Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Interview with Bree Barton for Tears of Frost

Tears of Frost (Heart of Thorns #2)

by Bree Barton
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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The electric second book in the Heart of Thorns trilogy explores the effects of power in a dark magical kingdom—and the fierce courage it takes to claim your body as your own.

Mia Rose is back from the dead. Her memories are hazy, her body numb—but she won’t stop searching. Her only hope to save the boy she loves and the sister who destroyed her is to find the mother she can never forgive. Pilar is on a hunt of her own. Betrayed by her mother, and plagued by a painful secret, she’s determined to seek out the only person who can exact revenge. All goes according to plan… until she collides with Prince Quin, the boy whose sister she killed.

As Mia, Pilar, and Quin forge dangerous new alliances, they are bewitched by the snow kingdom’s promise of freedom and opportunity. But with the winter solstice drawing near, they must confront the truth beneath the glimmering ice, as lines between friend, foe, and lover vanish like snowflakes on a flame.

Can you briefly describe TEARS OF FROST and its characters?

Mia Rose and Pilar d’Aqila—the girl who tried to kill her—are on a collision course in the snow kingdom. Mia is looking for her mother. Pilar is looking for her father. They’re both harboring dark secrets that could destroy them. Meanwhile Quin has also escaped the river kingdom on a mission of his own. 

They only have twenty-eight days before the Illuminations, the Jyöltide festival in which fyre ice flickers in the night sky… and all truths come to light. The question is, will Mia, Quin, and Pilar work together to confront the darkness? Or will their secrets tear them apart?

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

I really fell in love with Pilar as I wrote this book. She’s so different than Mia—she thinks and speaks and acts differently, and the world she knows is not the same world Mia and Quin inhabit. Pilar rough-and-tumbled her way into my heart, jostled Mia out of the way, and claimed my new favourite spot.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

I clawed and fought and wept my way to this story. It was not easy. When I was writing the first draft, my little sister was raped—a fact she’s given me permission to share, because she’d like our culture to be able to talk more openly about rape. When I was revising, I was sexually assaulted. For more than twenty years, I have struggled with depression, which often feels like being stripped of physical sensation and emotional aliveness. In other words: being trapped in a dark box. All of these things poured out of me and into the book. I did my best to shape them as honestly and sensitively as I could. It also means this book is intensely personal—and will of course hurt more when people tear it apart. 

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

“Fire Drills” by Dessa. This is such a powerful song. It says so much, so perfectly, so painfully. Dessa is a queen.

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

Why not choose actors, right? There are so many good ones!

Mia: Sophie Turner

Quin: Timothée Chalamet 

Pilar: Camila Mendes 

Zai: Manny Jacinto

Angelyne: Dakota Fanning

Ville: Lucas Hedges

Nell: Zendaya

Fall is here, and we love to find a cosy place to read our favourite books. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

TEARS OF FROST is a great book for the holidays... assuming you like your holidays with a dose of dark and twisty. The mythology of the snow kingdom—the Seven Souls of Jyöl that form the epistolary backbone of the novel—was heavily inspired by my trip to Iceland. I think the absolute best place to read ToF would be by a crackling fire in the coastal town of Vik, hugging a toasty cup of Jyöltide cinnamon cocoa beneath the northern lights. Barring that: in a bookstore nook with mistletoe and some candles that hopefully don’t float. 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish TEARS OF FROST?

MIRAGE, DAMSEL, THESE REBEL WAVES—so many amazing books today are pushing the boundaries of what fantasy can be. I also just finished (and fell in love with) ONCE UPON A RIVER by Diane Setterfield. Treat yourself to the audiobook narrated by Juliet Stevenson. The variety of British accents is dazzling; she brings all the characters so beautifully to life. 

What’s next for you?

I’m currently hard at work on book 3 of the trilogy (I know the title but can’t reveal it just yet!). There are glass cities, warm sandy beaches with swaying fish trees, an island with mystical allure… and a grave cost on the other side.

Bree Barton is the author of Heart of Thorns (KT/HarperCollins 2018), the first in a series of fierce feminist fantasy novels. Her books have been published in seven countries and four languages. When she’s not crafting a story, Bree teaches dance and writing to teen girls. You can find her on Instagram @SpeakBreely. She lives in Los Angeles but dreams of the northern lights.


  1. Snowflakes on a flame would definitely vanish pretty swiftly! This book sounds incendiary!

  2. I enjoy reading YA fantasy so this book is on my TBR.

  3. This book sounds great. I love the cover. This book has been added to my to-read list.