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.
five out five stars
Daughter of Winter is the third book in the Faerie Queen series. While they can be read as standalones, I recommend reading them in order. This book continues the story of the war between Illyena the Winter Queen and Nelay the Summer Queen. I really loved how we get to the cost of their war, not just in their realms, but the world. We also learn more about the Balance that has more serious consequences than either side thought. I was completely drawn into this complex world from book one and can’t wait to see how everything comes together in the final book.
As usual, the setting descriptions are stunning in their simplicity. Argyle manages to weave together beautiful details that bring even a world of ice and snow alive with life and wonder. Her characters are complex and you truly care about them. Elice is the daughter of Illyena and Rone. I’ll admit I’ve been exited for her story every since Winter Queen. Despite growing up among the cunning and coldness of the fairies, Elice bursts with innocent wonder, but also has a great deal of moral strength and courage. She finds beauty in all around her and uses her powers over winter to create stunning works of art. But trapped all her life in the realm of winter, she longs to know of the world of color and warmth beyond the frozen tundra of her home.
When she rescues a young man from her mother’s wrath, hiding him as he heals, she begins to dream of a life she never thought possible. Adar teaches her what it means to have a friend and the dangers that threaten them all if the Balance isn’t righted soon. I really liked that we got Adar’s perspective as well as Elice’s. He brings a humor and lightness that’s foreign to the cold court Elice grew up in. However, his ready smile seems to hide a secret agenda that makes me wonder who he really is and why he wants Elice so much. Despite his hidden motives, he and Elice must work together if they are to escape the clutches of her mother and her fairies. I won’t say more about that in fear of revealing too much, but know their race to freedom kept my heart racing and the pages turning with one danger after another.
I had a couple things that bothered me. 1) Where was the kissing?! There were a couple moments when I held my breath waiting for it to happen, but didn’t. While I was a bit disappointed, I actually liked their relationship and can’t wait to find out what happens next. 2) I had a really hard time with Illyena’s coldness and heartlessness. I really liked her character and was sad to see her loss and heartache continued. Also, reading her journey and knowing why she became the Winter Queen made me not like Elice’s attitude toward her mom. I thought her own daughter wanting her dead was a bit rough. Other than those two things, I loved the book!
I’d recommend this book for teens 14-18.
*Received an ebook from the author in exchange for my honest review*
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Monday, April 25, 2016
Friday, April 1, 2016
A Proper Historical Romance series!
The first book in a new series which will focus on the lives of real historical figures who have intriguing stories of courtship that are recreated in fictionalized accounts based on real biographical and social history research.
Based on the true romance of poet Henry Longfellow who was madly in love with Fanny Appleton and devotedly courted her for seven years until finally winning her over. Includes notes, excerpts from Longfellow's poems and discussion group questions.
Five out of five stars
I loved this book! Josi Kilpack did an amazing job of weaving together truth and fiction to bring to life this tender romance between poet Henry Longfellow and his wife, Fanny Appleton. It is a tale of passion, unrequited love, growth, loss, and in the end, a love worth waiting for. I found myself trying to guess which parts were real and which were fiction. When I read the notes at the back, I was surprised to find many of the strange events were facts! Thanks to Kilpack’s careful research, Henry and Fanny’s story comes to life.
Fanny and Henry meet at a tragic time in both their lives. Henry has lost his wife, and Fanny is about lose another member of her family to consumption. There new friendship blossoms as Henry shows a great compassion for the Appleton’s loss and, in turn, the Appletons’ friendship and joy for life bring Henry out of his own darkness. Circumstances require that Henry part from his new friends, but upon their return to Massachusetts, he eagerly renews his acquaintance with the prosperous Appleton family, especially Fanny. He’s positive after their many delightful conversation that Fanny can’t help but feel the same fervor of feelings that have infused his life with new energy.
For her part, Fanny is not impressed. Their age difference, social status, and her desire to leave her heart untethered to prevent further heartbreak all lead her to reject his unsatisfactory proposal. The next few years bring one change after another for her, and much embarrassment for Henry’s sudden return to writing that casts her in a bad light. Through many ups and downs, and after everyone arounds her finds their own joy, she slowly comes to listen to her heart and dares to reach for true happiness for herself.
The timeline spans seven years, from right before Fanny and Henry meet to when they finally accept their feelings for each other, it didn’t drag in any way despite the slow progress of the actual love story. Both Henry’s and Fanny’s characters had such depth that is felt natural to go through the struggles they faced with each other, and in other areas of their life. I’ll admit it piqued my interest, and I'm eager to research more about one of America’s early writers.