Hello festive friends! Happy December.
I hope you’re getting into the holiday spirit, and if not, then you’re about to, because the 12 Days of Bookish Christmas Blog Hop is here!
Hosted by YA Sci-fi and Fantasy Addicts, each of the SIXTEEN posts (because we’re generous like that) will include a lovely bookish freebie (scroll to the bottom for mine) and a chance to enter our mega giveaway!
12 Days of Christmas
- Day 1 – YA Christmas Reads + Sweets
- Day 1 Bonus – Hosting a Secret Santa Gift Exchange with Your Bookish Friends
- Day 2 – Gift Ideas for Friends who Read
- Day 3 – Found Family Trope Reads
- Day 4 – White Stag Review + Decadent Vegan Hot Cocoa Recipe
- Day 6 – 12 Favorite Fantasy Books of the Year
- Day 7 – A Christmas Playlist to Read To
- Day 7 Bonus – Christmas Traditions + Favorite Holiday Reads
- Day 8 – Tamales and Books!
- Day 9 – Winter Book Review: Wicked Lovely
- Day 10 – Derby Pie and Fond Memories
- Day 11 – Mistletoe Myths & Stories
- Day 12 – A Soul as Cold as Frost Review + Coffee Recipe (YOU ARE HERE)
- Day 12 Bonus – Tea Pairings & Winter-Themed Books
- Wrap-Up – All the Stocking Stuffers + Big Giveaway
Review: A Soul as Cold as Frost by Jennifer Kropf
“Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good fright…”
The Quarrel of Sword and Bone was a death sentence for anyone who stepped into the arena with the deranged Queen, whose soul had crisped to frost in an age long since past.
Sixteen-year-old Helen Bell understood tragedy better than most kids growing up. She knew what it was like to wear clothes from donation bins and be mocked by the beautiful girls in high school. She thought those brutal experiences made her ready for anything, but she wasn’t ready for this.
After an eccentric girl opens Helen’s eyes to let her see the realm of Winter—a world with intersects tucked carefully into the cracks of our own, where monarchs have risen and fallen, it’s forbidden to mention the name of The Dead King, and the currency is gold rings—Helen discovers things are far from ordinary in Winter. After trying to deny the existence of a disrupting train horn ringing in her ears for days, Helen receives a mysterious summons from a group who call themselves “The Crimson Court” to enter into The Quarrel of Sword and Bone—a traditional duel performed before one thousand witnesses that leaves only one survivor—and she’s forced to finally pay attention to the handsome boy who’s been following her around with a warning on his tongue.
When the arrival of wicked villains propels Helen into the heart of Winter where there’s no going back, she finds herself being pursued by something else too—a whispered prayer battling on her behalf, and an ancient Truth that breathes living words of wisdom—the very wisdom forgotten by the Rime Folk when their disunity drove them to draw lines in the snow in an age of the past.
Helen must find a way out, or she’ll be dragged into the arena to face the crooked Queen head on before a crowd ready to watch her die.
The Winter Souls Series blends action and warm Christmas traditions, bringing the old forgotten tales of the season to life with new and grittier versions of famous characters out of old holiday legends, folklore, and myths; such as St. Nicholas, the Snow Queen, the Scrooge, and the Nutcracker.
A Soul as Cold as Frost is Jennifer Kropf’s debut novel, ideal for fans of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms by Meredith Rusu and Ashleigh Powell.
Title: A Soul as Cold as Frost (The Winter Souls #1)
Author: Jennifer Kropf
Rating: 5 festive stars!
If you’re a fan of heart-warming, engaging fantasy books that you can read with your kids or your gran, then can I recommend checking out this series?
Kropf has combined all the best elements of your favourite middle grade books, like The Chronicles of Narnia, and some of the best Christmas stories, such as The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, to create a completely unique but familiar and comforting holiday read.
There are elements of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and even Harry Potter, as Helen discovers the magical world lying just beneath the surface of her normal, Canadian city. Speaking of Helen, she’s a totally relatable character, struggling to come to terms with the strange things that seem to keep happening around her, and slowly opening her eyes to the truth. She takes us on a real journey throughout the book, it’s a beautiful coming of age tale with elements of good versus evil, friendship and plenty of exciting action thrown in.
There is a subtle Christian undertone to some of the story, in a very similar vein to Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia, so if you’re a fan of Christian fiction you’ll love the added layer, but if you’re not looking for it then you won’t notice it’s there.
My favourite thing about the book is Kropf’s way with words. She really knows how to turn a phrase and the descriptions of the settings, people and everything in between had my imagination running wild as the story played out around me like a movie. Kropf’s style is whimsical and captivating, it was like reading an old classic, but much more fun!
Book two, A Heart as Red as Paint was just released last month, so you’ve got two gorgeously festive fantasies to dive into this Christmas, and the wait for book three, A Crown as Sharp as Pines, is only a few months!
The lovely Jennifer Kropf has a fabulous email newspaper that includes a yummy coffee recipe each week, so I’ve included the latest one for you below! PLUS if you sign up to get her emails, you’ll also be able to download the prequel novella Harmonies, which follows Charlie, a Green Kingdom boy, and Cora, a Red Kingdom girl, as they come together to solve a mystery and uncover the truth about both of their kingdoms.
– Brown Sugar
– Whipped Cream
– Red and Green Sprinkles
Okay, here’s how you do it:
1) Mix a smidgen of cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar in a tiny bowl (you know your own preferences about how much sweetness you like in your coffee, so make your measurements accordingly.) Throw this right into the filter with your scoops of coffee grinds.
2) Brew your coffee (I’m just going to go ahead and assume you know how to do this).
3) Pour your coffee, add your milk, splat a puff of whipped cream on top, and toss a pinch of sprinkles on top of it all.
Click the image below to enter our mega giveaway!
Some lucky elves will win a bundle of prizes worth over $600, including paperbacks, ebooks, merch and Amazon gift cards! Merry Christmas, indeed!
Happy holidays, friends!