Published by Daring Books on 2019-12-11
Length: 120 pages
Reviewing Kindle from Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release Challenge
From award-winning author Heather Hildenbrand and USA Today bestseller and award-winner Karpov Kinrade comes a holiday love story that blends fable and fairytale with fantasy romance to create a spellbinding tale.
In the remote village of Willowdale there lives a people haunted by an ancient curse. Once a prosperous and lush land, for thousands of years the kingdom has suffered under perpetual winter. Crops refuse to grow, poverty and hunger spread. People die.
Their only chance of survival depends on trade. But the one road between the lands passes through the treacherous Ice Mountains, where the cursed and banished prince lives. The prince who holds his kingdom in an icy grip.
To keep the trade path open, the prince demands a sacrifice. Once a year, a villager is chosen and must trek to the peak of the Ice Mountains to offer their life in exchange for safe passage between lands.
This year, I'm the sacrifice.
There's one big difference, however. I'm not an ordinary villager being sent to die. I'm a powerful winter witch, the first born to our village in over a thousand years, and I've been sent to kill.
But when the banished prince saves me from imminent death, everything changes. He's not the monster I believed him to be, and his tenderness and keen intelligence grips my heart and makes me question everything I once thought true.
Now I must decide the impossible. Do I kill him to save my kingdom? Or let what is growing between us save us both, thus damning everyone I love in the process?
I really enjoyed this short novella. The Winter Witch by Karpov Kinrade, Heather Hildenbrand is a paranormal fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast combined with The Little Girl and the Winter Whirlwinds. I can’t speak to the latter fairy tale, but the romantic elements of the first are there. Following Adara, The Winter Witch is a fast-paced, slow burn romance that will make any fantasy lover happy.
Adara is a witch, the first to be born in a long time. She has trained her entire life to master her abilities and kill the cursed prince that rules over her village. This year she is chosen as the sacrifice, and this year she plans to kill him. I like Adara. She knows what she must do, is prepared to do it, and is ready to die if she must. She shows great courage, even when set on avenging her parents who died at the prince’s hands.
The prince was unexpected. He is immortal, cursed with bloodlust. Over the years he’s lived, he’s learned how long he can go between feedings. This is why he asks for a yearly sacrifice. This gives him the ability to feed without killing too many. He’s remorseful and unhappy with his lot in life. This isn’t what he wants, but he doesn’t know how to stop or break his curse. I found myself really liking the prince early on. He was caring and kind, even if he was dangerous.
Overall I really enjoyed this short holiday novella. The world building, the romance, and the characters are well thought out, vivid, and haunting. The plot is fast-moving, coupled with a slow-burn romance that left me smiling in the end. If you enjoy paranormal romance, I highly recommend it.