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Winter Solstice Winter (A Viking Blood Saga, #1)

Winter Solstice Winter (A Viking Blood Saga, #1)

4.1 20
by E. J. Squires

In the land of the midnight sun, where ruthless Vikings and shape-shifters roam free, an evil empress usurps the Northlandic Throne and suspends the seasons on Winter Solstice. Lucia and Soren were sent by the gods to defeat the empress, but deceits run deep, and they become torn between fate and reality... and between love and loyalty as the battle to end all


In the land of the midnight sun, where ruthless Vikings and shape-shifters roam free, an evil empress usurps the Northlandic Throne and suspends the seasons on Winter Solstice. Lucia and Soren were sent by the gods to defeat the empress, but deceits run deep, and they become torn between fate and reality... and between love and loyalty as the battle to end all battles begins. 

What readers are saying: 

Loved the Window into Norse mythology 

A wonderful period romantic thriller that grabs your attention in the first few pages, and never lets up on its grip. 

Non-stop, fly by the seat of your pants suspense. 

Welcome to a cold, wintery world where nothing is what it seems. 

Usually, I have no patience for historical fiction unless it offers something fresh or truly engaging to the story. Winter Solstice Winter does that and then a lot more. My advice is straightforward...GET THIS BOOK -- YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE IT

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E. J. Squires
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A Viking Blood Saga , #1
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433 KB

