The Face in the Frost is a fantasy classic, defying categorization with its richly imaginative story of two separate kingdoms of wizards, stymied by a power that is beyond their control. A tall, skinny misfit of a wizard named Prospero lives in the Southern Kingdom a patchwork of feuding duchies and small manors, all loosely loyal to one figurehead king. Both he and an improbable adventurer named Roger Bacon look in mirrors to see different times and places, which greatly affects their personalities and mannerisms and leads them into a myriad of situations that are sometimes frightening and often hilarious. Hailed by critics as an extraordinary work, combining the thrills of a horror novel with the inventiveness of fantasy, The Face in the Frost is the debut novel that launched John Bellairs' reputation as one of the most individual voices in young adult fiction.
This one was a suggestion and came in via paperbackswap.com. All in all, it was a nice little read - atmospheric, with two characters I gave a flip about (Prospero & Bacon), some humor and a disturbing villain of the piece. The illustrations helped as well - they were cute and funny.
The premise is that two wizards, Prospero and Bacon, find themselves opposing a force much greater than their own powers - one that has a reason to want to destroy Prospero. Along the way, we are treated to who the villain is, what he's doing (with an end of the world that's different) and some clever escapes by our protagonists. Its a neat piece even if the end does feel like deus ex machina.