Of Sand and Storm

Of Sand and Storm (Fairy Queens #5)Title: Of Sand and Storm
Author: Amber Argyle
Series: Fairy Queens, #5
Publication date: August 11, 2016 
Length: 171

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Other books in the series: Of Ice and Snow | Winter Queen | Of Fire and Ash | Summer Queen | Daughter of Winter 
| Winter's Heir

By law, any child born in Idara is free, even if that child is born in a slave brothel. But as Cinder grows into a beauty that surpasses even that of her mother and grandmother, she realizes that freedom is only a word. There are other words too, stronger words. Words like betrayal and prison and death. And there are words even stronger than those. Words like courage and family and love.

In the end, if Cinder is to escape the fate of her matriarchs, she'll have to fight for her freedom. Because true freedom is never free.

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

Of Sand and Storm is the fifth book in the Fairy Queens seriesand it works as a sort of companion novel to the rest of the series. It takes a little side step from the main storyline and it follows a girl named Cinder, who also shows up in the very last book in the series, Winter’s Heir. In Of Sand and Storm we get to know Cinder’s background story and how she came to be part of the conflict between the fairy queens.

All of the books in the Fairy Queens series have their dark moments, but Of Sand and Storm is by far the darkest since it deals with slavery and sex trafficking. Argyle handles these themes well and I appreciate that she doesn’t shy away or tries to sugarcoat it to make it easier for the reader to cope with. It’s raw and honest and I believe it has to be when it comes to these themes. They are real issues and to tone them down would just be so wrong. It’s important that these issues are addressed and sometimes the harsh truth is exactly what is needed, however horrible and terrifying it might be. Of Sand and Storm is not a true story and it is set in a fantasy world, but the issues it deals with are real. It’s horrible and frightening that human trafficking still exists and we can’t turn a blind eye to these problems. We all have to work towards a world where no one can ever be forced to give up the rights to their own bodies. 

Cinder’s journey took me on an emotional roller coaster and her story really wound its way to my heart. There are a lot of feelings tumbling around and the tears are never far away, but despite the dark themes there’s still hope and glimpses of happiness to be found in the story. It’s not all darkness and at the end I feel hopeful rather than sad. It is possible for light to outshine darkness, even though it seems impossible. It might take a lot of time, strength, courage and sacrifices, but it is possible. 

I liked Cinder when I met her in Winter’s Heir, but I like her even more now that I’ve read her story. She actually reminds me a lot of a young Nelay. She’s determined and strong and utterly selfless, willing to risk everything to save her loved ones. Even though the whole world seems to fight against her, she always gets back up and never loses hope of true freedom. She’s facing an impossible fight, but she doesn’t let that stop her. It’s inspiring and you root for her all the way. 

Nelay gets a little time in the spotlight, and as always, I’m delighted to get just a few scenes with her since she’ll always be my favorite. It was nice to see a bit of her motherly side and the interaction between her and Denar warmed my heart. It was also interesting to get a glimpse of how difficult it is for her to keep the fairy part of her from taking over. Denar is his adorable and charming self and he manages to make me smile both once and twice even though he has a very small part to play in this book. 

Cinder’s mother and grandmother are both very strong characters and the bond between the three generations of women is just beautiful to see. Despite their hard lives as slaves, they haven’t lost their independence or their pride. They hold their heads up high and together they are strong, courageous and invincible. Darsam is a sweet character and I like him a lot, but next to all the incredibly amazing women leading the story he kind of fades into the background despite his very important role. 

Of Sand and Storm is just as fast paced and action packed as Argyle’s books always are and there’s never a dull moment. The pages’ fly by and it’s impossible to stop reading. The story is emotional, thought-provoking and gripping. I’m on pins and needles throughout the whole book and it’s just as exciting as it is terrifying. As beautiful as it is sad. Argyle never ceases to amaze me with her way with words and her incredible ability to create worlds and characters that draw you in and never let go. The Fairy Queens series have never let me down and this book is no exception. It’s just as well written and amazing as the others. Of course I’m sad that this book is the last there will be in a series that I have loved so, so much and that will always have a special place in my heart, but I’m also incredibly happy Argyle gave us this one last story. A final journey to a world I’ve grown to love so much. 

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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