Daughter of Winter

Title: Daughter of Winter
Author: Amber Argyle
Series: Fairy Queens, #3
Publication date: April 21, 2016 
Length: 192

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Other books in the series: Of Ice and Snow | Winter Queen | Of Fire and Ash | Summer Queen

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.

Thank you to Amber Argyle for the review copy! As I'm part of the Argylers Street Team this review will be in English instead of Swedish. 

My Review

Daughter of Winter is the third book in the Fairy Queens series and also the second to last. I love this series immensely and I’ve been anticipating Daughter of Winter ever since I finished Summer Queen. It’s both exciting and scary when a series you love is close to its final ending. I love the world Argyle has created and even though I’ll always be able to return to it by rereading the books, it breaks my heart a bit that I won’t be able to return to it in new stories. There’s also all these expectations when it comes to a finale, especially when all the other novels and novellas in the series have been amazing. You want the series to have a worthy ending - an ending that will blow you away by its awesomeness. Luckily Argyle seems to be heading that way, since Daughter of Winter is a great build up to the finale. I fell completely in love with it and I am dying to read the last book. Sure, I’m still a bit scared but I know Argyle will give the series the epic closure it deserves. 

Something I really like with the series is that with every new novel there’s a new perspective. It gives a lot of depth to both the overall story and the world. You get to see the ongoing conflict from different point of views and it is all greyscales, never plain black or white. And how I love that. In Daughter of Winter we get to follow Elice, the daughter of Ilyenna, the main character in Winter Queen. Elice has been living in the winter queendom all her life and she is starting to feel trapped. She wants to see the rest of the world, meet other people than her closest family and discover who she really is. Elice is an adorable character and I fell for her from the start. She reminds me so much of the Ilyenna we got see in Winter Queen. The innocence and the kindness, the courage and the strength, and of course the willingness to sacrifice everything for the ones you care about. It’s impossible not to like her. 

I loved to see Ilyenna again, but it hurts so much to see how far away she’s gone from who she used to be. To see how the darkness has taken over and how little of her humanity she has left. It hurts even more with Elice as a constant reminder of what an amazing person she used to be. And still is, somewhere buried deep behind all that darkness, anger and vengefulness. 

Set in the quite isolated winter queendom, the novel doesn’t offer that many new characters, besides Elice, but the ones we get to know shine all the more. The boy Elice saves from the ship-wreck being one of them. Adar might be a bit full of himself and quite a bit annoying from time to time, but he grows on me throughout the book. While most of the story is quite dark, Adar brings just the right amount of humour and lightness to the story to keep the reader from totally drowning in heartbreak and sorrow. There’s also the fact that he and Elice make quite an adorable couple. They complement each other very well. 

As this is the third book in the series I know Argyle is quite a queen when it comes to world building and making sure that everything is described in a way that will make you feel like you’re truly part of the world. With that being said, she still manages to amaze me with her descriptions of the world, which is quite an accomplishment considering I already thought she did amazingly with the other two books. The way the winter queendom is described totally blew me away. It’s so stunning and so beautiful and while reading, I feel more than ever that I’m truly there. Walking around in Elice’s garden of mesmerizing ice sculptures, discovering the secrets in the many rooms of the ice palace and watching the striking aurora from one of its towers. As I dive into the story I let myself forget about the real world and for a moment the winter queendom feels just as real as my own. 

Daughter of Winter is not as action packed as its predecessors, but I must say I like that. Action is great but sometimes it’s nice when the story moves along a bit slower, focusing on the characters and their relationship. Daughter of Winter still has a lot of action, especially towards the end – the second part is a thrilling, emotional roller coaster ride – but that only makes it even more logical to have a bit of a slower beginning, so that you, as a reader, really can get a feel of the new turn the story is about to take. And to clarify, by slow, I do not mean nothing happens. There’s a lot going on, it just takes another form than typical action. It works wonders and fits this part of the story very well. 

With its breath-taking setting, captivating story and multi-layered characters Daughter of Winter blew me away and I can’t recommend it enough. It will take you on a sparkling, thrilling and emotional adventure that you will not forget in a hurry. If you’ve read the previous books in the series, you could dive right into this one and I’m positive you’ll enjoy it just as much as the others. If you haven’t read the other books though, I’d recommend you to check out Winter Queen and Summer Queen (and don’t forget the novellas!) first, since Daughter of Winter merges those two storylines together and you might feel a little bit lost without all the background story. And also, you do not want to miss out on those two gems! They are just as amazing, I promise. 

About the author

Amber Argyle is the number-one bestselling author of the Witch Song Series and the Fairy Queen Series. Her books have been nominated for and won awards in addition to being translated into French and Indonesian.

Amber graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less crazy larger people

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