Winter Queen

Winter Queen

by Amber Argyle


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Mortally wounded during a raid, Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: her soul in exchange for escape from the invaders stealing over the mountains. Refusing to abandon her family, she returns to her village and offers herself up as a hostage to save her father’s life.

Struggling to survive her captor's cruelty, Ilyenna finds a measure of solace in her fellow prisoner, Rone’s, arms. But it isn’t long before she discovers the feud between their clans is merely a distraction from something far worse.

Ilyenna must decide whether or not to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat her enemies, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying power—forever.

Winner of the Rone Award for Best Fantasy/Science Fiction of 2014

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985739423
Publisher: Starling Books
Publication date: 04/13/2013
Series: Fairy Queens , #2
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

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Winter Queen 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
notrow1 More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review. This is the first book in a YA Dark Fantasy series. I loved it!  First off, I would like to say that I love the cover! I am not usually attracted to a book on just it's cover alone, but I think it totally suits the book completely. Ilyenna is a wonderful character. She is the daughter of the Chief of the Shyle clan, and also their new clan mistress. I really liked her. She is only seventeen and is unsure about taking on such a responsible role, but I think she handles herself well. She also happens to be a stubborn and proud woman. I love reading fantasy, so when the opportunity to read this book came up, I took it. I am glad I did, because I really enjoyed it! This story is a wonderful mix of fairy tale and dark fantasy; I was quickly hooked from the first page. The descriptions of the people and scenes were quite vivid, and I loved the fairies (both the winter and the summer ones) and I loved meeting the Summer Queen, Leto too. I also loved Ilyenna’s brother, Bratton. He is both a pain in the neck to, and extremely protective of, Ilyenna; in fact a typical sibling. I also have a tiny crush on Rone, Bratton’s best friend from childhood. He is one of the nicest characters I have met between the pages of a book; he is an honourable and gentle man. Darrien, from the Tyran clan, on the other hand, is one of the meanest, foulest, sickest pieces of filth to grace a page (to put it mildly). However, his father is a close second behind him. Both of these characters managed to make me so mad, I was shouting at the Kindle! The story is full of twists, turns and surprises, which kept me interested. Some of the story was a bit confusing at times, but I kept going and my confusion about some events cleared when they were resolved. However, I was in awe of how the Shyle clan reacted and behaved in the face of such barbarism at the hands of a megalomaniac. They are truly a warrior clan. They are definitely as strong as stone, and as supple as a sapling. It has been an honour to meet them. Amber Argyle has written a wonderful dark fantasy. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow of the story was wonderful. Although, there was what seemed to be a continuity inconsistency where the story seemed to jump from one scene into a completely different one near the end without explanation, which I found to be a bit jarring. However, this did not make me like the story less. I am now looking forward to reading this author’s other books as soon as possible. Due to scenes of violence and abuse, I do not recommend this book to younger readers (under 15) or to people of a sensitive nature. However, I highly recommend this book if you love reading YA books with strong female characters or dark fantasy ones with a compelling tale. – Lynn Worton
WBurr More than 1 year ago
The very first thing I have to say about this book is that Ilyena (the main character) is a healer, and since I am a nurse, I immediately identified with her. Argyle did an exquisite job relaying the motivations, emotions, heart, and mind of a nurse. I can't believe someone who is not in the medical field could get it so right. It is very rare to find a believable nurse in fiction. Now, to the story: Ilyena and her clan are almost immediately drawn into war and none of it makes any sense. They should not be fighting with those they are fighting with, yet their neighboring clan was attacked brutally, and they must offer their support. When things don't go well, and important people die or are close to death, political intrigue begins. To protect those she loves, Ilyena offers herself as a servant in her father's stead. The exchange calls for a fair use of her work by the opposing clan, meant to teach her a lesson. But Darrien, the future clan leader, instead uses her (and many others he has captured) as a slave. He beats them brutally, and she often fears her virtue will be stolen, too. He continually tries to force her into marriage. What nobody knows is that Ilyena killed Darrien's brother in the original scuffle, and when she was near death, she was saved by winter fairies. There was a bargain struck, and now she is their queen, but she could not go away with them even though winter was ending. This comes up a few times throughout the book, and is woven beautifully into the story. Ilyena is both human and other. Once back in Darrien's village, she finds friends from the clan they tried to help. Among them is her brother's childhood best friend, Rone, who she has always loved. Their relationship blooms throughout the book, as he protects her fiercely and cares for her tenderly. What a perfect love interest for her! Throughout most of the book, they are waiting for the clan council to make a ruling on the incidents that lead to Ilyena and the others' enslavement, along with the devastation wreaked on the villages. Circumstances finally lead Ilyena to run away, but she has such integrity that she shows up to the council meeting anyway, and she is prepared for whatever their decision might be. Even if it means she has to marry the evil Darrien to protect those she loves. The council seems to be leaning her way until Darrien tells a terrible lie. It is a lie that ruins everything she has fought for and now Ilyena, Rone, and all the others she was trying so fiercely to protect are hopeless and helpless. But there is one final line of defense. In desperation, Ilyena finally takes a path she has been fighting to comprehend the whole time. Fairy Queen is part of a seven book series, but stands perfectly well on its own. I found it to be completely satisfying in the end. I was gifted this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.
