zondag 24 augustus 2014

C.L. Wilson – The Winter King

The first book in the Mystral series, published July 31, 2014.
Genre: fantasy romance
Cover: cheesy, don’t judge the book by its cover.

The Winter King photo n379647_zpsaa7c1cea.jpg

An epic new fantasy romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author C. L. Wilson

After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.
Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom - and her first taste of overwhelming passion.
As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion - she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.

I have never waited longer for a book than I have for this one. The release date was put back time and again, but now it finally arrived, and I started reading it at once. It even managed to break through my addiction to Hay Day a few times, but usually late at night. I really enjoyed this book, and hope the next one will be out soon.

Khamsin was been raised almost in secret, even though she is a legal princess of Summerlea. Her father has hated her from birth, and he blames her for killing her mother. Khamsin’s brother and three sisters, the Seasons, love her and visit her whenever they can sneak away, but that is no life for a young girl. She is raised on the legend of Summerlea’s biggest hero, Roland, and she thinks her brother is just like him, and so does she try to be. But her brother is no hero after all, when he runs away with Wintercraig’s king fiancée, and their biggest treasure. He also kills the king’s young brother during his escape, and that plunges their countries in a deadly war for three long years. Winter uses his icy magic to plunge Summerlea in winter, freezing their famous crops and orchards, bringing the people close to starvation. Still the proud Summerlea King won’t surrender until forced to on the battlefield. When Wynter demands one of his beloved daughters, Spring, Summer, or Autumn as his wife to seal the treaty, he instead gives him Storm (Khamsin), after severely beating her into submission.

Khamsin finally agrees to marry Wynter, she no longer wants her father’s love or approval after what he did to her, and how he thinks of her. This is her chance to escape before he does kill her. Wynter is not pleased with the deception, but ever since he saw Khamsin the palace, dressed as a maid, he has wanted her, been thinking of her.
And so they set out to Winterscraig. Wynter’s people are not really welcoming to Khamsin, after all, she is the enemy. They have all lost loved ones during the war. As Wynter virtually ignores her during the day, so will they. Especially Reika, the sister of Wynter’s runaway fiancée. She wants the power of being Queen of Wintercraig herself. But at night, neither of them can deny their attraction and how well their passions match each other. Wynter is not afraid of Khamsin’s deadly storm power, nor is she of his icy gaze. Her Summerlea warmth keeps her safe from his cold. Still, Wynter does not trust her, so he dares not spend too much time with her. Until Khamsin almost dies in his arms ...

Slowly they start trusting each other, and they both enjoy spending time together. But there are traitors in Wintercraig, one working with Khamsin’s renegade brother and father, and one who wants the Ice King to resurrect ... Danger comes closer and closer, and Khamsin will have to stop being afraid of her own powers, and embrace them fully, to be able to fight their enemies.

I loved this story a lot. Khamsin is a great character, feisty, not afraid to confront people, but afraid of her own powers especially as she was always told she killed her mother when her temper tantrum at age three made the lightning strike a tree, and its falling branch killed her mother. If not for her mother’s nursemaid, who loves her dearly, she would have been utterly neglected. Still, Khamsin is not one to sit still and be confined; she isn’t the Mistress of the Storms for nothing. At her father’s court, she never had to practice the manners she learned, but now, as Queen, she will have to. And she is miserable. Until Wynter arranges for her to learn how to ride a horse, and with her new young companion she starts roaming the country side, trying to befriend the villagers. If she can’t bear Wynter a child within a year, she will face the “mercy of the mountains”.

After being betrayed by Khamsin’s brother Falcon, who could charm any lady or bird he wanted, he doesn’t dare trust Khamsin, even though she is the only one who keeps the cold of the Ice Heart from completely consuming him. His best friend and advisor is even more distrusting of her, due to the attraction Khamsin has for Wynter.

The book reads like a fairy tale, filled with great characters, a great adventure, magic, betrayal, monsters, evil, kingdoms fought over, and a magical sword. Still, it managed to surprise me a few times, and I really fell in love with the main characters. Khamsin does her best to be a Queen after her horrible childhood, and now in Wintercraig she is still lonely and without real friends. Still, she perseveres and tries to do the honorable thing.

I do recommend this book to everyone who loves romantic fantasy. It was well worth the wait.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

12 opmerkingen:

  1. I wish romance fantasy was my thing. The cover screams to me ugly things I wouldn't like to repeat - but of course I am pleased you liked it!

  2. Sounds very bloodthirsty, Aurian! I love it! :) I'm glad I bought this one too in search of good fantasy, so I'll be reading it in the next few months (hopefully!).

  3. Fantasy romance tends to be too romantic for me ;)

  4. Oh yes I remember how impatient you were for this one. I confess I haven't read any in the series but I should try. It's fun! Great review!

  5. I wasn't sure that I'd like Fantasy romance, but then I listened to Ilona Andrews' The Edge series, and of course I loved it. This is another one that I've seen around the blogosphere quite a bit, and peeps seem to be really diggin' it (including you!). Ok, ok, I think I'm finally sold on it. Adding to my TBR now.

    1. I loved The Edge series Carmel, I hope you will like more of this genre.

  6. I don't mind the cover. It's somewhat cheesy, but not to bad.
    The story sounds good, I'll borrow it some day, Aurian!

    1. Yes, you might like it, and then give her other series a try again!