Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blog Tour: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway




The Winter King

C.L. Wilson

Fantasy Romance
Avon Romance

Avon Romance Amazon  BN  Kobo


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Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King, once lived in peace with his southern, Summerlander neighbors, but when the prince of Summerlea steals Wynter’s bride and murders his young brother, Wynter calls upon a dangerous Wintercraig magic called the Ice Heart and marches against Summerlea.

After three bitter years of battle, a victorious Wynter arrives at Summerlea’s royal palace to issue his terms of surrender. The prince of Summerlea stole Wynter’s bride and slew Wynter’s Heir. He wants the loss replaced. The Ice Heart is consuming him. Wynter hopes holding his own child in his arms will rekindle the warmth in his heart before he becomes the monster of Wintercraig legend, the Ice King.

The Summer King has three very precious daughters whom he loves dearly. Wynter will take one of them to wife. She will have one year to provide him with an Heir. If she fails, he will send her to face the mercy of the mountains and claim another princess for his wife. And so it will continue until Wynter has his Heir or the Summer King is out of daughters.

The plan is perfect—except for one small detail. The Summer King has a fourth daughter. One of whom he is not so fond. And she is a fiercely passionate creature, with a temper as volatile as the forces of her weathergift, the power of storms.

My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

The Winter King is an immersive fantasy story with a romantic arc. From page one I was sucked into the story and didn't come up for air until I was almost one hundred pages in. The characters are so well-developed, the heroine so amazing--I was enthralled. The first quarter of the story moves at a fast clip, as does the last quarter.

I loved Kham. In fact, I haven't felt this drawn to a character in a long time. I don't know if it was her spirit, her moxie, her loyalty, or her perseverance. I think Ms. Wilson did an amazing job creating this lead character. I also loved her sisters and adored how much they cared about Kham. So many writers have made the sisters baddies in this situation. Having the supportive sisters was refreshing.

Wynter is one of those icy alpha males--though he has an underlying reason for his iciness. He doesn't quite understand the strong pull he feels toward Kham. Overall I liked him but didn't love him. The father/evil Summer King is easy to hate... seriously he couldn't meet his demise fast enough to suit me.

As I said earlier, the first and last part of the story flew by, but I got a bit mired in the middle. The same descriptions one would find in an epic fantasy proved to be a bit much for a romantic arc. I enjoyed the story but found myself skimming more and more. With the page count near six hundred, it can be a long read for a romance. That said, if you like a lot of romance with your sweeping epic fantasy, then this is the book for you!

Excerpt:

Junnar lay atop the prone, lifeless figure of Wynter’s brother.  An arrow--its shaft painted with the Prince of Summerlea’s personal colors --protruded from Garrick’s throat.
“Garrick?” After moving Junnar to one side and packing his wound with snow to numb the pain, Wyn reached for his brother with trembling hands.  His fingers brushed the boy’s face, and he flinched at the coldness of his brother’s flesh.  Garrick had been dead for hours.  Probably since before Wyn had left Gildenheim in pursuit.  How could Wyn have lost the only family he had left in the world and not known it the instant it happened?
Horses approached from Wynter’s back.  Then Valik was there, laying a sympathetic hand on Wynter’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry, my friend.  I’m so sorry.”
Wyn nodded numbly.  The ache was consuming him.  The pain so deep, so indescribable, it was beyond feeling.  His whole body felt frozen, like the ice statues he and Garrick carved together.
“Help Junnar.”  How he spoke, he didn’t know.  His voice came out a choked, gravelly rasp.  “Make him as comfortable as you can.”
“Of course.”
He waited for Valik to lift Junnar and settle him off a short distance before gathering Garrick’s body into his arms.  He held his brother for a long time, held him until Junnar breathed his last and the White Guard packed the bodies up for transport back to Gildenheim.  Their hunt for Prince Falcon of Summerlea had ended the moment Wynter found his brother’s corpse.  But there was no doubt in any of their minds that this was far from over.
Wynter carried Garrick in front of him on Hodri’s back, cradling his body as he had so many times over the years after their parents had died and it had fallen to him to raise his brother.  He carried him all the way to Gildenheim, releasing him only to the weeping servants who would prepare Garrick and the others for the funeral pyre.
Wynter stood vigil by his brother’s side throughout the night.  He murmured words of sympathy to the parents of the other lost boys, but shed no tears of his own though his eyes burned.  At dusk the following night, he stood, tall and dry-eyed beside the pyres as the flames were lit and remained standing, motionless and without speaking, throughout the night and into the next morning.  He stood until the pyre was naught but flickering coals.  And when it was done and there was nothing left of his brother but ash, Wynter mounted Hodri and took the long, winding road to the Temple of Wyrn, which was carved into the side of the next mountain.
Galacia Frey, the imposing and statuesque High Priestess of Wyrn, was waiting for him inside the temple.  She had come the night before to bless his brother and the others and to light their pyres, before returning to the temple to await his visit.
“You know why I have come.”
Her eyes were steady.  “I know.  But Wyn, my friend, you know I must ask you to reconsider.  You know the price.”
“I know and accept it.”
“There’s no guarantee the goddess will find you worthy,” she warned.  “Many men have tried and died.”
“You think that frightens me?  If I die, I will be with my brother.  If I survive, I will have the power to avenge him.”
She closed her eyes briefly and inclined her head.  “Then take the path to the left of the altar, Wynter Atrialan, King of the Craig.  Leave your armor, clothes and weapons in the trunk by the door.  You must enter the test as you entered the world.  And may the goddess have mercy on your soul.”


About the Author

C. L. WILSON grew up camping and waterskiing across America, from Cherry Creek reservoir in Denver, CO, to Lake Gaston on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, to Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. When she wasn’t waterskiing and camping on family vacations, you could usually find her with a book in one hand and a sketch pad in the other—either reading, writing stories, or drawing. Sometime around the ninth grade, she decided she was better at drawing her pictures with words than paints and charcoals, and she set aside her sketchpad to focus entirely on writing.

Wilson is active in Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA), her local chapter of Romance Writers of America. When not engaged in writerly pursuits, she enjoys golfing, swimming, reading, playing video games with her children, and spending time with her friends and family. She is also an avid collector (her husband says pack rat!), and she’s the proud owner of an extensive collection of Dept. 56 Dickens and North Pole villages, unicorns, Lladro figurines, and mint condition comic books.

Wilson currently resides with her husband, their three wonderful children, and their little black cat, Oreo, in a secluded ranch community less than thirty miles away from the crystalline waters and sugar-sand beaches of Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key on Florida’s gulf coast.


Tour-Wide Giveaway
A copy of THE WINTER KING, complete with a gorgeous white rose snow globe pendant reminiscent of the book! 
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14 comments:

  1. I can't wait to read C.L.'s new book!

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  2. This cover draws me in and the synopsis does the rest. Must read! xo

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    1. Yep, this is definitely one where the cover got to me!

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  3. Really looks like it will be another good read. I like the cover also!!!

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  4. I really can imagine I would stay up to read this book, I also love the symbolic necklace , so beautiful!

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  5. The Winter White Rose necklace is so beautiful! and I can't wait for the book!

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