A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
The world building in this story was beautiful and the book was so captivating. I was drawn to the characters and their story right from the start. You are thrust into the heart of the story from the very first page and there were so many emotions coming from the characters. You could immediately sense the suffering and pain they had been through. From the very first chapter you are plunged into their story right in the middle of their quest to save the Kingdom of Winter as well as the Winterian’s who have been slaves to Spring for over a decade. I was fascinated by this world they live in, how everyone has different looks and preferences based on different Seasons such as Winterian’s having white hair and living in a Kingdom of ice and snow. I love how the author managed to incorporate magic into the story as well as it certainly gave it an interesting twist and it was so interesting seeing how different Kingdom’s used their magic: whether they took advantage of their magic or used it to help benefit their Kingdom.
I fell in love with Meira right from the start, her determination to fight for her Kingdom and for her people was breathtaking. It’s been a while since I have come across such a fierce character and Meira did not disappoint me. She was strong all throughout the book, even during the darkest chapters she was a light shining in the darkness and I really loved her for that. She was determined not to be beaten and despite the fact that she is a girl who should be wearing dresses and going to balls, she very much preferred wearing armour and fighting for her Kingdom. Despite being repeatedly told that she is not a warrior, she refuses to listen and throws herself into battle at any given opportunity. I was cheering her on the whole time, words cannot express how much I love Meira for her strength, her loyalty to her Kingdom and her determination to see Winter rise again. The fight scenes were amazing by the way, they were so well written and at times I could not put the book down because I was itching to see how it ended.
Another character that I loved was Theron, he was the perfect Prince and I loved how misunderstood he was. He could relate and sympathise with Meira on such a deep level and I was drawn to these two characters from the moment they were introduced to each other. Theron is very different to his father, he wants to help others and he takes the time to get to know the people he will be ruling someday which was really touching. It’s so rare that you see someone of royalty interacting with their servants and I just loved it so much. I was urging Meira and Theron on and desperately wanted them to end up together. Despite being two completely different people: one an orphan and the other a Prince, they were perfect for each other. This was the main reason I was drawn to them because of how different, but so right for each other, they were. I would love to see more of their relationship in the second book.
What I loved most about this book was the relationship formed between all the refugees, they have been not only living together – but surviving, as well – for sixteen years. During this time they have been able to form an unbreakable bond and it was so heart-warming to see how much they all cared about each other. Despite the fact that their people had been slaves for sixteen years and all hope had been lost, they still somehow managed to find a shred of hope to cling onto and they fought desperately for it. They were determined to get up and keep fighting even if they were kicked down repeatedly. Their determination to save Winter was amazing and I fell in love with so many characters because of this.
I don’t know if the ending of the book should have been obvious or not but to me it was completely unexpected and added a huge twist to the story. Secrets that have been buried since Winter’s defeat are finally uncovered and they are not what everyone was expecting, least of all me. They affect the lives of many characters and it completely changes who they are as a person and their destiny is forever altered. I was desperate to start the second book to find out how everyone was affected afterwards. I love everything about this book so much: the characters, the story, the kingdoms and the magic. I just need more of it and if you haven’t read it, I suggest you go pick it up as soon as possible!