Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review: Winter Queen by Amber Argyle

Title: Winter Queen
Series: Fairy Queens #1
Author: Amber Argyle
Publisher: Starling Publishing
Format Read: Ebook Novel
Source: Author
Genre: Fantasy

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. 

Teasers: “The ranker the smell, the better the cure,” she’d always said whenever Ilyenna and Bratton complained about the stench. – 6%

Her life was slipping away as softly as a twirling snowflake. – 16%

Shyle are stronger than stone, more supple than a sapling. – 31%

It made her hurt deep inside her soul—so deep only he had ever touched her there. – 60%

When Rone had that stubborn look about him, she’d be better off to threaten the grasshoppers not to eat her garden. – 74% 

Review: Ilyenna must embrace winter’s chill to not only save the people she loves but herself in Amber Argyle’s Winter Queen.

Argyle has mad skills when it comes to worldbuilding. From the clothing to the healing practices to the politics, every aspect adds to this vast and complex world the story takes place in. Then, Argyle takes it a step further with adding a vibrant fairy world. I also loved the idea of Balance within this world and how important a concept it is. To accompany this worldbuilding, Argyle has crafted these heart-achingly beautiful descriptions. Her prose is a pleasure to read and leaves the reader breathless and craving more.

Then, we have a heartbreaking and emotionally charged plot and characters in this wonderful fantasy novel. The complexities of the world create this plot filled with politcal intrigue as clan goes against clan. Ilyenna embodies the Shyle’s saying of “stronger than stone and more supple than a sapling.” Her choices are each soul shattering, and my heart ached for her and her peoples. Rone is headstrong and fierce to protect the people he loves. He’s a perfect complement to Ilyenna. Darrien, as the very cruel villain, craves power and the one woman who doesn’t want him. As a reader, I was terrified for Ilyenna and couldn’t stop thinking about whether or not Darrien would win. I particularly loved the clanswomen. They had such strength against the odds. In fact, each character was three-dimensional and realistic, even down to the fairies and the Summer Queen within the story.

If you’re looking for a complex fantasy novel filled with political intrigue, soul-touching characters, and a heartbreaking plot, then look no further than Winter Queen by Amber Argyle.

Five Bookworms = I loved it!