Source: Author – I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Edition: ebook, 194 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
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.
Daughter of Winter continues the saga started in the Winter Queen, but the focus has shifted from Ilyenna to her daughter Elice. One of my favorite things about this series is that we get more than one point of view and we get to see how the war waged between Summer and Winter affect all sides involved.
Elice is like her mother was in so many ways, and it was fantastic seeing that her caring nature had passed down to her daughter…especially now that we have seen what has become of Ilyenna under the influence of the Winter. She has become hard and unyielding, and her humanity is in a constant struggle to maintain itself. But Elice has that same fire and love for life that her mother did, and while there is a certain amount of nativity in Elice there is also a tremendous amount of strength. Amber’s main characters always have an inner strength and a will to do what needs to be done, and that is one of the biggest draws for me when it comes to her writing. I need characters that can rescue themselves but also know when to ask for help. I loved the friendship she cultivates with Adar, and how easy he is to talk to and the respect they both have for each other even though they are from vastly different lives
The other major pull for me is her world building. She has a unique way of describing things just so. She doesn’t need a long paragraph to tell you how the lights hit ice, instead she can give you two and you’ll be able to see it casting light on your own walls. In Daughter of Winter we get to see a new area farther north, where the winter is constant and unforgiving, and where the Winter fairies have complete and total reign over everything. In this closer view we see how Winter is crumbling slowly in the way the world around the fairies begins to falter, and it begins to give away to a much larger problem that has been growing under the veil of constant war.
This is the second to last novel and the series and I’m really sad to see it coming closer to a close. It’s been a real treat to delve into a fantasy series were good and evil, don’t exist in such black and white terms. There is a ton of build up in tensions as the fairy queen’s war begins to tear apart the world they are fighting so hard to control. I desperately want to see how Elice fairs in the warmer lands, and if she comes into contact with Nelay at all…and speaking of Nelay I can’t wait to see how the change has settled with her now that it has been a few years.
I really can’t recommend this series enough! It’s perfect for those who like their fantasy on the lighter side with a character focus, but don’t necessarily want to give up all world building.