AUTHOR: Claire Legrand
SERIES: Winterspell (#1)
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling
RATING: 4.5/5 Stars
After her mother is brutally murdered, seventeen-year-old Clara Stole is determined to find out what happened to her. Her father, a powerful man with little integrity, is a notorious New York City gang lord in the syndicate-turned-empire called Concordia. And he isn’t much help.
But there is something even darker than Concordia’s corruption brewing under the surface of the city, something full of vengeance and magic, like the stories Clara’s godfather used to tell her when she was a little girl. Then her father is abducted and her little sister’s life is threatened, and Clara accidentally frees Nicholas from a statue that has been his prison for years. Nicholas is the rightful prince of Cane, a wintry kingdom that exists beyond the city Clara has known her whole life.
When Nicholas and Clara journey together to Cane to retrieve her father, Clara encounters Anise, the queen of the faeries, who has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Clara finds that this new world is not as foreign as she feared, but time is running out for her family, and there is only so much magic can do...
What I Liked:
- The characters! I'll start with the heroine, Clara. After reading all the terrible reviews I had in mind that she was going to be some overly sexual, ridiculous girl but I really liked her. She was strong, clever and very able to think for herself rather than relying on others. Nicholas, her romantic interest, was fantastic also. He was just so adorable yet mysterious enough to be intriguing. My favourite character was probably Anise, the villain of the story. She was just so complex! Complex villains make me happy!
- The world-building in this story was just fantastic! Seriously, Claire Legrand's imagination absolutely blew me away. I loved the city of Cane, listening to how it used to be and watching the total chaos that it was when they return. There was so much imagination put into the world: the creatures, the fairies, the landscapes, the city. It was a joy to read and Legrand's knack for vivid descriptions transported me to a totally different place.
- Clara and Nicholas! They were such a great couple and I liked the sizzling tension between them. Seriously, there were basically sparks! I was rooting for them to get together the entire way through, and yet I really liked the relationship between Clara and Anise too. Thank goodness for awesome couples!
What I Disliked:
- I think part of the reason that I read so many DNF reviews for this book was that the beginning did feel pretty confusing. I felt completely thrown into the story, with characters thrust into my face and I felt lost for the first part of the book. It was so fast paced and didn't seem to start making sense until they went to Cane. I also didn't totally understand the need for Concordia in the story, but I'll let that one go.
I really liked this book. and that was surprising to me because I actually thought I wouldn't. this book has taught me not to completely rely on other people's reviews when it comes to judging whether to read something or not. It also reminded me why I always finish books. Because even if they don't start very well, they can easily just get so much better. To me, the pros of this book far outweighed the cons and I loved it!