Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi—the Four Winds—and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.
Wren of Edgewood is no stranger to suffering. Her parents are gone. Survival is all she knows. For three hundred years, the land known as the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade, which protects the townsfolk from the Deadlands beyond.
But day by day, the Shade weakens.
Only one thing can stop the Shade’s fall: a mortal woman taken captive across the barrier, bound in wedlock to the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands. He is the North Wind, the Frost King, an immortal whose heart is said to be as frigid as the land he rules.
And the time has come for the Frost King to choose his bride.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review & can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Wren is no stranger to hardship. Having spent her life fending for her and her sister after their parents died, she is a survivor and will do anything to ensure her sister gets the life she dreamed of. All of that is put to the test when The North Wind arrives to take his sacrifice and chooses Wren’s sister. Choosing to protect her once again Wren deceives the Lord and takes her place, but when Wren enters the North Winds home she learns not all is as it seems, and before long her survival instinct will be put to the ultimate test.
Wren is such a brilliant character. She certainly errs on the side of morally grey, but her decisions have been made for love and survival. Having spent all her life looking after her sister, she doesn’t think twice about taking her place, even if that means never seeing her again. Going from a life of solitude and near empty plates, she isn’t sure how to take the Frost King’s castle with his vast servants and never ending supplies of food, in fact she resents it when so many of her people have been forced to live with never ending Winter, killing their crops and ensuring they never thrive. She isn’t one to shy away from a battle, and is determined to show the Frost King that his powers are slowly but surely killing the people she loves, but his heart is turned to ice when it comes to humanity, and she will need to chip away slowly if she is to get him to change his mind.
Though Wren is by far the main character of this book Warwick effortlessly brings to life a standout set of side characters, some who you will love, some you’ll hate, but they all add to the tension (not just romantic) of this book. Wren and Boreas’ character developments in this book were just sublime, they went from wanting to kill each other to wanting to well… *cough* not kill each other if you know what I mean, and although their romance arc (don’t worry, I’ll get to that in a bit) does play a large part in their growth and over all relationship, I also loved seeing them opening up to each other, learning each others weaknesses and histories, something that neither of them have ever really been able to do before. It really made sure you got invested in the relationship, as well as the overall story line, wanting them both to get a happy ending.
One thing I’ve loved about Warwick’s books so far was her world building, something that, even though this is a stand alone, we still get in spades. The Four Winds were banished to Earth after leading an uprising against their parents, where they have their own territory to look after and that territory is blessed, or cursed with weather dependant on the Wind itself. Obviously ‘The North Wind’ is centred around The Frost King and his territory, but we do meet one of his brothers in this story, and Warwick has said that though all these books will be stand alone’s, each one will focus on a different ‘Wind’ something I’m really looking forward too. There are some brilliant little nods to the likes of Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone in there, and while she does take little bits from other stories The North Wind is completely it’s own.
Now for what we’ve all been waiting for… the romance. This book is 100% a romantasy ( I LOVE this phrase btw), the romance plays a huge part in the story and it was just sublime. If you like slow burn enemies to lovers, where neither of the characters is 100% a good guy, tension, swooning, did I mention the tension? and all the smut… well then look no further. Warwick doesn’t shy away from the steamy scenes and the tension (there I go again but there was SO MUCH of it) was just brilliant. I really loved how she made Wren unashamed of her sexuality, it’s so rare to have a character, especially in a story like this, with a sexual history that she doesn’t shy away from, as well as a love for erotic novels, it made for some humorous and steamy scenes, but I loved how she wasn’t meek and shy, she knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to take it.
What more can I say, I love this book. It came at the perfect time, just when I needed a romance fix in my life and I got so much more than I bargained for. Perfect for readers who want a little less fantasy and a little, or a lore, more romance in their stories. I’m really excited to pick up the next book, especially after already meeting one of the characters in this story.