OF ICE AND SNOW
Otec has always been the overlooked son of an overflowing house. When a young woman, Matka, one of the highmen staying in his village, wants to look for a plant, he is happy to help. When he is away, his home is attacked he must find a way to save his family but can he trust Matka as he is not sure if she is friend or foe. Is Otec willing to become the leader he never thought he would be.
I really enjoyed Of Ice and Snow, the prequel novella to Winter Queen as it tells us of how Ilyenna’s parents met. It is fast paced and full of action and Amber wrote from a male POV well.
I really liked Otec as he feels like he is the useless son who is not good enough, but he is brave, kind and very protective of his family. I liked Matka as she is willing to help people she doesn’t really know but I would have liked some chapters from her POV as it would have helped getting to know her better.
I really liked this prequel novella and I hope to read the rest of Daring Hearts soon. I would recommend Of Ice and Snow to fans of Winter Queen or any of Amber Argyle’s other books.
After the Shyle and there ally clan Argon are attacked by another clan the Tyron, 17 year old Ilyenna is mortally wounded by the Tyron’s Clan Chief’s son Darrien, but she is healed by the winter fairies and is offered the ability to become the Winter Queen. Unwilling to leave her family she declines this offer only to sacrifice herself as an Tiam, practically a slave, to Darrien to save her clan, along with other women of her and Argon clan and the some of the Argon men, including her brother’s best friend Rone. While in captivity Darrien tries everything to break her mind, body and soul, however she discovers that the attack was part of a bigger plan to overthrow all the clans. Now Ilyenna has to decide if she is willing to sacrifice her humanity and warmth to become Winter Queen to save her people and those she loves.
Winter Queen is an incredible and magical YA fantasy book which I love by Amber Argyle. Even though this is darker and more grown up than the Witch Song series, it still has all the elements I love in a fantasy book, romance, adventure, magic and a strong heroine.
I really like Ilyenna as she is loyal to her people and no matter what happens to her, she is strong, kind and selfless. All the other characters are well written, even the bad guys, and there are so many characters that I have enjoyed getting to know. I really like the romance in this book as it is mature but at the same time sweet and tender.
Even through the story did not go the way I thought it would when I read the blurb, it is more unique than I could have imagined especially the fairies as they play a very important part in this book but it is in a subtle way. I like the depth of this book and how the magic worked as the idea of the Balance is such a simple idea but is also very clever and complex.
I am not sure if the next book Summer Queen is a continuation of Ilyenna story or someone else’s from this world, but either way, I cannot wait to see what Argyle will do next and I hope it is released as soon as possible. I would recommend Winter Queen to everyone, but especially to people who like YA fantasy novels such as books by Maria V Snyder or Trudi Canavan.
OF FIRE AND ASH
For all of Nelay life she has seen fairies but her mother has told her that she must not let the fairies know she can see them or Nelay will pay a high price. However, when her father is bitten by a snake, Nelay’s only choice to save him is to turn to the fairies, but they require in that one day she must repay the favour. As all deals with the fairies come with a price, will this change Nelay’s life forever?
Of Fire and Ash is a very good YA fantasy novella, with an interesting look at the back story for Summer Queen. Although it is not a long book, it is enjoyable and a well-rounded story.
I liked Nelay as she was a nice and resistant little girl who was really caring. I did not like her brother, Panar as he was horrible and really jealous, and I think he is going to play a key role in Summer Queen. While I liked Nelay’s parents as they really cared about their children, I don’t believe that they didn’t see how Panar treated Nelay.
I am really looking forward to reading Summer Queen after this, and I would recommend Of Fire and Ash to fans of Amber Argyle, especially those who enjoyed the Fairy Queens series.
Nelay never wanted to be queen, she wanted to become the most powerful priestess in Idara, but with an army sweeping towards her family she is willing to risk everything and to manipulate the king to get aid. She sets off on a journey across Idara with a band of tribesmen smugglers, led by the charming Rycus, in the hopes of getting to her parents on time. However, there are bigger powers at play and a deal made years ago will change Nelay’s fate forever. With a war waged between mortals, fairies and goddesses, will Nelay be able to stop Idara being turn to ash.
Summer Queen is the brilliant sequel to Winter Queen as there was action, adventure, romance and magic. There was never a dull moment in the book and I did not want to put it down, but I also never got overwhelmed with too much info either. While you don’t need to read Winter Queen to enjoy this book, I would recommend it as it is adds to the story, I would also recommend reading the prequel short story to this Of Fire and Ash as it gives a good insight into Nelay and her past.
I really loved Nelay’s character as she was brave, determined and willing do anything for those she cares about, even if they don’t deserve it. I also liked that she was intelligent and was never timid, while her character grew in this book she always knew she was capable. I also really liked Rycus as he was protective and balanced Nelay really well, plus I do have a soft spot for storytellers. Another character I liked was Nelay’s best friend Jezzel but I did wish she was in this book more than she was.
This is an amazing book and I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the Fairy Queens series, Daughter of Winter. I would recommend Summer Queen to fans of the First Book Winter Queen and the Fairy Queens series, plus Ambers other books, to all fans of YA fantasy novels.