~Becoming a winter queen will make Ilyenna as cold and cruel and deadly as winter itself, but it might be the only way to save her people from a war they have no hope of winning.~
Mortally wounded during a raid, seventeen-year-old Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: become one of them and share their power over winter. But that power comes with a price. If she accepts, she will become a force of nature, lose her humanity, and abandon her family.
Unwilling to pay such a high price, Ilyenna is enslaved by one of the invaders, Darrien. While in captivity, she learns the attack wasn’t just a simple raid but part of a larger plot to overthrow her entire nation.
With the enemy stealing over the mountains and Darrien coming to take her to his bed, Ilyenna must decide whether to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat Darrien and the other invaders, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying power—forever.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is the first book in a YA Dark Fantasy series. I loved it!
First off, I would like to say that I love the cover! I am not usually attracted to a book on just it's cover alone, but I think it totally suits the book completely.
Ilyenna is a wonderful character. She is the daughter of the Chief of the Shyle clan, and also their new clan mistress. I really liked her. She is only seventeen and is unsure about taking on such a responsible role, but I think she handles herself well. She also happens to be a stubborn and proud woman.
I love reading fantasy, so when the opportunity to read this book came up, I took it. I am glad I did, because I really enjoyed it!
This story is a wonderful mix of fairy tale and dark fantasy; I was quickly hooked from the first page. The descriptions of the people and scenes were quite vivid, and I loved the fairies (both the winter and the summer ones) and I loved meeting the Summer Queen, Leto too. I also loved Ilyenna’s brother, Bratton. He is both a pain in the neck to, and extremely protective of, Ilyenna; in fact a typical sibling. I also have a tiny crush on Rone, Bratton’s best friend from childhood. He is one of the nicest characters I have met between the pages of a book; he is an honourable and gentle man. Darrien, from the Tyran clan, on the other hand, is one of the meanest, foulest, sickest pieces of filth to grace a page (to put it mildly). However, his father is a close second behind him. Both of these characters managed to make me so mad, I was shouting at the Kindle!
The story is full of twists, turns and surprises, which kept me interested. Some of the story was a bit confusing at times, but I kept going and my confusion about some events cleared when they were resolved. However, I was in awe of how the Shyle clan reacted and behaved in the face of such barbarism at the hands of a megalomaniac. They are truly a warrior clan. They are definitely as strong as stone, and as supple as a sapling. It has been an honour to meet them.
Amber Argyle has written a wonderful dark fantasy. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow of the story was wonderful. Although, there was what seemed to be a continuity inconsistency where the story seemed to jump from one scene into a completely different one near the end without explanation, which I found to be a bit jarring. However, this did not make me like the story less. I am now looking forward to reading this author’s other books as soon as possible.
Due to scenes of violence and abuse, I do not recommend this book to younger readers (under 15) or to people of a sensitive nature. However, I highly recommend this book if you love reading YA books with strong female characters or dark fantasy ones with a compelling tale. – Lynn Worton
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