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Winter Solstice Winter (A Viking Blood Saga, #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
LA_Howell More than 1 year ago
Winter Solstice Winter: A Viking Blood Saga - Book 1 by EJ Squires is a 464 page fantasy novel written in third person, present tense. It has a prologue, thirty-five chapters and a nice epilogue that ties some things up and leaves you wanting more. If you like the Viking era, you will love this book. It is grand on scale and is full of myth and lore, and supernatural creatures. It is a layered story that keeps your interest all the way through the book. It is unusual in that the rich character development rivals the epic story itself. I cannot imagine the research that went into this book to capture such diverse personalities. Squires truly captured the feel of that time. Even the dialogue was great and only enhanced the interesting characters. I was happy to see that book 2 was out. I would recommend reading Summer Solstice Summer: A Viking Blood Saga.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Viking novels so when my sister told me about Winter Solstice Winter, I was excited, to say the least. I was impressed so much by this book that I couldn’t put it down for the entire weekend. The author has an amazing way of capturing your attention. Winter Solstice Winter is a romance novel that takes you deep in the world of Vikings and the supernatural. The book takes you down a road filled with mystery and magic. You meet new characters along the way including mortals, creatures and Gods. The author does an outstanding job of describing the land in which the book is set, Midgard. You feel like you can close your eyes and envision every intricate detail. I have recommended this book to all my friends and some are reading it now.
CloJohari More than 1 year ago
For many years, the only fictional stories I read were mysteries and psychological thrillers. Recently, I’ve found myself becoming interested in the Fantasy genre. Winter Solstice Winter, being a Norse tale, appealed to me, as I was introduced to Norse mythology while taking an English course in college. I had enjoyed the reading and was fascinated by the gods and goddesses in the stories. Being a romantic at heart, the potential love story between Soren and Lucia also drew me. I was initially concerned that the book would be written in an unfamiliar dialect or with vocabulary I didn’t understand but I couldn’t be more wrong. You can immerse yourself in the story right from the start. After the first few pages, I was surprised to be already invested in both the love story and how they might overcome their obstacles to be reunited, but also their individual stories. I thought I had Lucia pegged as a naive, good-hearted, “born before her time” young woman who resists social and family pressure, bucks tradition, and lives life on her terms (or will die trying) but there’s much more depth to this character. She did conform at times, as well as, force others to bend to tradition and custom. This added a bit of unpredictability that I hadn’t expected. With a lot of books you know exactly where the story is going but I can honestly say I was surprised on more than one occasion when I thought I knew where the story was going. The point of view and time changes throughout but, fortunately, it’s not disruptive to the flow of the book. The cultural practices described were both fascinating and frightening at times, yet, I know some of these rituals, such as the spouses, pets, or “help” of royalty being buried with them, are historically accurate. Overall, Winter Solstice Winter is an enjoyable read and it doesn’t require knowledge of Norse history to be enjoyed. The story transports you to another time and place, where the culture has different norms, values, and expectations, yet you’ll still find yourself relating to the characters and what they experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can barely wait for the next in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good storyline bad editing I always try to finish a book o matter how sad i feel it is This one needs work Good effort but a period piece should have better back facts
HollyJenae More than 1 year ago
331 pages. I only got 39 pages in. What I read was all filler and I wasn't looking for a difficult read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What's so compelling about this novel is all the twists and turns the reader will encounter, I honestly didn't think I would like it since I am not too much into historical fiction. But the author did a great job with the plot. I find some character development lacking and some of them to be a bit unconvincing. For example, the woman they stayed with made it quite clear she wanted no visitors. I understand that Soren paid her, but she went from grumpy old woman to their best friend too quickly, in my opinion. I really tried to like Lucia and I did feel sorry for her in the beginning. But now, I would like her head on a plate. I love when an author makes me hate a character so much. Even more so than when I love them, like in Ailia's case. Many reviewers are complaining about language and I can agree to it to an extent. Replies like "Ok" could be a bit more formal. But in my opinion, novels with too flowery of language sometimes make me put the book down. However, I did find grammar errors and the series would do better to be a little more heavily edited. The twisting plot and fun love triangle make the book all the more interesting and for an enticing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Winter Solstice Winter has a strong story line and a thoroughly researched Nordic mythological back-story. Squires uses both the ancient Nordic religion of the nine realms, of dark elves, huldras, smaller gods and other supernatural creatures from the Norse mythology and combats them against the new Christian religion. Often, Ailia and Lucia pit themselves against each other because of religious beliefs and the idea of the old religion being supplanted by the new religion. The supplanting of the Norse religion by the Christian religion is often used as a trope to show the difference between old and new ideas and revolutions the main characters must face. The story of this novel seems to be a well-combined recipe of traditional archetypes and themes, however, Squires twists these archetypes in just the right way so that the story remains unpredictable. The betrayal of Ailia is both unexpected and breaks the archetypal mold of betrayal and redemption. The archetypal forest, fortune teller, the power of water, the orphan, the twins, the immortals, the antagonist, the mirroring of the physical and emotional journey, as well as other traditional fairy tale tropes are used well and correctly. Squires tastefully weaves a story that echoes the honesty of books such as the Game of Thrones novels. The dialogue and inner monologues of the characters are reminiscent of works such as The Great Gatsby and works by Julia Alvarez and Toni Morrison. The descriptions within the story are twisted clichés that cause the reader to smile at the well-researched and reworded turns of phrases. The obsession with food that this universe has is reminiscent of Brian Jacques Redwall Series and the accuracy of the Nordic religion make this novel a draw to any of Marvel’s Thor aficionados. There are a few flaws to this book—the dialogue is a little too contemporary for the time period of the novel. There are several egregious grammatical errors that could potentially keep this novel from doing as well as it should. Unfortunately, the