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Winter Queen (Fairy Queens Book 1)

Winter Queen (Fairy Queens Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Amber Argyle
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

~Becoming a winter queen will make Ilyenna as cold and cruel and deadly as winter itself, but it might be the only way to save her people from a war they have no hope of winning.~

Mortally wounded during a raid, seventeen-year-old Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: become one of them and share their power over winter. But that power comes with a price. If she accepts, she will become a force of nature, lose her humanity, and abandon her family.

Unwilling to pay such a high price, Ilyenna is enslaved by one of the invaders, Darrien. While in captivity, she learns the attack wasn’t just a simple raid but part of a larger plot to overthrow her entire nation.

With the enemy stealing over the mountains and Darrien coming to take her to his bed, Ilyenna must decide whether to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat Darrien and the other invaders, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying power—forever.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winter Queen 15 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
After the Shyle and there ally clan Argon are attacked by another clan the Tyron, 17 year old Ilyenna is mortally wounded by the Tyron's Clan Chief's son Darrien, but she is healed by the winter fairies and is offered the ability to become the Winter Queen. Unwilling to leave her family she declines this offer only to sacrifice herself as an Tiam, practically a slave, to Darrien to save her clan, along with other women of her and Argon clan and the some of the Argon men, including her brother's best friend Rone. While in captivity Darrien tries everything to break her mind, body and soul, however she discovers that the attack was part of a bigger plan to overthrow all the clans. Now Ilyenna has to decide if she is willing to sacrifice her humanity and warmth to become Winter Queen to save her people and those she loves.

Winter Queen is an incredible and magical YA fantasy book which I love by Amber Argyle. Even though this is darker and more grown up than the Witch Song series, it still has all the elements I love in a fantasy book, romance, adventure, magic and a strong heroine.

I really like Ilyenna as she is loyal to her people and no matter what happens to her, she is strong, kind and selfless. All the other characters are well written, even the bad guys, and there are so many characters that I have enjoyed getting to know. I really like the romance in this book as it is mature but at the same time sweet and tender.

Even through the story did not go the way I thought it would when I read the blurb, it is more unique than I could have imagined especially the fairies as they play a very important part in this book but it is in a subtle way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some confusion! 5 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I enjoyed the book overall, I did find some parts a little confusing. It was summer but winter arrived, left and came back again in the same page and suddenly the baby had been born It was unclear what had happened to some central characters, but the story was enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Winter Queen" by Amber Argyle 3 April 2014
By Linda
Holy hell and the seven freaking dwarves. Well. I did not really dare to expect that the contents of the book will be as good as the gorgeous cover-art. If you look at the cover there is just so much expectations to live up to. But I was not disappointed. This was brilliant.

Let me explain to you why. First of all the background. While there are numerous fairy stories and it is fairly popular to divide them into either light and dark or summer and winter (or both), then you do not really get the high fantasy fairy story that often. I loved the way the world was built up. Have you noticed how medieval most of the high fantasy stories are? Women are for breeding and being pretty. Here they fight. Sure there is still segregation between the roles of men and women but women do have a voice. The idea of an influential clan mistress and women who carry knives was great.

The story was superb. The magic was more of a superstition there and I liked that it was not the most dominant part of the story. The story has a war-like situation between clans, struggle for power and love. No spoilers but it is bloody brilliant. Amber Argyle can really make you feel for her characters. And not only compassion and love but also hate, burning, churning, bubbling hate. I must admit the descriptions were quite graphic, I found myself cringing gleefully a few times.
The only little thing I have to knock on this story is that the big action scenes felt a little hurried. Most of the story was near-perfectly paced, but every time something really monumental went down, it was over in a few pages. After every that kind of sequence I felt myself reading and thinking that wait, wait, wait, this HUGE, ginormous thing just happened? It just started, how on earth is it over?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 20 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
a magical entanglement of clan, human nature and seasonal mystery, beautifully written and as usual with Amber Argyle a strong female force to be reckoned with.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Expertly Woven Fantasy 12 July 2013
By Anthony Pacheco - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The best one yet from Amber Argyle, WINTER QUEEN is a relentless page-turner with a relentless plot. As fantasies go, WINTER QUEEN is dark and delicious but not so dark and brutal as to be a turn off.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and WINTER QUEEN dives into survival thematics and that's why I loved it so much. There is a certain purity with certain desperation, and Argyle expertly flirts with the difference between submission and survival and freedom and choices.

While I wish I could have gotten more of the world-building from WINTER QUEEN, I do so love a story that sticks to the basics and that was Ilyenna, the heroic (and stubborn) main character. She might seem a simple daughter of the chief on the outside, but as the story progresses I appreciated complex character that she becomes. Ilyenna is a strong character, but not in a fake "I'm just a man with boobs" faux strength one gets with some fantasy novels featuring female main characters (strangely, usually written by women). Ilyenna's strength lies in her empathetic nature and her femininity, a refreshing and positive characterization rare in a fantasy novel with a good dose of magic and sword (or in this case, axe) play.

As I said, WINTER QUEEN is relentless and a reader should not expect a romance novel with dancing fairies and unicorns that fart rainbows. Everything in WINTER QUEEN has an edge, and those edges cut, figuratively, metaphorically and literally.

