I received this ARC as part of the Traveling ARCs Tours who sadly are stopping their tours. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review and sadly have to send the ARC on to the next person. And for the record, the description is hardly accurate. So don't go by what it says about the book. Kian seems to hate her for all of two minutes.
First of all, the cover is beautiful. It looks like the girl on the front has dipped her lip in dark blue iridescent glitter. Her mouth is formed perfectly, too perfectly, and the skin is so pale that if you look closely you'll see ice on it. I don't know if that's dark hair behind her or if it's just darkness and I think there are frozen flowers falling from the title. It's a beautiful cover and it goes well with the story. I don't know of another author lately that I've read that can paint a picture so beautifully like Kailin Gow. She is an artist with words. I have to write just one description so you can understand. This is on page seven of the ARC in the prologue which you must never skip in a book. I've said that before and I will say it again. Much important information is in that prologue, that's why the writer bothered to write it. Continuing on:
"The music grew louder, and I could hear its melody. It was not like human music-no, not even
the most beautiful concertos, most elaborate sonatas. This was the music that humans try to make
and fail-the language of the stars as they twinkle, they rhythm of the human heart as it beats, the
glimmering harmony of all the planets and all the moons and all the secret melodies of nature."
Can you not hear that music in your mind and picture those words floating off into the midnight sky, like she wrote them in the air. She has such a way with words. If you love descriptions you'll love the way she does them. But it's not too much. It's not full of descriptions and nothing else, just when she does them, holy cow!
This is only part of what Breena, the main character dreams of every night. She dreams of playing in a palace with the Winter Prince Kian, and his sister, Shasta in a castle of gold. She dreams every night of Kian and her, learning as children how to dance their dance for the wedding, for they are supposed to be married. But then something terrible happens that separates the two courts and makes Breena and Kian enemies simply because of which court they belonged to and their marriage contract was voided. But their contract runs deeper than paper, its an older contract, one of magic and feelings. Breena believes her dreams are just that, dreams. But, when she finds a Pixie at her door on her 16th birthday, she finds out the truth. Feyland is real, she's a Faery Princess of the Summer Court and her best friend, Logan is a werewolf. What's more, all those beautiful paintings of the faery world she's been painting is a way for her to get into Feyland and Kian takes her prisoner at her house and takes her to Feyland.
Kian's intention is to take Breena to the Winter Queen and have her swapped for his sister Shasta who the Summer Queen has been holding hostage. The courts have been at war for a long time and much damage has been done. There is no way now that Breena and Kian can marry, they best they can hope for is that his mother will not torture Breena before he takes her to the Summer Court. But Breena is only a halfling. Her mother is human, her father the Summer King. Will Breena be welcomed by the Summer Court with the Summer Queen in charge? And a drunk satyr accidentally lets it slip that halflings are stronger than fairies because they can withstand faery magic/kisses and live so they are the strongest of humans and then they have magic as well.
Breena has agreed to go with Kian because she simply has no other choice. They've already had to battle minotaurs and a Pixie at her house when Kian led her away. Logan shows up and Breena tries to go with him only to find out that she's made a bargain with Kian. (If you should find yourself with a faery, never make a bargain. They are ironclad!) Logan morphs into a werewolf and while the two of them battle, the Pixie King steels Breena away while they can only watch. Breena works on her magic in the dungeon she is kept in as she pretends to consider the Pixie King's proposal, marriage giving him rights to the Summer Court or become his concubine. In an escape attempt, Kian is captured and a guilty conscience makes Breena insist she and Logan go back. In that attempt, Logan is killed and Breena blames herself. While consoling her, Kian and Breena kiss and find that the magic of love is stronger than a contract on paper or any other kind of magic and they realize their feelings for each other.
But the Winter and Summer Courts have plans of their own. Both Breena and Kian are in constant danger even though they are in a "safe" house. They could be discovered at any time. Kian teaches Breena about Fey customs and history and how to use her magic and how to fight. Which will come in handy as the Summer Court captures Breena and arrests her because she was banished from Feyland as a baby. While the Winter Court is capturing Kian and taking him back to the Winter Queen for not bringing Breena to her. Besides they tell him, they have a much better prisoner. Who could be better than the halfling banished at birth? Who will be able to save Breena? What will happen if there is peace between Summer and Winter?
Magic and love are the two most powerful forces in Feyland in Kailin Gow's novel. The two combined , to me, would seem to me to be unstoppable. This is truly a faery tale with magic, love and politics and war. The next book is already out called Forever Frost and then the next is Silver Frost which comes out in 2011. The Sparklesoup website shows a total of five books in the series.
I read this in a few hours. Definitely a quick read. It's just a short book with a great love story and the beginning of a great faery tale. Anyone that loves faery tales should love this. Very PG rated for the word concubine and maybe some other words with the same meaning. Nothing else.