Daughter of Winter
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"A captivating series!" ~Jennifer A. Nielsen, NYT bestselling author, The False Prince
Bargains. Only the desperate need them. Only the desperate make them. And always, the desperate pay.
The silence and never-ending dark of winter are all Elice has ever known, for she is the daughter of the Winter Queen. Isolated in a northern queendom with only the seals for company, she dreams of color and music and life. So when a whaling ship crashes just offshore, she doesn't hesitate to rescue the lone survivor, Adar, who quickly becomes her friend. She must keep him hidden from her mother at all costs, for if the Winter Queen discovers him trespassing, she'll kill him.
When her mother reveals just how dark her soul has become, Elice realizes she is as much a prisoner as Adar. To ever know true freedom—to ever become the woman she was meant to be—she must flee with him. But in their flight, she begins to see hints of something more nefarious. The darkness that has taken hold of her mother is spreading, staining the world with its influence.
Unbeknownst to Elice, a bargain was made long ago. A bargain she was born to fulfill.
In the Fairy Queens Saga, each book features a mortal who makes an ill-fated bargain with the fae to save someone they love. And each time that mortal is drawn a little deeper into an immortal war. By the final books, those mortals find themselves pitted against each other in a race to save a dying world.
In Daughter of Winter, Elice, daughter of the Winter Queen, saves the life of a shipwrecked man named Adar and hides him from her mother. He encourages her to flee with him out of the winter realm to start a new life together, free from the overprotective Winter Queen who has kept Elice locked in the winter realm for her entire life. But bargains have been made that can ruin her chance at true freedom, and even Adar may not be who he seems.
I enjoyed Daughter of Winter very much. This book takes place mostly in the winter realm, with lots of ice and snow, polar bears, dogsleds, and open ocean. There was danger, both from the other people and powers in the story and from the forces of nature, as the characters waded through secrets, bargains, and trust issues to complete their goals and strengthen their relationships. The nonhuman fairies and the mythology revealed were fascinating to read about and provided more danger for the characters to face and conquer. The foretellings of doom—the Sundering—was an interesting addition to the story. The fight between the Queens had reached such a level as to create danger for the entire world. Isn’t that what bitterness amounts to? A destruction of the people you love which ultimately destroys you also?
Daughter of Winter was a fascinating, if short, read that is continued in Winter’s Heir. It was immensely enjoyable, and I recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.