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5.0 out of 5 stars Winter Queen, 15 April 2013
This review is from: Winter Queen (Fairy Queens Book 1) (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. I like the depth of this book and how the magic worked as the idea of the Balance is such a simple idea but is also very clever and complex.

I am not sure if the next book Summer Queen is a continuation of Ilyenna story or someone else's from this world, but either way, I cannot wait to see what Argyle will do next and I hope it is released as soon as possible. I would recommend Winter Queen to everyone, but especially to people who like YA fantasy novels such as books by Maria V Snyder or Trudi Canavan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some confusion!, 5 April 2014
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This review is from: Winter Queen (Fairy Queens Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
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
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? But when I kept reading and the events worked themselves through the rest of the story then I just could not stay mad at this.

Ilyenna was a great heroine. Kick-ass but still finding herself. She was already fairly special in her world but that was nothing compared to the storm that hit when she also managed attract the attention of the fairies. Careful Darrien, this time self-sacrifice comes in a rebellious and prideful package.
On to Darrien. I like that for once we got a villain. Not the kind that redeems themselves with their last act but someone who is despicable to the bone. Darrien was extremely well-written and a scary/nasty character.
Rone. A childhood friend to Ilyenna, he was also a big part of the book. Sort of your regular white knight to the rescue. He couldn’t help but want to always help and always care for all the women, and Ilyenna in particular. While not my favourite, he was still a decent character, once again brought to life by my very eyes by Argyle.
We also get quite a few really awesome side characters, whom I couldn’t possibly all introduce. So these will be left for you to meet because the journey to them is wicked. Trust me on this one.

“Winter Queen” has challenged my favourite faery series to a duel. I cannot wait to see who wins at the end, but for that I will need the next book, which I am so very anxiously waiting. I’m counting the days Amber, I am just saying. But five ice-cold stars to the “Winter Queen”. I shall now resume staring out of the window and waiting for Leto, I mean Summer, to come.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 20 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Winter Queen (Fairy Queens Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
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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