Highly recommended, and I love that this is an old-fashioned hardcover with a gorgeous cover. Grab the hardcover, you won't be disappointed with the quality.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! 15 May 2013
By Ashley Ferguson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was everything I hoped for, and more. There was adventure, mystery, heartache, romance, twists and turns, magic, and just everything a good story should have (in my opinion). I absolutely love Argyle's writing style, and her world building is phenomenal in this book. As I was reading, I felt like I was actually in Ilyenna's world, and that I could see the fairies the way she sees them. Which I also thought was excellently done, I'm so glad they were disguised and could only be found if you knew where to look. I think it adds to the magic of them, and to the magic associated with Winter and Summer.

I also really loved the characters in this book. Although Darrien is a total jerk and deserves every bad thing that happens to him, he's actually a really interesting character. I wish we had seen more of his brother, because I pictured them to be dynamic opposites and I'm really interested to see how that would have played out. I enjoyed reading about Ilyenna's transformation from being so unsure of herself to becoming a strong, powerful, independent woman, and I'm so glad she never lost sight of her honesty and trustworthiness. And then, of course, there's Rone. I liked his character, but I wish we had seen him more in depth. I feel like I don't really know him as much as I would have liked.

Although it took me a few chapters to get into this book, the story really gets going after that and I didn't want to put the book down until the very end. There's just so much happening, and so many layers (like a parfait!)that I had to pull a late night in order to appease my curiosity. And that really didn't help too much, since now I want to know what's next for Ilyenna and Rone. And the Shyle.

I could seriously gush about this book all day, but I really think you should go read it for yourself. Especially if you're interested in fantasy novels with strong heroines. Or females that end up being strong heroines. Or if you just really like Amber Argyle's other books, because this is definitely the best one yet. 5/5, and I can't wait for the sequel!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average "Fairy Tale" 12 April 2013
By Deborah J. Andreasen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Ilyenna is fatally wounded when a neighboring clan attacks her village. Instead of letting her die, the winter fairies heal her and make her their queen...but it comes at a price. She'll lose everything. Her humanity, her emotions, her memories, her family...her love.

Instead, Ilyenna is taken captive by the brutal future clan chief, Darrien, who makes it his personal mission to break her, body and soul.

I was a bit surprised by the feel of this book. I sort of thought it would have just a "fairies dancing in the wind" type air. Instead, it was a dark and violent novel, with more of a Viking world feel.

What I loved about this book is that amid being beaten, starved, humiliated, and nearly violated, Ilyenna still finds hope to love. She stays true to her role as a healer. She is strong.

There are times when she's strong and stubborn to a fault, but that only makes her more human.

I thought the fairies would be a bigger "presence" in the book, but they are pleasingly important while not being overbearing. They play vital roles, yet they're able to play them mostly from afar.

There is this wonderful sense of Balance in the book. It's almost like their religion. The universe must have Balance in all things. Ilyenna throws that Balance off a few times and suffers the dark consequences.

The details in this book are amazing. So much knowledge is expertly woven into the story so that I feel like I'm not learning new culture, I always knew it and I'm just being reminded. And can we mention the cover please? I'm not usually one to talk about a book cover in a review, but this is a special circumstance. The book definitely lives up to that amazing cover!

There is graphic violence, but it's "mild" in the sense that it's not overly detailed. There is also sexual content, though nothing explicit or even detailed. It's eluded to.

There's plenty of heart-pounding action and stomach fluttering romance. There is also an abundance of strong women who do what they must to protect themselves and their clan.

Winter Queen is not your average "fairy tale," and I recommend it to all readers, even and perhaps especially those who don't enjoy fairy books. This might just be the one to change your mind.

I'm ready for the next book in the series. Now, please.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex Fantasy Novel 13 May 2013
By Cherie Reich - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Ilyenna must embrace winter's chill to not only save the people she loves but herself in Amber Argyle's Winter Queen.

Argyle has mad skills when it comes to worldbuilding. From the clothing to the healing practices to the politics, every aspect adds to this vast and complex world the story takes place in. Then, Argyle takes it a step further with adding a vibrant fairy world. I also loved the idea of Balance within this world and how important a concept it is. To accompany this worldbuilding, Argyle has crafted these heart-achingly beautiful descriptions. Her prose is a pleasure to read and leaves the reader breathless and craving more.

Then, we have a heartbreaking and emotionally charged plot and characters in this wonderful fantasy novel. The complexities of the world create this plot filled with politcal intrigue as clan goes against clan. Ilyenna embodies the Shyle's saying of "stronger than stone and more supple than a sapling." Her choices are each soul shattering, and my heart ached for her and her peoples. Rone is headstrong and fierce to protect the people he loves. He's a perfect complement to Ilyenna. Darrien, as the very cruel villain, craves power and the one woman who doesn't want him. As a reader, I was terrified for Ilyenna and couldn't stop thinking about whether or not Darrien would win. I particularly loved the clanswomen. They had such strength against the odds. In fact, each character was three-dimensional and realistic, even down to the fairies and the Summer Queen within the story.

If you're looking for a complex fantasy novel filled with political intrigue, soul-touching characters, and a heartbreaking plot, then look no further than Winter Queen by Amber Argyle.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Effort 16 July 2013
By Mark Penny - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a guy. I read it. I cared. The fairy-and-queen sections were a bit too adoring for my taste, but I dug what Argyle was trying to do on the whole. Basically, a really good story with a narrative I'd like to tweak.
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