Winter Queen (Fairy Queens #1)


HIGH FANTASY:  As the new clan mistress, Ilyenna has a lot of responsibilities for a seventeen year old.  Her dedication to her people is fierce, and is never so apparent as when she sacrifices her freedom to save her father, the clan leader's life.  Prior to the skirmish in which she is enslaved, Elena's life is also the winter fairies.  The price for her life is her humanity, her joy, laughter, and sadness.  Now a tiam, or a slave, she is taken to the enemy's village where the heir to the chiefdom starves, beats, and debases her.  Ilyenna's only hope comes from Rone, her childhood crush, and her interactions with the fairies.  Now she and Rone must try to not only stay alive and save their clanspeople, but save all of the land's clans from traitors and invaders.

What an exciting world this author has built!  The clans and their way of life is fascinating.  A sprinkle of magic adds a bit of whimsy to the drudgery, but the overwhelming tone of the book was brutal and intense.  The story itself is engaging and fast paced with a nice balance of romance to lighten the mood now and again.  The fairy part of the story was a little ambiguous and hard to understand until the very last. 

Ilyenna, this proud and noble heroine, truly makes this book worthwhile.  She's an easy heroine to root for, the villains easy to hate. Even though the end of the story leaves unanswered questions, the main plot line concludes on a satisfying note yet still leaves the reader asking for more.

Nicole Duke