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Followed by Frost by Charlie N. Holmberg

Followed by Frost

by Charlie N. Holmberg

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Followed By Frost tells the story of Smitha, a 17 year old woman, who, rather cruelly, dismisses the repeated romantic overtures of a young man. The young man turned out to be a wizard who promptly cursed her "to be as cold as her heart". She was doomed to be physically cold, with winter flowing her wherever she goes. It becomes a problem as those in her town become sick and die due to the relentless cold that follows her.

As the death of one person nears, she realizes that her curse allows her to both see and converse with Death himself, who soon becomes as obsessed with Smitha as was the young wizard. Smitha leaves home for the sake of her village, and the story follows her during the next four years of her cursed life.

I was drawn to the story because mainly because of the presence of a Death Incarnate figure. Although I was concerned that there may be more romance than I prefer, that turned out not to be the case. This was a story of a young woman coming of age, maturing, coming to grips with her plight and finding a place for herself in the world. I listened to the audiobook, which was extremely well narrated. The characters were all well developed and their interactions and conversations were very realistic. An enjoyable reading/listening experience. ( )
  BlackAsh13 | Sep 25, 2018 |
With a fairy tale feel, Ms. Holmberg gives us a classically selfish girl who learns to change her ways when she is cursed. Smitha is a really unpleasant girl at the beginning of this novel. I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for her plight even though she was the "heroine". I think that's a mark of good writing, that I could go from feeling antipathy to really liking Smitha by the end of the novel. Her process of change is believable and rewarding. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Jun 2, 2018 |
Followed by Frost is the latest book by Charlie N. Holmberg. Smitha Ronson is seventeen years old and very self-centered. Smitha has been spoiled by her father her whole life. Mordan Alteraz is a new arrival in the town of Euwan. Most people were skeptical of him, but Mr. Ronson welcomed him to town and gave him a job at his turnery. Mordan has been especially interested in Smitha since his arrival despite the cold shoulder Smitha has given him. One day she gets frustrated by his attentions and tells him how she really feels about him (she is cruel). Turns out that Mordan is a wizard, and he puts a curse on Smitha. He curses her to be as cold as her heart and that cold will follow her wherever she goes. Mordan then disappears.

Smitha runs home to her parents’ house. Her father immediately sets out to find Mordan, but he cannot be located. Smitha hair starts turning white, her skin is very pale and her lips turn blue. Everything she touches turns to ice. A snow cloud follows her dumping snow about a mile around Smitha. Smitha takes to her bed while everyone in town is huddling in their homes from the icy temperatures. When a child becomes ill and then dies, the town turns on Smitha. Smitha does not believe that the little boy is really that sick and pays him a visit (pushes her way into the family’s house). Smitha sees Death next to the little boy. Smitha and Death are both surprised. Smitha runs while Death looks thoughtful.

Smitha is forced by the town and her parents to leave Euwan. She takes to the woods and starts traveling north. Smitha at first hopes to find another wizard who can help her break the curse. Smitha is surprised one night to be visited by Death. His name is Sadriel. He is glad to have someone who can see him and talk to him. He would love Smitha to come over into his world. But that would mean Smitha giving up her life and the cold would still be with her. Smitha refuses. She travels through the mountain for the next three years. She cannot go into towns and then people start hunting her in the hills. One day she is chased but men on horses. But these men need her help. Prince Imad Al Hraith of the Fourth Generation lives in the Untamed Lands (the desert). They have had no rain for a long time. They are out of water and need her help. Smitha agrees to go with them to Mac’Hliah (the main town with the palace). Will Smitha finally find people that will accept her (curse and all)? Is there a way for Smitha to break the curse or will she give in to Sadriel?

I have enjoyed Charlie N. Holmberg’s other books and was eager to read Followed by Frost. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. It is an interesting idea that had great potential, but I just felt that the story turned out to be a long drawn out romance. It was a disappointment. At the beginning it goes along smoothly (and quickly) and then it slows down to a crawl until close to the end. The book was missing something. It needed more. The writing is okay, but this book was not as good as the author’s previous works. I give Followed by Frost 3 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of Followed by Frost from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Sep 22, 2015 |
This is a very nice YA fairy tale about the danger of being cold and cruel to the people around you. Young Smitha becomes a Frost Witch when she is cursed by a wizard for being cruel to him. The story of her years of suffering are realistic without being overpowering. As you might expect, Smitha redeems herself and finds true love through selfless good deeds. What you might not expect is that the story of Smitha's redemption is not goopy. Ms Holmberg writes Smitha being genuinely transformed by her suffering. Good work.

I received a review copy of "Followed By Frost" by Charlie N. Holmberg (47North) through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Sep 22, 2015 |
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