Followed by Frost


Charlie Holmberg's The Paper Magician series was one of my favorite series in 2014 and 2015, so I was excited when she published a new one, Followed by Frost. I picked it up and read it. At the end of the book in her author's notes, Holmberg mentions that her publisher originally declined to pick up this book, and it was only after the success of The Paper Magician that the publisher agreed to publish it.

Frankly, I think the publisher was right. Holmberg's writing is good, as always, but the story itself was bland and uninspiring. It took me a while to realize why.

The protagonist, Smitha, is cursed to have a blizzard follow her. She is kicked out of her hometown and forced into exile. She runs into a lot of trouble -- people don't seem to like blizzards! Eventually, she finds a king who runs a country in a desert and wants fresh water. Yadda, yadda. Like I said, kind of bland.

But the reason that it was bland and uninspiring is that Smitha literally does nothing through the entire book. She doesn't actually do anything. Things happen to her. Smitha is basically a passive protagonist throughout the entire book, with the supporting cast picking up all the slack.

Not a huge fan. But if you enjoy her other books, it might be worth a shot.