Winter Solstice Winter: A Viking Saga - Book 1

Winter Solstice Winter: A Viking Saga - Book 1

by E. J. Squires

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475995343
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/08/2013
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.03(d)

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Winter Solstice Winter: A Viking Saga - Book 1 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As soon as I read that Winter Solstice Winter talks about Vikings, Norse mythology, and the battle of Ragnarok, it captivated my interest. I'm fascinated with Norse history since I play an online game which is about Norse mythology. I'm also a fan of a TV series which has a handsome Viking as one of the main characters. I like how the cover looks as well. It really entices potential readers as it illustrates something dark, mysterious, and artsy. The story takes us back to thousands of years ago of Norse history, in the land where relentless Vikings, demons, shape-shifters and other creatures lived, in an epic battle between good and evil. Lucia, an heiress to the Northlandic Throne and a Great Sentinor is on a quest to defeat the evil Empress of Darkness named, Eiess. Eiess locks her in one of the castle's tower. Ailia, a peasant girl, after having so many nightmares, went missing, and wakes up in a glacier cave without a clue how she ended up in there. Soren, the Sentinor of spiritual and physical healing, and Lucia's soul mate, finds Ailia and tries to take her back to her home. Lucia, Ailia, and Soren form an alliance against the ruthless empress, Eiess. But somehow, they discover that their lives are deeply intertwined as the great battle drew nearer.  Winter Solstice Winter depicts diverse emotions such as love, hatred, jealousy, and betrayal. E.J. Squires did a tremendous job in the way she tells the story. It shows how true love can conquer everything; even death. I enjoyed reading it and have always looked forward to bed time, when I get the chance to read with no distractions. I was excited to find out what happens in the next pages and very pleased with how things went. Too bad I got the book during the holidays, when so much is going on everyday. I would have finished reading it in one sitting, despite the volume. I enjoyed it so much that I'm looking forward to reading the next novel and highly recommend it to others!
Anonymous 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 am a huge reader, and that being said, I am very picky about what I read. Within the first couple chapters I decide if I want to finish it or not. I am very busy and do not have time to read a book if I'm not into it. Well I could not put this book down. I absolutely loved it from beginning to end. I thought the storyline was fabulous. I love medieval stories very much. I thought that betrayals and the twists in the story were exciting and kept me on my toes. I think some of the language seemed to go in and out of 20th century usage.. having more editing and watching that would have made the word usage more organic to the store. However, I do enjoy watching newer authors progress with their writing. I see big things for Evelyn Squires and I am excited to read the next installment.
MariusAragon More than 1 year ago
First off, Squires is a very talented author. She pays a lot of attention to historical details all while weaving a highly adventurous plot and well thought characters. The setting felt very real and the characters were very realistic and thoroughly developed. Winter Solstice Winter possess all the elements and certain “spark” that is quite simply missing from other historical romance novels written today. Unfortunately, I had to deduct one star though for some historical inaccuracies and some minor mishaps in the language. Highly exciting, well written, and highly engrossing, Winter Solstice Winter is the type of book that you just couldn't put down. It draws you immediately to the story and keeps you reading and reading until the wee hours of the morning. It’s got twists and turns that will keep you enthralled all throughout. It’s got steamy romantic scenes. It’s full of mind boggling mysteries. It is simply everything you could ever ask for in a book and the way how Squires incorporates all those elements in one book is just amazing! Although, I must admit that Historical Fiction has never been my cup of tea and that everything is pretty much new to me, I am surprised how satisfying this reading experience was to me. I pretty much recommend this to anyone – Historical Fiction fans and non-fans alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Winter Solstice Winter by E.J. Squires has the potential to be something very great.  The basic premise is intriguing: set against the threat of a perpetual Norse winter, three people must fight against an immortal Empress, Viking hordes, and mythological troublemakers to return the changing seasons to the land. Drop in an unraveling lifetime built on a carefully crafted web of lies and a surprise twist of a love triangle, and the book is ripe for drama and intrigue with each page. Unfortunately, much of the promise of the book is bogged down in its execution. Squires is a very descriptive writer, and while some parts of the story shine through this description (the imagery surrounding the Norse landscape, especially) much of the emphasis is lost as the author tries almost too hard to paint a picture in our heads. The language in the book is troublesome, as well.  While the tale is set in medieval Europe – there was a nice nod to a particular Viking family that will make history buffs giggle – the author's dialogue and description often lapses into a much more modern tone. In addition, the extra description as mentioned above can lapse into verbosity, bogging the story down with overly long sentences that seem to get lost halfway through. Perhaps my biggest problem with the book was the character development.  I know I was supposed to care about the people on the pages, but their personalities took so long in developing – and sometimes seemed to develop in two different directions at once – that I had a difficult time finding motivation to continue reading at points.  Fortunately, this (mostly) resolves itself well before the book's end. By the time I finished the book, I was of two minds. The story had finally begun to build steam, and I really was interested in how it would progress into the next book; however, the problems found throughout the first would make me reluctant to pick it up. Without a doubt, E.J. Squires has the seeds of a very powerful series on her hands: Winter Solstice Winter is listed as the first of the Viking Blood Saga, and the story ends on such a cliffhanger that most readers would want to discover what happens next in the tale.  