Fairy Queens Books 5-7
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Twisted by dark magic and mutual hatred, the Fae queens of Winter and Summer have declared war against one another - a war which threatens to shatter the balance of magic and tear apart the very fabric of the world.
But there is still hope. For the daughter of one of the queens does not share her mother's hatred. Elice has found love and freedom, and she is determined to take it. If she can survive the Faes' dark bargains, she stands a chance of healing the rift between the two queens, restoring the magic, and saving the world.
Of Sand and Storm
By law, any child born in Idara is free, even if that child is born in a slave brothel. Unfortunately for Cinder, she has grown into a beauty that surpasses even the renown of her mother and grandmother, making her far too valuable a commodity to lose. When the slaveholder calls in Cinder’s debts, she’s forced into a dangerous game where her very freedom is the prize.
As she prepares to do the impossible, she discovers that there is more at stake than she could have ever imagined. The game for her freedom is only a smaller move in a complex coup against the immortal Fae Queen. That discovery shifts her from a small piece to a major player. It’s not only her freedom, but the fate of an entire nation, that rests in her hands.
Daughter of Winter
Bargains. Only the truly desperate make them. Only the truly desperate need 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.
A price must be paid.
Elice has left behind the ice and isolation of winter. Before her is the warmth and wonder of summer with all its color and life. Adar, the young man she saved from the sea, is by her side, and his touch sends tendrils of heat where before there was only cold.
But all is not as it seems. There are secrets hidden in the heart of summer. Secrets that could burn Elice to the ground and take the whole world with her. The decades-long war between the fairies of winter and summer has thrown off the balance of nature, leaving the world in its death throes.
Adar believes Elice can stop the destruction—if only she will listen to him. But like the fairies’ bargains, that trust comes with a cost. And the price Elice will pay will tear asunder the boundaries between dreams and family, loyalty and betrayal.
Awesome Fairy Series
The Fairy Queens Box Set 2 contains the books 5-7 of the Fairy Queens series by Amber Argyle. Book 5, Of Sand and Storm, tells of Cinder, born in a brothel as half Idaran and half clansman, as she struggles to achieve true freedom for herself and the many slaves in Idara. Book 6-7, Daughter of Winter and Winter’s Heir are about Elice (whose image is captured on the cover), daughter of the Winter Queen who is caught in the mounting struggle between the Winter and Summer Queens and their followers.
All three of these novels complement each other in the box set. While the first four capture the stories of previous generations, telling how the Fairy Queens came into power, these three novels tell of their children and the children of others in their communities. Books 5-7 range all three people groups—the Clansmen, Tribesmen, and Idarans—and corners of the world. They expand the mythology intertwining the series and show the struggle of being born as half of two races and having a non-human entity as a parent. Finally, they bring the series to a close, rectifying the ongoing struggle between the opposing fairies but leaving an opening for future adventures. The books were very well done with a satisfying and romantic conclusion.
A main theme worth mentioning in Of Sand and Storm was the topic of human trafficking. Much of the story takes place in a brothel, showing the general mistreatment of the slave women from the perspective of one of their daughters who, though born free, owes large debts to the Madam of the location and, because of her mixed heritage, cannot find work anywhere but as a servant in that brothel. How far would a girl go to save her mother, grandmother, and the other women from slavery of the worst kind? Of Sand and Storm takes the reader into these harsh circumstances (without forcing them to read the actual sex scenes) through the eyes of a beloved character in order to make them aware of what is going on even now, in the real world, with the hopes that we will be inspired to make a difference. And hopefully we will. (As a note, the story is very well written in itself and isn’t too pushy about the theme.)
Daughter of Winter and Winter’s Heir follow closely together, and it is impossible to tell much about the second without revealing what is in the first. In Daughter of Winter, Elice, daughter of the Winter Queen, saves the life of a shipwrecked man and hides him from her mother. He encourages her to flee with him out of the winter realm to start a new life together, but he may have ulterior motives and secrets he is unable to share. The first book tracks them on their journey and the second describes what happens after they arrive and attempt to reconcile the winter queens before the world is destroyed. These two books focus on familial love and the effects of bitterness and forgiveness. Much is sacrificed for the love or hatred of another.
All three books were written well and provide a satisfying conclusion to the series. I recommend them to those who enjoy fantasy, especially with fairies and romance.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.