Genre: YA Fantasy
You’ll like this if you like: Winter, Seasons, Magic, and Relatable Character Arcs
Cleanliness: Towards the end of the first book, a bad guy prepares to rape the main character. She’s able to kill him, of course. Then in the second book, the main character launches away from the prince after he’s been kissing her and the prince blushes and assures her that he won’t push her to do anything that makes her uncomfortable. A tour in a brothel is mentioned, but nothing is described in detail.
Hero Type: Beta Male-ish (Quite frankly, neither of the male characters really fit into a slot, so I’m going with beta male here.)
Favorite Profound Quote:
“Sometimes placing our belief in something bigger than ourselves helps us get to a point where we can be enough on our own, magic or no magic.”
Favorite Descriptive Quote:
“The question tumbled out of my mouth like a smooth stone in a stream, its edges worn clean by how often I roll it around in my head.”
(Snow Like Ashes)
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
I’m not including the second summary, in case you want to start the series. That way I don’t accidentally give you any spoilers 😉
First of all, I dropped this story on the second book. It wasn’t really inappropriate—as you can see by the above cleanliness section—and it was excellently written. There was a point casually mentioned where two men were married, and I wasn’t comfortable with that. I’m not going to try and decide your boundaries for you, which is why I’m going to briefly mention this before continuing with the rest of the review.
First of all, having a kingdom for every season is a very interesting concept, and I loved it. The main character, Meira, is very likable. Throughout the story, she’d trying to prove herself and her worth, which I’m sure we can all relate to. She has this inner longing to belong.
The books kicks off with an easy win for the main character, which has a huge domino affect on the rest of the story. There was a huge plot twist, which totally caught me off guard, but given the foreshadowing, I could’ve seen it coming.
A bit later in the story, she’s forced to marry a prince, who’s humble, gentle, kind, and has an artsy streak. This creates a love triangle with her childhood friend, Mather. The love triangle is definitely more active in the second book. With the love triangle, I feel a bit manipulated. The prince is much more likable in the first book, then Mather is much more likable in the second book when the prince gets his own agenda.
The second book seemed a bit slower at first, but once you got the politics involved, it got messier and inevitably more interesting.
Overall, my favorite parts of this story would have to be the world building—extremely creative—and that plot twist in the first book.
What aspects of a story are important to you? If you could live in a Season kingdom, which would it be?