Review: Frostborn & Nightborn by Lou Anders

Series: Thrones & Bones 1 and 2
Publication Date of Book 2: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Pages: 368 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher For Review
From the author of Frostborn comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull.

Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.

Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand—the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.

Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

When I read middle grade, I get super excited. Mostly because when I began reading, I jumped straight to YA and didn't get to explore middle grade the way it deserves to be explored. When a fantasy series comes my way which is titled Throne and Bones (!!!), I knew I had to give it a chance.

I'm going to forgo talking a lot about book one because while I enjoyed Frostborn, I can't say I loved it. It held my interest, it kept me curious, it was a decent read, but Nightborn is where this series truly takes off in my eyes. I think that this in large part due to the fact that the pacing of book two is much better, and also I found myself inexplicably fond of nearly every character I encountered because their characterization was just so spot on. No sequel syndrome here, folks!

In book two, everyone and everything is chasing after the Horn of Osius. The main character, Karn, is sent by the dragon, Orm, to find this ancient relic that can control the dragons because we can't have that happening. Karn is willing to hunt down the Horn, but he's more considered with finding his friend Thianna who was previously dispatched on this quest and suddenly disappeared. I don't know about you guys, but any story involving an awesome friendship will hold my attention, but what makes it even better is the fact that Thianna is a half frost giant! Just take a minute to process that. I freaking love crazy cool creatures like that.

But, speaking of cool creatures, we also meet Desstra who is of the dark elves--a new race that we did not meet in Frostborn. The world in Nightborn is just so much more complex because of Anders's ability to expand on book one. But anyway, back to the review...Desstra is skilled in poisons and traps, but lacks the killer instincts that her race is known for, which hinders her from graduating and becoming a member of the Underhand. Inevitably, her path crosses with Karn and shenanigans, trickery, and why the heck are you being so stupid, Karn? moments ensue. I mean, seriously, Karn needs to get himself a little bit of common sense every now and then.

I could sit here and go on for hours about this cast. I will say that Anders's writing is rich with great characters that truly stand apart from each other which makes his novels fun and very easy to read.

4 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received these books and no other compensation of any kind in exchange for honest reviews.


  1. Great review! I’m glad to hear that this was more enjoyable to the first book…because I didn’t quite finish the first book!I kinda got bored with it and put it aside for later…ad haven’t picked it back up again. I want to, but yeah. Do you think I should finish the first one before diving into this one? Or does it explain pretty much everything that happens in the first book :D
    I love middle grade too!!! It always cheers me up.

    Diamond @ Diamond’s Reads

    1. It is totally worth finishing the first one to dive into this one! It was like the first book was the set up for a crazy awesome adventure!