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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Solstice Winter (Viking Blood Saga, #1) by E. J. Squires BOOK REVIEW

Winter Solstice Winter (Viking Blood Saga #1)Winter Solstice Winter 
by E.J. Squires

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed for +Readers' Favorite 

Take a trip with me, back to the year of 1007, to the Northern reaches of Europe. The Nordic lands, the lands of snow and Vikings. Can you imagine the snow and cliffs, the cold, grey stone that builds the castles and keeps, the long houses with grey smoke coming out all the time to keep the people warm. Yes, this is where our story begins.

Winter Solstice Winter begins in the village, with just a normal village family and normal village life, except their daughter is having mare’s at night. Dreams that seem so real, almost as if it were memories of another life. We watch as Aillia and her family deal with those has other happenings occur in the area.

At the castle, the Queen although advanced in age and with a 17 year old daughter, is once again pregnant, hopefully with a son for the King, but all is not going well, and she passes away during childbirth along with the babe. Her daughter Lucia, is lost, having no idea how to manage life without her mother, but unbeknownst to her, life is about to change in more ways than she can ever imagine.

As the story progresses and we follow these two women, both born on the Winter Solstice Eve, we learn the history of the area and the legends that are guiding the events and shaping what is occurring. Much to the +Evelyn Squires credit, the back history is told in conversations between character’s, so it fits into the storyline perfectly and makes sense. It’s not just some aside that takes you back and fills you in on the history. It belongs where it is, and since it unfolds in conversations, you get small bits and pieces at a time, so it is almost like unwrapping a puzzle.

The characters; Aillia, Lucia, and just to make it interesting a love interest for both girls, Soren; are well thought out and easy to get to know. I related to them and understood them. Of course at times I thought Lucia was a spoiled, rich-kid brat, but then again that really is what she is. The weaving of the characters, past and present into the story just makes it feel more like a tale you have heard over and over, not a book you are reading for the first time.

Although the book ends, leaving you on a bit of a cliff wanting to know more, and having to wait for the next book to come out; it does end at a very logical place. It is a natural break in the storyline that fits well with transitioning to another book. I applaud the author for that as well, because not many authors can do that, some leave you on a huge cliff and this was more a natural cliff. Yes I am waiting for the next book, but I feel good about where the characters are at while I wait.

If you are at all interested in historical fiction, viking lore, Nordic lore and the such this is a great book for you. Even if you aren’t that impressed with that, I think you would still enjoy this book just on the richness of the story itself. The writing and weaving of the story is genuine and truly the work of a great author.

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