story is slightly impeded by the grammatical and spelling errors and the overall arch of the story is sometimes lost because of the fuzziness of basic grammar. The author seems to be discovering her characters at the same time as the reader is and the reader can very clearly see the birth of each of the novel’s characters as the characters are introduced. Because of the strength of the story and thematic elements within the novel, a reader will most likely read the next book in this series to see what happens next to Lucia, Ailia and Soren. My biggest hope is that the author discovers Iluxia and learns a little more about him before the audience meets him. I also hope that Squires finds a better editor for her next novel or consider republishing this one after a good rewrite. The story line is too strong for editing mistakes and underdeveloped characters to drive readers away from this novel. Full disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the author in order to provide the author with an honest review of her novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a riveting story that immediately draws you in. It has a plot that’s spellbinding, intriguing and endlessly captivating. Set in a world that is both fantasy and realistic, if that is possible. The author portrays a world that is very believable. Within pages, the reader has a personal connection to all characters and the enchanting tale. Although my days are very busy, I managed to read the book in less than a week. I couldn’t put it down. In truth, it left me wanting more. I eagerly anticipate the next book from this amazing author; E. J. Squires. An author I am sure who will release best sellers within the year. M. E. Cheshier
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a great story line. It is part of a series and the “to be continued” ending has you wanting to read more and find out how it ends. There is romance without vulgarity and the main character, Ailia, draws you in to her story. I don’t want to give anything away, but there is betrayal upon betrayal and some of the twists and turns my surprise you. My only issue with this book is the language; it is modern, casual language in what is supposed to be around the 10th or 11th century. There was some redundancy and inconsistency with word usage. I feel that at the very least, a more formal and proper language should be used without modern colloquialisms like, “for sure” and “ok,” which was not even a word until the 20th century. This, and the flippant attitude sometimes displayed by the main characters, made me feel as if two high school girls from Los Angeles time traveled to 11th century Scandinavia. It was detracting from the story. There were some historical inaccuracies as well, like the wearing of black to a funeral (nothing regarding the Vikings indicate that this was part of their otherwise detailed pagan ritual) and the mention of a steel cage. Steel was not invented until the industrial revolution and not widely used until the 19th century. A cast iron or wrought iron cage would have been more accurate. This book could use some proper editing but the story itself is very intriguing. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read plenty of novels involving mythology, some Norse and some otherwise. The main problem with books likes these is that they either have too much myth to have an original story, or too little to be in any way mythological. I didn't have that problem with this book. It has the best combination of mythology, lore, and originality. One thing that I really enjoyed about Evelyn's approach to her story is that, rather than writing only about gods and goddesses--otherwise unreachable beings--she gives you access to relatable, every day people characters as well. You read of fabled creatures, foreign peoples, ordinary citizens thrown into unforeseen destinies. There's a bit of back and forth between characters and lives, which can be confusing at first. But as you continue on, everything will start making more and more sense. All the little details and events are pulled together extremely well, and there are no unintentional loose ends. It was a nail-biting read (bad for me, since I've been trying to quit that habit ha) and I kept going back to it every time I tried to get some work done... It's been a good while since I had a book I pretty much couldn't let go of, so I'll definitely be looking out for the next in the saga. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The more you read the more you want to read! I literally did not put this book down until I had read it cover to cover. The storyline draws you into the life and challenges of early settlements dealing with the unkind ways and needless invasions from the Vikings. As the story of Princess Lucia and a young peasant girl named Ailia, unfolds there are many twists, turns, and adventures bringing them together while also tearing them apart. The conflict's of the time wreak havoc on the land and force the people to suffer. The only hope of long term survival lies with the true and rightful Sun Queen. There is action, adventure, romance, and heart all wrapped into Winter Solstice, it keeps you locked in and wanting more. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series so that I can pick up where this story leaves off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EW Squires’ Winter Solstice Winter revolves around two Sentinors or guardians who are tasked to restore balance to Midgard by taking down their treacherous counterpart, the Eiess, also a Sentinor but of apparently much greater power. Lucia, Ailia and Soren must find each other through Eiess’ tumultuously cruel reign of the Northlandic Kingdom before they can hope to work towards overthrowing the powerful Queen. Although the story is straightforward despite a rather slow introduction to the protagonists, with a plot that can be seen a mile away, EW Squires manages to give an interestingly detailed and hopefully accurate glimpse into what life must have been like during the era of Vikings. She has even incorporated the early introduction of Christianity to a land where the likes of Odin and Thor were worshipped as gods and fantastical creatures such as the Huldra roamed around. I also appreciate how a lot of the main characters were depicted as multi-dimensional characters, with both good and bad aspects, although the execution could have been better. All in all, Winter Solstice Winter seems to be a fairly original tale, at least for me, since it basically exposed me to more Norse mythology beyond that of Asgard, Midgard and the coming Ragnarok. Despite its abrupt and somehow contrived conclusion and epilogue, I’m interested to see what volume two of this series will bring. Lastly, it could stand another round of proofreading and polishing as the number of typos seems too great to ignore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
