Friday, July 17

Book Review: The Queen in Winter

Title: The Queen in Winter

Author: Claire Delacroix, Lynn Kurland, Sharon Shinn and Sarah Monette

Pages: 312

Summary: Now, these brilliantly gifted authors come together with four tales of adventure that are as enchanting as they are exciting… A gifted seer receives a vision of a man whom she was not meant to marry, but was meant to love… A man and an elven woman endure both the mundane and the magical quest to remain together… A warrior-maiden is trapped in a deadly storm with the only man she ever wanted, whose cars she must heal if he is ever to want her… A brave young woman helps her sister save her magically gifted child, only to receive an unexpected gift of her own….
Enjoy four of today’s most imaginative authors, and four stories of love as pure as the driven snow that will warm the coldest of hears.

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I picked this book up at one of those 4 for 10$ sales at my bookstores, where you have to have four books, to get the deal, at the time I had three that I really wanted and a few I wasn’t sure of, including this one. But I decided to get it anyways even though the blurb on the back of the book didn’t impress me much. I figured four short stories, one of them might stick. I’m glad I picked it because I ended up enjoying three of the four short stories. And I really enjoyed two of the four short stories. I’ll probably look into the authors other works (in a sort of related note, I found a list of books to read, and one of Sharon Shinn’s books was on it, small world).

Like most short story collections, you are going to have some you will like and some you won’t, and this is no exception, but for all the stories, the blurbs on the back of the book just don’t do it justice. I can see why it’s in a bargain bin, for so cheap, (this had the most copies in the selection of books included in the deal). The back of the blurb just doesn’t give potential readers enough information, to fully appreciate what the stories will be like. All of the stories are set in the back drop of winter, hence the winter titles. My favourite stories where; “When Winter Comes and A Gift of Wings. My least favourite was “The Kiss of the Snow Queen The titles of the short stories are:

A Whisper of Spring by Lynn Kurland
When Winter Comes by Sharon Shinn
The Kiss of the Snow Queen by Clair Delacroix
A Gift of Wings by Sarah Monette

For “When Winter Comes” I was caught up in the plot and the whole fantasy world the characters were in. The author did a great job at creating a fantasy world, and characters who were enjoyable to read. I enjoyed watching the two sisters strive for survival, in a world were mages are shunned away, and them trying to find a place in society. I found the love story side, a bit too predictable, but in the end, I didn’t mind as much, because the story as a whole was well told, and I was itching to read more about this fantasy world.

In “A Gift of Wings” had a bit of murder mystery in it, which made it that much better. Again, I was really interested in this authors “world” and wanted to learn more of the warrior woman and her kin of people. This one was one that was really hard to put down, because of the “murder mystery” aspect to it.

For a “Whisper in Spring”, the story wasn’t bad, nor was the writing style, although I did find there were some awkward dialogues in it, overall the story was well done, it just lost my interest in some points, and it was the usual “mortal versus immortal of races who are in love and them trying to ensure they keep that love. So it’s hard for a story like this, to be strong enough to pull you in, when it’s been done so much already, author did a good job at it, but, not my favourite in the collection.

The Kiss of the Snow Queen”, was the worst in the book. The story seemed to not match up together as a whole, it had multiple elements, but I just didn’t see how they all fit together to create the story. Also the main character bugged me a lot, along with some of the other characters of the book. I think this is a story that needed to be at least the length of a novella, to fully have the impact the author intended to have (or what I think she was trying to have when she wrote the story). It just seems like it needs more.

Combined together, the stories were well down, and weren’t overall romancey. I don’t mind a bit of romance in a novel, and sometimes the right kind of romance novel/story works for me, but for most romance themed stories there I find are just not well down. In this collection the love stories are plausible and mixed in with the right amount of romance, and the right amount of fantasy worlds, it created a very interesting read.

Would I recommend it to read: If you're a fan of romances, fantasy or short stories, then yes I think I would recommend the collection to read. Even if you're not to into a particular story, the best part of a short story collection is that the stories are short, so you're not as committed as your are with a novel. I do think that this collection isn't for everyone, if you don't like fantasy or romance at all, you probably won't like it. And if you're looking for a lot of action adventure or complex love affairs, again, you likely won't enjoy it. But if you want a nice light read in a fantasy romance genre, give it a try.

What to read next: Definitely check out more books by the authors in this book. Particularly Sharon Shinn and Sarah Monette.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, A - Z Challenge, RYOB Challenge


  1. I have a hard time reading collections of short stories because I always feel finished after just one, but it doesn't seem like 4 would be bad.

  2. I had not heard of this book, but I am glad you liked it. I might try and give it a go because it has three elements that I am trying to delve further in: fantasy, romance, and short stories. Thanks for the thoughtful and extensive review, I will be looking for it!