Author: Alexandria Warwick
Publisher: Andromeda Press
I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley and the publisher Andromeda Press. And I would like to thank them for giving me a chance to read it!
I am a sucker for fantasy romance. I don’t think this is a secret (especially if you look at my favorites shelf on Goodreads) and I was excited to get a chance to read and review a new book in the genre.
However, I didn’t read as much as I devoured it. Plain and simple – I love this book! There are some things that could be better, and we will get into those, but this book was great in this sea of a genre.
This story is about Wren – a down on her luck girl who lives with her sister in a downtrodden, cold, snow-ridden village. They struggle to survive the harsh winter land, and fear the day the North Wind (or the God of the Winter) comes to town to choose a woman to take back to his land with him.
Wren’s worst fear is realized when the North Wind comes to town, and chooses her sister Elora (the person that she lives to protect and keep safe) to take with him. But Wren won’t let Elora go without a fight, and in a selfless act manages to take Elora’s place.
This story is about how Wren survives leaving her home, her only family, and living with the cold hearted God of Winter. But not everything is as bad as it seems…
Without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
First off – I love a book with good worldbuilding. I have an overactive imagination, so reading descriptions is important in my book reading experience. Alexandria (the Author) built this world beautifully. I could feel the snow, see the desolate forest and hear the river that Wren and The North Wind had to pass through. Each description of a location brought so much more life to this book, and let me imagine it in my mind’s eye with ease.
In the book, without giving too much away, Wren gets the chance to see various locations and each of these was described so beautifully. I really applaud the Author’s imagination, and she covered everything so well.
“Encased in its white, icy skin, the land lies in muted silence, the snow soft, fresh from the storms that blow in as frequently as the moon cycles.”
You can’t tell me that’s not wonderful, and that’s only page 2.
Let’s start with the main character; Wren. Wow. I love her so much! I’ve read a lot of annoying main characters in my day, but this one is perfect. She’s tough, beautiful without being vain about it, selfless and funny! I love her snide comments, her truths to herself and her flaws. FLAWS! In my opinion, I love when characters have flaws that they have to overcome or be okay with, and Alexandria gave Wren some good ones. She didn’t just “overcome” her sadness from her life, she turned to alcohol and that whole part of the story was handled well. She let herself feel, she had a good gut instinct, and she protected those she loved fiercely. Honestly I love this character and she will go down as one of my favorites.
The North Wind, or Boreas, was greatly written too. He was grumpy, broody and cold-hearted – but there was still something about him as the book goes on. Without spoiling too much (I’m trying but it’s tough) not all of his darkness and coldness is as it seems. (Okay, slight spoiler here, go to the next paragraph if you want to avoid this) I like that there was a reason behind his darkness. He too, had been “through it” and came out as a harder person who just needed someone to be there for him.
All of the minor characters were easy to remember because they too were well written. Each had their own personality, and felt like a different character instead of carbon copies of each other. I loved the way that Orla interacted with Wren and how much she cared. I loved the guards who tried to control Wren, only to fail (in various parts of the book).
Each character brings something to the table and that’s important for me when I’m reading.
The storyline was great, however I think I would have liked to have seen more conflict that wasn’t resolved as easily. Deep down I know that I just want to read the happy scenes – but I love fighting and war scenes (I know, I’m weird) and I would have liked to experience more of them.
The Antagonist was well written and sort of came as a surprise, but I also feel bad for him and can kind of understand his reasoning – (again, great character writing) and I wish we could have dealt more with that. I wanted to understand him more and I hoped to see more resolution for the Protagonists and the Antagonist – but maybe in a future book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will be happily pre-ordering it and secretly hoping for a sequel in the future. If you love Fantasy Romance (like I do) and don’t mind some erotic scenes (that’s not something I went over, but I can tell you they were well written and not awkward) then I definitely recommend picking this book up when it becomes available. I’m going to, and I am going to check out what else Alexandria Warwick has written.
Happy reading folks, and have a great weekend!