Review: The Winter King by CL Wilson

winter kingReviewed by Jen

I enjoyed CL Wilson’s Tairen Soul series, but it’s been so long since her last book, I was a little worried that a little of the magic may be gone.  I’m happy to say my concerns were unfounded.  The Winter King gives us a look inside a brand new world surrounded by familiar themes.  Two lands are at war and the only way to end the suffering is with a political marriage.

On one side is Wintercraig, led by King, er, Wynter.  On the other, are the forces of Summerlea, whose crown prince ran away with Wynter’s bride and a priceless artifact.  He also killed Wynter’s brother, kicking off the devastating war.  Now, Wynter demands a wedding to one of Summerlea’s princesses and an heir from her within the year.  Khamsin is to be that princess.  She is the bane of her father’s existence. He blames her for her mother’s death and sees Wynter’s demand is an excuse to finally be rid of her.  He manipulates Wynter into marrying her, and nearly beats her to death to force her compliance.

There is fire between Kham and Wynter from the first time they lay eyes on one another. A physical connection is no problem.  But trust is virtually impossible and that makes an emotional connection just as unlikely.  The story follows the evolution of their marriage in the aftermath of war.  But there’s another wrinkle.  Wynter is about to lose his humanity. He accepted some serious Ice mojo to win the war and now only love can melt his thawing heart.  A baby –or perhaps his new wife– may be the only hope.

It’s really a pretty simple story.  The good guys are very good. The bad guys are very bad.  And there really aren’t many shades of gray.  Wynter is from Wintercraig. Prince Falcon can communicate with birds. A khamsin is a kind of powerful wind. Her nickname is “Storm” and she commands storms.  The Wynter Winter king needs the warmth of the Summerlea princess to melt his ice heart.  You get where I am going with all this.  But it wasn’t the kind of eye-rolling simplicity it could have been.  I still enjoyed the story, even if it did take a fairly predictable journey.

I liked Khamsin, especially.  She is a great independent spirit and a good soul despite all that she has endured.  I really enjoyed the passion between her and Wynter. Wilson didn’t scrimp on the love scenes here. I believed in the passion between these two and I felt like their emotional connection formed at a believable pace. It would have been easy to rush it, but Wilson didn’t.

There’s also a good set-up for future books featuring Khasmin’s sisters. I hope we see more stories from them in the future!

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Winter King
by CL Wilson
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Avon

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