To fully be fully realized, however, an honest and heavy-handed editor is needed  to help cut the excess and bring out the characters to their full potential. (Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Read! Overall, I found Winter Solstice Winter to be a short but enjoyable read. From the very first chapter the pacing is very quick and efficient. There are quite a few moving parts here and unlike most similar works there is little in the way of introductions to the world or the characters you are about to spend some time with. That said, after the first chapter it seems to come together and the pieces fall into place. For the uninitiated, the story takes place in the Northlandic Kingdom, which is set squarely in Scandinavia. As such, be prepared for a healthy dose of culture from the area. Though some might find this off-putting, I found it quite enjoyable as it added depth and also made the story much more than a simple respinning of your generic “save the world” fantasy quest. As to that aforementioned quest, yes it is here, though truth be told it seems much deeper than what you’d expect. I won’t spoil anything, but there are some nice twists and nuances to it that were not entirely expected. The only downside to what can only be termed a good read is the rather abrupt ending. Granted, I appreciate that this is part of a series, but other authors usually have each stand-alone work have its own story arc with a more or less self-contained storyline as the quest moves along. The upside of course is that now I have to get the next installment to see what happens to Ailia, Lucia, and Soren!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want a book full of action and emotion, a book that you can't put down and end up reading until 3am even though you have work at 7am, or a book that sends your imagination into another worl d, then this is the one for you. From the very start, Winter Solstice Winter has an excellent pace that doesn't stop until the book is over (the worst part). You constantly meet new characters and immediately build an image of the surroundings. Other than mortals, you also come across Gods, demigods, quartergods, and creatures, some good and some outright evil. The story revolves around two women - Ailia and Lucia, individually very different in their initial situations, but each on similar journeys and both of whom you will feel sorry for. Later on in the book, you also meet Soren, who turns out to be a key character. He is a kind and passionate soul but has a strong mind and body, someone you immediately like and want to know more about. Midgard, the land where the book is set, is striking and intricately described, at times the cold being so cold you begin to feel it. You visit various villages in Midgard, all different but with their own charm. You also hear about other lands, which we are sure to visit in future books.  There are many action scenes where nothing is left out, with Squires pulling you further into the story. There is no gore but blood is spilt and body parts are lost. There is fighting and magic as you learn about the contrast of the brutal mortals and the magical gods. Squires has utilised her knowledge of Norse mythology to combine reality and theology, which is why we see hints of religion and tradition and mixed with dark creatures, evil spirits and magic. Winter Solstice Winter is a captivating novel, and extremely easy to get lost in making you forget what the real time is. It is just the start of what I expect to be an exciting, imaginative series of action, fantasy and ultimately, hope. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never thought I'd like science fiction or fantasy books that much, however I actually enjoyed this one. I read this due to recommendation and it was definitely worth it. I've recommended this to others who are into sci-fi and I hope they think it's worth it as well. It was a well-written novel with strong characters. At first the names threw me off, but then when I dove into the book, i realised where they were and what time period it was so I didn't mind it at all. I just had to keep reading non-stop, no matter what. You should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is written in such a way that it engages the reader instantly. I am an 18 year old male, and going into this book (reading the summary) I did not expect to enjoy it; however, after turning roughtly ten pages, it trapped me in this glorious story. E. J. Squires shows herself to be a fantastic stroyteller and author. Winter Solstice Winter is much more than a simple coming-of-age tale. Both Lucia and Ailia's personalities play a very large role in the development of the story, and the antagonist Eiess comes forth with such ferocity that would outdo any epic villain. I would recommend this novel to anybody no matter how old or young, boy or girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a fellow writer, there are certain things that I automatically look for when diving into a world of fiction. The first, naturally, is if the dive itself is effortless. How quickly and seamlessly can the author ensnare and enchant me with the people and places she’s breathed to life on paper? Squires did this at once. The opening line is certainly a keeper: Today I will die. Who are you and why do you already consider yourself dead meat? I wondered, and so I picked up this book. Or, to be literal, I scooted closer to the computer screen. I love the metaphors and allusions to Nordic legend throughout the book, whether they were a conscious decision on the author’s part or they were inserted by instinct, the choice was very fitting—hearts that “hammer like rhythmic thunder” (Thor’s hammer?), the Sun castle’s murals of the Norse gods, dragon-like tempers, and so forth. The characterization is sound; the characters are generally well-rounded. Come and lose yourself within a spectacular world of feisty summer sea breezes and endless winter nights, fear, honor, mare demons and lightelves, enchantresses and monarchs, discrimination and loss, friendship and romance, hope and death, and lives that come in threes…
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All in all, we have a love that transcends the law of time/space, we have the need for power, some hatred, betrayal, fate, high polished sense with super natural abilities, and, some white-black magic. The thing that I mostly like about the book was the ability of the author to grasp the right ambiance pertaining to the time the story is set on, and the realistic time frame that the story has across the entire book. It made me feel like I was playing a role-playing game, with the thirst of the second book. It’s an active, fun story suitable for young adults, and anyone who likes to read for fantasy novels. Nicole.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has all of the most popular elements of epic high fantasy:  an exotic setting, larger than life characters, and adversaries both of the supernatural and human variety.  This book also has the elements of a stirring love story, making this tale one that will appeal to a wide variety of readers who like their fiction to be both action-packed and heart-wrenching.  I look forward to reading Book II in the series and have added EJ Squires to my list of must read authors.  Highly recommended.    
