Thursday, 19 September 2013

Book Review: Winter Soltice Winter: Viking Blood Saga # 1 by E.J. Squires

Title: Winter Soltice Winter: Viking Blood Saga # 1
Author: E.J. Squires
Publisher: iUniverse
Publication Date: July 2013
Pages: 299
Format: E-Book
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Review Copy from Author

Seventeen-year-old Ailia has vowed to find out if her recurring mare dreams, of what she thinks are glimpses into her previous life, are real. In her dreams, she is married to her soul mate, and an evil Empress named Eiess pursues and kills her.

Lucia, the heir of the Northlandic Kingdom, will be crowned Sun Queen - the Queen responsible for shifting the seasons each solstice. The eve before Lucia's eighteenth birthday and coronation, Eiess storms the castle, taking Lucia and her Father prisoner. Eiess immediately instigates the prophesied three-year winter before the end of Midgard when she usurps the throne.

One day, and unbeknownst to her - nearly two years later - Ailia wakes up in a glacier cave cold, beaten, and far away from home. She doesn't remember how she ended up there or even that she was abducted by the ruthless Vikings. When a healer named Soren rescues her, Ailia can't help but think that she knows him from somewhere, and that they were fated to meet - and destined to fall in love.

And when Ailia, Lucia and Soren discover a shocking secret that intertwines their destinies, one of them betrays the other two - a betrayal that ultimately puts their lives, and the lives of humanity, in which they had sworn to protect, in grave danger.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

Winter Solstice Winter is a book that is perhaps let down by its opening, which didn't initially grab me, but which definitely improves the further you get into the story. The storyline itself is engaging with its blend of fantasy, folklore and history and the characters are memorable and well drawn.

This is a fairly long work, but, once I got into the story, I didn't feel it dragged at all and I was happy to keep turning the pages. Not sure if I loved it enough to rush to read the next instalment, but if I came across it, I wouldn't be averse to continuing on with the tale.

I can recommend this book to lovers tales of folklore and myth.

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