelmed at the beginning of the story, once I stopped asking myself endless questions about what’s going on, I started to just let the story guide me along and soon enough I was able to sink into the world and just enjoy myself as the story unfolded.
This is told in four parts and several point of views and while I would usually find this distracting I actually liked being able to go inside the heads of the other characters. It provided a rounder view to understanding them and the story better.
There are a lot of characters. Cousins, and sisters and love interests and yes, it did take a little bit to get everyone and their family’s straight, but everyone has such unique attitudes and personalities, it wasn't hard getting there.
We also have the history and mystery of Emma’s mothers past and how it links to all the secrets of the Lovegrove sisters. I really enjoyed this part of the story since it connected us even more to Emma and was really the heart of the storyline.
Then we have the Keepers and the Order and all the Underworld creepiness soaking up the streets in historical London and causing mischief, chaos and murders. The creatures were all deliciously dark and disturbing. And every step of the way I adored Harvey’s dedication to detail. The setting was fabulously vivid and rich with historical wonder and even the language was perfectly pitched. I loved the quick witted dialog and crisp banter and sarcasm. It was all beautifully amusing and constantly brought a smile to my face.
But my favorite part of the story is all the lovely twist and turns with every new chapter, I've always been a big fan of magic and witches but the way this story flows and bleeds together was incredibly constant, there was just always something new to learn and it was fun to discover everything this book had to offer.

I enjoyed all of these characters. They were all fantastically put together, likable and easy to connect with. I was invested from minute one till the very last page.
Emma, Penelope and Gretchen are cousins, sisters and best friends. They are all uniquely wonderful in their own ways but are all equally sassy, brave and fiercely protective, supportive and loyal to one another. They didn't know they were witches from the start and I loved how they each grew into their magical ability and learned this new world together. I also thought each witch having their own families (an animal that takes on the shape of their magic to protect them) was such a nifty idea. It’s those little details that make this feel more real, refreshing and imaginative.
Cormac was a little hard to like at first since he was very hot and cold towards Emma. He’s a conflicted creature who wants to prove himself worthy of the Order even though he lacks any magical talents and  has feelings for Emma that he’s not suppose to have. The romance isn't exactly forbidden, but it’s slightly frowned upon given Emma’s family magical background. But it doesn't stop Cormac and Emma from having an undeniable attraction to one another. I love all the little moments between them. The blushed cheeks, stolen kisses and hidden smiles, proving that you don’t always need sexy-times to make a huge impact when it comes to love. It was warm and sweet and more real somehow and even more anticipated since their infuriating uncertainty and flirtatious dance was both comically adorable and maddening.
I also loved all the other secondary character -the good ones and the bad ones- and enjoyed what entertainment they brought into the storyline.

All in all, I had a lot of fun with, A Breath of Frost. It’s surrounded with all the wonderful qualities I love in my escape. Magic, adventure, love stories and old secrets that opened up a shinny new world and I can’t wait to discover more! Another charming and amazing hit from Harvey! Loved!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                          4.5 Snowflakes


  1. ooo cool story and I am glad you like it.. Going to find it

  2. Now I want to read this! Although, I'm not sure about the beginning, because you had said it was confusing. Maybe doing the same thing you did would be the right thing to do; letting the story guide you. (:

    1. The beginning was only a little confusing, but that's probably just me. I'm an impatient reader and want to know whats happening right away lol but yes, its a busy plot but a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy!:-)

  3. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!
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  4. We've looked into this and nothing can be done from ore end. Try going into your settings to see if you disable the service. Sorry about that, hope it gets fixed.

  5. Wow, this definitely sounds like my type of book! I haven't read a lot of YA fiction about witches, but I really like historical-type books and fantasy is my favorite genre.
    I really liked your review, focused on all the important parts of a book and makes me really want to read it!