abarnard More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It kept me up most of the night just so I could finish it! That only happens to me when I'm reading a book that I just can't put down. The characters have a sizzling attraction that deepens throughout the novel. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historical, paranormal romance. I can't wait for the second to come out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is amazing. Winter is a story of blood, ice and love. I love the way it's written- there are so many details and I could practically see images, characters, situations that were depicted in the book. Every detail is carefully thought out, written in a nice and clear flow and the story grew on me very soon. First few pages were a bit difficult to follow, though - and these are the only slow paced pages. Everything else in this novel is dynamic and vibrant; there are many things happening here and your mind doesn’t have any space and time to wander. The plot is imaginative and complex, things happen fast and I couldn’t wait to read the next page and the next chapter. And even though some things were clear from the beginning, I am amazed how the author managed to make the story enthralling till the end. In some ways Winter Solstice reminded me of my favorite fairy-tale, Snow Queen, and this is one of many reasons I liked this book. I’m a sucker for winter, fantasy, legends and contrasts and I just loved the whole atmosphere of the novel (and I had to listen to Winter from Vivaldi few times). I like the contrasts between Lucia and Ailia, ‘’blood and water’’, love and emotionlessness, loyalty and betrayal. The contrasts between characters, places and situations contribute to the dynamic of the novel and clarity of the story. It is very easy to like the characters, or dislike them and still understand them. The story and the way it’s written make you emotionally engaged and some scenes are so realisticly described and even heartbreaking. In spite of the fact that I’m not a reader of serials, this book got me hooked and now I’m looking forward to the next imaginative and atmospheric novel in The Viking Blood Saga!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not stop reading this, made me want to come back for more! I absolutly cannot wait for the next book! Kudos to the author! A must read.
ccwriterunlimited More than 1 year ago
“Time will answer all mysteries” Nora the handmaiden tells Lucia on the eve of her coronation to the Northlandic Throne. But how much time does she have as she is to become queen after her mother the Sun Queen passes away and there seems to be so many questions that everyone else seems to know the answers but she doesn’t. All she knows for sure is what her father King Olav has told her that she is The Great Sentinor pre-destined to lead the battle of Ragnarok and now that she is to be queen she is to be in charge of the Aesira Jewel and the changing of the seasons. She finds this out just before Eiess the Empress of Darkness storms the castle and locks her in the tower prison seeking the Aesira Jewel. Meanwhile there is a peasant girl named Ailia who after having mare dreams disappears only to awaken in a cave in a glacier region two years later and can’t remember how she got there. Soren the Sentinor of spiritual and physical healing and is betrothed to Lucia, is the one who finds Ailia and attempts to return her to the home of her aunt and uncle. Lucia finds she is not as she has been told as there is another Ailia the Light who does not know as yet who she is. Somehow Lucia, Ailia and Soren find out they are all connected as time draws closer to the Great Battle. The keys all lie in the scrolls King Olav gives to Lucia the night she must escape the castle. As we venture into Norse history we have early Christianity, shape-shifters, demons, Sentinors, Vikings, even a Nukkern and so much more! The author is no stranger to all the magic, mystery and mythology of the Norse region and the Vikings after growing up in Norway and is a direct descendant of the Vikings. Superbly written with excellent character development and story details the imagination is enthralled in this unique fantasy tale. Young and old alike will enjoy being whisked away to another time and place. Fans of “The Auralia’s Thread” series by Jeffery Overstreet and “The Knights of Arrethtrae” series by Chuck Black or anyone looking for historical romance, fantasy and folklore will want to add this outstanding first book of this series to their collection.