khud17 More than 1 year ago
*****SPOILERS WARNING***** First off! The. Cover. Is. Beautiful. I can't stop looking at it! Love love love. Okay but seriously... This book was very well written. I loved the story, the characters, and the strong heroine. My only issue is...I thought there might be more magic in it. More mystical creatures. More her as the winter queen. She became powerful right at the end and I wish I could have seen more throughout the book. I plan to continue the series. Maybe her journey will continue...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this Arc as a box set in ebook form from the author in exchange of a honest review. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. Winter Queen is the first in the Fairy Queens series by Amber Argyle but she does have some prequels as well. First off we meet Ilyenna the daughter of Otec from the novella Of Ice and Snow. Britton and Ilyenna were out on their horses when they stumble on a horribly injured man from a neighboring village with a note that they need help. They send out men to go help the village. There was a lot of violence and action throughout this book. I like how Amber Argyle has built this amazing world for her readers to dive into.
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS I've read Amber Argyle's other book, Witch Song, and enjoyed it, but I admit that I really wanted to read this book based entirely on the beautiful cover. After I read the synopsis, I wanted to read it even more! When Tryon attacks, slaughters, and enslaves members of Argon clan, the Shyle clan is shocked. The clans have a treaty among them and until now, there has been no fighting amongst the clans. The Shyle clan is friends with the Argon clan and sends help.  Ilyenna is clan mistress of the Shyle clan, her father is the clan chief, and is caught up in this. The Shyle clan is able to rescue a few Argons, but things get even worse when the Shyle clan gets targeted. When a raid occurs, Ilyenna ends up dying in the snow. But the winter fairy see promise in her and revive her to be the new Winter Queen, with a catch: she must lose all of her emotions. Ilyenna declines for now, in favor of helping those she loves, but ends up being captured by Darrien, who was the one that tried to kill her. Darrien is the Tryon clan chief's son, one of them. The other son was killed by Ilyenna the same night she was meant to die. Ilyenna has to be Darrien's slave and maybe wife if he has his way, in order to keep those she loves alive. The book had a fairytale/folklore like quality to it, and I don't mean Disney. This book has the feeling of the original tales from various cultures, the darker kinds, and I very much liked it. The entire world-building in general was very well-developed. I was able to get a very good grip on the different clans and the lives of the clans, as well as their culture. All in all, my favorite part is still the fantastical storytelling in this book! Ilyenna is a very strong and capable character. She has her own flaws, like everybody else, but she has an admiring amount of loyalty and strength. As clan mistress, she's very loyal to her clan and puts their needs above her own. She has to make very hard decisions for her clan and herself all throughout this book, sometimes putting her in horrible positions for herself. She has to go through so many horrible things as Darrien's slave and she's very strong throughout all of this. She does have her breaking points, but that makes her so much more human, as I wouldn't be able to believe that anyone to go through something like this without breaking at a few moments. I have an odd relationship with the romance. I liked Rome, our obvious love interest, in the beginning. He was such a nice guy. He was enormously helpful towards Ilyenna, despite the fact that it put his life at risk, and was helpful towards both of their enslaved clan members. In the beginning, it was obvious that he loved Ilyenna, though Ilyenna thought he still saw her as a little sister. There was a defining moment in the book where Rome began to piss me off and come across as an a-hole. I can't say what he did to upset me, as that would spoil things, but he became more distant. Other than that, I didn't really have any issues with the romance or the book in general. The ending was a bit confusing and rushed, but I honestly can tell why it was this why and it actually makes sense based on how it was told. IN CONCLUSION This was a very great fantasy read and I do definitely recommend this book! I did have issues with the romances, but the plot, story, and main character really make up for it! I will be reading Summer Queen, which, from what I understand, is a companion book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Winter Queen by Amber Argyle Rating 5***** This book was provided from the author in exchange for honest literary review. This book is jam packed from cover to cover. There is action that doesn't quit for starters. From the very beginning, Ilyenna shows her colors as not only a leader for her clan but a woman of honor and dignity. The way the book is current, reminds me of the storied of old Scotland. Where men, well most of them, were men of honor and women held their family together. I could picture the valleys as well as the hill sides. The descriptions left vivid imagery to the reader. On to what I really hated well, pure an simple DARREN. Of all the snakey, backhanded, vile humans I have ever read about. He put those women through cruelties no one should have to face. All in all, this is a great new series. It is paranormal but not in the sense that we are accustomed to. In fact this book has a little something for everyone, and it always seems to have a twist. I loved it and wished that I had more right away. I hope the rest of the series is as awesome as winter as been.
