Frostbite, by Alexandria Bellefleur
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: April 26, 2017
After his sister touches a lethal Frost Flower and succumbs to Frozen Sickness, Rainor seeks out the mysterious Dragon, who purportedly holds the only cure for the fatal disease. In gratitude for saving his sister’s life, Rainor agrees to bring him fresh bread twice a week—despite the man’s insistence he wants for nothing.
As Rainor makes his deliveries, the two slowly become friends, and Rainor finds in the Dragon all the things he never found in his little village. But on his way to make his latest delivery, the unthinkable happens, and Rainor fears that if he asks for the cure he needs to live, he’ll lose the man he’s coming to love…
I still can’t tell whether I want Frostbite to be two hundred pages longer or not. While I loved the underlying concept of this story (it reads like an inverted Beauty and the Beast, where instead of being imprisoned, the Beauty has to make regular visits to the Beast as part of their deal), the main characters never really amount to more than their names. Rainor is a noble-hearted baker, and Drachen…sits around in his lair all day. Having finished the novella, that’s still about all I know of them. I wanted to see more of their relationship as it developed, but instead we get told that the relationship is growing as time passes.
The core conflict (Rainor refusing to ask Drachen for the cure) could have been really devastating if it had been played right, but it ended up feeling a little senseless as to why Rainor decides not to ask for help.
If you’re looking for something that really hits the fairytale feeling, Frostbite is a good choice. But if you want something that gets a little deeper into the characters and the setting, this probably won’t do much for you.
Alexandria Bellefleur considers the Pacific Northwest to be her home, despite now living on the opposite side of the country. A writer of both romance and horror, Alexandria enjoys crafting memorable characters that readers either love or love to hate. She can often be found with a cup of coffee in one hand, a book in the other, and a black cat on her lap.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.