Source: From author for review
Bargains. Only the truly desperate make them. Only the truly desperate need them. And always, the desperate pay.
The silence and never-ending dark of winter are all Elice has ever known, for she is the daughter of the Winter Queen. Isolated in a northern queendom with only the seals for company, she dreams of color and music and life. So when a whaling ship crashes just offshore, she doesn't hesitate to rescue the lone survivor, Adar, who quickly becomes her friend. She must keep him hidden from her mother at all costs, for if the Winter Queen discovers him trespassing, she'll kill him.
When her mother reveals just how dark her soul has become, Elice realizes she is as much a prisoner as Adar. To ever know true freedom—to ever become the woman she was meant to be—she must flee with him. But in their flight, she begins to see hints of something more nefarious. The darkness that has taken hold of her mother is spreading, staining the world with its influence.
Unbeknownst to Elice, a bargain was made long ago. A bargain she was born to fulfill.
I've enjoyed this series for a while now and I love every cover that has come out. This one is no exception. I did have a bit of book amnesia from the previous books, but most of it came back as familiar names were read. This is the book of the Winter Queen's daughter and Ilyeanna has become the cruel queen predicted. Elice, the daughter, still has her humanity in tact but also control over winter. This is her journey into something perhaps powerful or will it lead to enslavement? Either is a possibility and both are hinted at throughout her journey.
The author states that her editors encouraged her to split the book into two. While I understand it, I also think that this would have been better as one journey. The ending leaves one big question behind and it was a threatening twist to the story. One I think the next book will open with and that anticipation will be over. However, we are left with that anticipation so be warned. Despite that aspect of the ending it did not feel like a cliffie and the main adventure Elice took on was completed.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars. While I would have liked a longer story, I do understand why it was split into 2 books. This is a good addition to the series and one that should not be missed. I recommend the book to those that enjoy YA fantasy with a lot of faeries who are more bite than sparkle.