History and myth entwine with modern storytelling and romance in "Winter".   I enjoyed Squires' vivid descriptions of the land, peoples, and cultures of the Northlandic Kingdom.  She breathes new life into Norse legend by bringing us deep into the minds, hearts, and homes of Ailia and her family.  Ailia lives in a time when Odin and Thor still hold sway, but the new Christian religion has begun to enter the North.  She is caught between harsh old gods and a compassionate new one, threatened by Viking raiders and mythological creatures, and pulled between loyalty to her people and her heart.  Romance fans will love the intrigue as we follow Ailia down a twisted path towards her destiny and her true love. I was delightfully confused at first, trying to puzzle out the worlds of past and present, legend, dream, and reality. I began to understand Ailia, her special place in this legend, and the way that myth and reality combine to make this story special. Narrow escapes, cunning puzzles, and romantic and family dramas made Winter Solstice: Winter an engrossing read. I finished it all in a night, and if you enjoy  a little ice, steel, and blood with your historical fantasy romance, you might too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great novel for anyone looking for a fantasy/romance story. Don't get scared off by the mention of Vikings, as they're certainly not dominating the story. There are definitely way more interesting enemies, such as the Huldras and the Nukkern! It's a story of time travel, romance, and enduring hardship and betrayal. Think of it as LotR, but more romantic and straight-forward! The story itself developed nicely, but it's very difficult to review without giving away any spoilers though! Definitely a book to check out for yourself. It starts off quite confusing, with many unusual names (which is common for a long and in-depth novel), certainly as the story switches between the point of view of the two main characters. After a few chapters you totally get the hang of it, so don't get discouraged! Luckily, there is a sequel coming out in December, because I can't wait for the story to unravel and find out if Eiess will finally succeed in her plan to rule the world, or she will at last be defeated by her two mortal enemies.
Writergrl11 More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of fantasy novels of all types and thought this would be a good read after skimming over the summary. I have to say I was quite mistaken because this was a great read. From the first chapter into the second was a little bit confusing but it doesn’t take long to understand what’s happening and it definitely doesn’t take long to really get into the storyline. Of course the plot is a great part of the story and it wouldn’t be as good of a book without it but I love the way that the characters develop as well. In this book they all experience feelings of love and betrayal and kindness and even hatred. It seems like the main characters aren’t simply perfect people, they’re actually realistic people that are sometimes quite selfish. I like how the author did this, making characters seem more real and more relatable. To me this makes the story easier to fall into and feel like you’re really there. I’ll definitely be looking for the next one because my least favorite part about the ending was that it ended at all.
Dinithi More than 1 year ago
A bewitching story... I wonder where to begin my review, since I’m so full of thoughts just after reading this book! First off, YES… it’s an amazing story! The book takes us back into history - not just a few years but a thousand years. In a land where humans were not as modern as we are now and when they believed in most of the mythologies which we would dismiss today. There is Great Sentinor, Lucia, who is on a quest to conquer the evil Empress Eiess. Eliminating Eiess is not an easy task. The Empress feeds off darkness and wants to conquer the seasons and let darkness rule all day long. The Great Sentinor has been given 3 lives to fight against the evil Empress and defeat her. Unfortunately she has failed twice and is being born for the last time. Her soul mate Soren is searching for the re-born Lucia, his eternal love. The story flows ahead with amusement and grief, hopes and disappointments, courage and weaknesses and many more excitements at the right pace. It’s been a long time since I came across such a bewitching tale. I’m not sure whether it was the plot or the style of storytelling which attracted me more to the book. Both were excellent in their own unique way. The language was clear and the content was easy to take in. The author’s strength lies in that she is clear in her writing. Many of the science fiction books I read, are just a bunch of new concepts, which readers have to go through several times to understand. Though the book is thick, I found no fluff or ramblings in the text. The story was finely narrated, and did not get off track. Since the main character was a female, it made me even more interested in the book. Also I appreciated the way the characters weredeveloped. Lucia, being a lonely princess, is presented in a realistic way, not like in a fairytale where the princess is only sweet and nice. Not only Lucia, but Soren, Ailia and every other character was well narrated and were appropriately portrayed for their own parts. Their characters seemed believable. This is a story in which everlasting love, courage, brutality and many more emotions are blended finely to create a master piece. I invite all the fiction lovers to give this book a try. But make sure that you have ample time on your hand to give to this book as you won’t be able to put down the book midway to do something else. It kept me attracted like iron to a magnet all the way through!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'd have to say reading this book is a daring move for me. I may have read a lot of books but never in this genre. And so, admittedly, the first few pages did come really confusing for me: the names and the settings and even some back stories of the characters. I believe that the first few pages of a book are crucial to whether or not it'll keep your reader's interest. As for me, although a little confused, I kept an open mind while reading it and exerted effort on going back to some pages to keep track of the book's progress. That worked for me. But I'd have to say, that wasn't really that difficult at all. There's this element that compelled me to review the pages to really see the line that it's drawing. It's good writing. Out of habit, I write down good lines from a book. I have to say,  I consumed two pages for this book. There are plenty of good lines really worth noting. And they don't sound forced to me at all. They are filled with ripe wisdom and they don't appear preachy. The plot is okay but there were times when I feel and imagine the author getting lost in the middle. I found it a little difficult to understand the "plan" behind Soren and Ailia's characters so I decided to read on, and saved my questions at the later part. As for Characters, the main ones were fashioned and created reall well. I like the contrast of Ailia's character to Lucia's. I liked them both. All other characters contributed to the total package. Eiss did make a good antagonist and descriptions made on her are almost visual that I could picture her out in my mind. The story is good and the narration is good, that is despite some confusions I encountered and a few typo errors I noticed. I got educated on pagan practices and beliefs I have long ago forgotten and some I really have no knowledge of or whether or not they truly exist. I can tell that the author holds a good future ahead of her. Squires can really write  and could make it big in this field. Winter Solstice Winter is, all in all, a good book. The secret to really appreciating it is to keep an open mind. It is because of this book that I can see myself reading more of this genre in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A story of rebirth and adventure. This wonderful tale takes place in the mythos of the Nords of old. It was wonderful to read a story that used a mythology that is often neglected my modern authors. Mrs. Squires knows exactly what she's doing and has a great future ahead for her. Check her out people!