KikiD870 More than 1 year ago
My review:  I truly loved Winter Queen, the first in the Fairy Queens trilogy.  I am a big fan of all of Amber Argyle's work (author of the Witch Song series) and this just might be my favorite thus far.  I love the author's writing style and the rich worlds and characters that she creates.  She is phenomenal at drawing readers into her world and making it feel real.  Despite the otherworldly elements to the book, it felt possible.  Seeing things through Ilyenna's eyes was like seeing them for myself.  I love a book that I can lose myself in and this was one of those books! Ilyenna is a fascinating character, truly more layered than the average woman of her time and social status.  I love the fact that, as a person, Ilyenna seems real.  She isn't portrayed as a strong, perfect heroine from the beginning, but one with uncertainty and fear and a lack of self-confidence.  What was beautiful about her was watching her find her strength.  Darrien, while clearly NOT a character a reader is going to feel for, is one that still draws the reader in.  He is that character that we all just have to hate but one that is still more than just the bad guy.  Rone was also a wonderful character, and one we the readers could root for, although I wish there had been more of him. The author's worlds are amazing.  They are layered with the kind of details that are not overpowering but that give the world a sense of realism.  There are some Viking elements recognizable in the descriptions of the environment, as well. The creation of the culture was seamlessly done, making it feel is if we were just being reminded of things we already know instead of feeling like a lecture to learn a new culture for the new world.  That made reading much more engaging.  I also loved the use of the theme of Balance in the book, that the Universe must have balance in all aspects of life. This is not an average "fairy tale," not as light as I expected based on the cover alone.  There was darkness and brutality and angst along with all of the adventure, mystery, and intrigue.  It was not overdone, but it is definitely a part of the story.  Even though the story was much darker at times than I expected, there was no shortage of romance and hope and love, which I truly enjoyed. Things to love about Winter Queen...    --Ilyenna.  She was created to be real, despite all of the fantasy elements.  She was flawed and often unsure and that made her character very three-dimensional.    --The world.  The author creates amazing worlds, combining elements that we can recognize from reality with new world elements.  Everything about this world is vivid and graphically imaginable. Things I wanted more of...    --Darrien.  Even though his character was not at all likeable, I think it would have explained a lot about him if we had known more about his relationship with his brother.    --Rone.  I loved him and I wanted to know more of his story, apart from Ilyenna.    --The fairies.  I thought they would play a more prominent role in the story.  They were important, but they were able to play their roles from a more detached distance from the main story. My recommendation:  Even if fairy tales aren't your thing, I would recommend this book.  There is brutality and violence, as well as some sexual content.  The violence is mild in that it is not overly described and the sexual content is even less detailed but alluded to.  An excellent read!
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
Ilyenna was not able to escape her attackers that left her for dead. Winter fairies chose to heal her offering her a power over winter that she is not sure she wants.  She would have loose all memory of the life which she knows in order to rule over winter. She has things to do before she could even consider their request.  Like, literally staying out of the hands of her enemy and saving her village.  While in captivity she is reunited with a childhood family friend Darrien.  Could Darrien be as attracted to her as she to him?  She is a leader of her village and Darrien is the eader of his village and they are both being held as indentured slave by a ruthless man with no means of escape fearing harm coming to the other captives from their villages. Will Ilyeena choose her family, village and the one she loves in exchange for power over winter? The author has written an action packed story with twist and turns that will keep you captive. In this book of 238 pages it will leave you feeling as if you had been magically carried into a world of honor, heroic characters, fairies, villians, war, intrique, romance and a determination to reclaim peace and freedom.  The cover image is beyond amazing and so breathtaking it will chill you to the bone. I highly recommend this book. I rated this book a 5 out of 5. Disclosure:  I received a free ARC copy of this book from the author for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read! If you liked Witch Born and Witch Song, then you will love her latest, Winter Queen. It is a bit darker than her previous books, but she is still wonderful at forming characters. While I would not always make some of the same choices her characters would make, she makes it easy for you to relate. As always, I finished this Amber Argyle book in under 24 hours because I got "involved" and I look forward to reading the next! Thanks again, Amber.