Amid the Winter Snow – An Anthology by Grace Drave, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter, and Jeffe Kennedy
Amid the Winter Snow is a beautiful anthology of stories by well-known authors: Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter, and Jeffe Kennedy. Of the four I had only previously read titles by Grace Draven and Elizabeth Hunter. Although now I will certainly be checking out Thea Harrison’s other titles.
The Darkest Midnight – Grace Draven
For fans of Grace Draven her contribution to this anthology is everything that you would expect, maybe not as steamy as her full length novels, but the emotion more than makes up for it!
Grace has this magical way of writing her stories. Her prose is almost lyrical and often hypnotic in a way that you just can’t stop reading. It’s always ‘just one more page, one more chapter….’ Her characters are always well developed; you will not find any unrealistic paragons of virtue in her stories, all characters have their strengths and weaknesses and are more real, and so more likeable, because of it.
It’s difficult to talk about this story without giving away any spoilers. But in a nutshell, it is a critique of the petty mindedness of the ‘herd mentality’ where to be different means to be shunned and excluded. It is a story of strength and resilience and it was a joy to watch Jahna grow from the young girl hiding in the shadows to the strong and confident woman she becomes, thanks in part, to her relationship with the sword master, Radimar.
This story is connected to the Wraith Kings series, but it can be read as a standalone as the connections are very minor. Although I highly recommend reading the Wraith Kings it is a brilliant series!!
The Chosen – Thea Harrison
Thea Harrison is a new author for me, but I enjoyed The Chosen so much that I will be going back to her other titles. Wulf is absolutely gorgeous and together with Lily they make a good pair. This novella had so much potential to be expanded to a full book. I hope we’ll get to opportunity to meet up again with these characters in another series.
The writing was smooth and flowing, world building was excellent, and all characters, including those in the periphery, were well developed.
This was a lovely fast paced romance. Highly Recommended.
The Storm – Elizabeth Hunter
This story is a novella of the Irin Chronicles, but it can be read as a standalone as enough information is given to follow along. You may not completely understand the wider scope of the relationships between the secondary characters and who they are, but it’s not really important to this story.
This story is ultimately about tragedy and letting go. It was lovely. I’d quite happily take Maxim home myself, such a lovely character. There was certainly chemistry between Maxim and Renata and I found myself cheering for a happy ending.
I’ve read a couple of Elizabeth Hunter’s books and I enjoy her writing style. Her world building and characterisations are always consistent and she has that extra something that makes you want to turn the pages.
The Snows of Windroven – Jeffe Kennedy
The Snows of Windroven is a novella of the Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms Series. Jeffe Kennedy is another new author to me, but unfortunately this was my least favourite of the anthology but not because of any deficits in Ms Kennedy’s writing. This was the only novella in the anthology where I felt I needed to read the other stories in the series to get more information.
This story read like it was the final chapters, or an extended epilogue, of the main book. Although attempts were made to explain characters, situations, and concepts I felt that it left the reader with only a surface understanding of who was who and what was happening.
For me, this was a shame because the novella has a lot of potential. I liked the characters, they seemed like they would have been well developed and so easy to like, if not love, if you’d read the earlier book(s).
This story has piqued my interest enough that I will put this series on by TBR pile and see if I can catch up with these characters and understand more fully where they are coming from.
If you’ve read the other books in this series I’m sure you’ll love this novella. I very much enjoyed Ms Kennedy’s writing style, I just found myself floundering to keep up with the characters.
Amid the Winter Snow is released on 12/12/2017. I’d highly recommend checking out this anthology.