Red Winter Trilogy, book 1
Published October 21, 2016 by Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
e-ARC provided by the author
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Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess—and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.
Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command—whether she wants him or not.On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate—but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope … and hope is all she has left.RED WINTER includes 10 full-page illustrations by artist Brittany Jackson.
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If you guys liked the Steel & Stone series, you're definitely going to like this book.
I've only begun reading Marie's books last year but in that short time, she's already managed to become one of my favourite authors. I love how she writes, both her characters and her plots. Each character is unique and you think you know them, their intentions, but then she slyly reveals that there's so much more to them. And her books always have a way that make you want to read the book in one sitting, no matter what.
I confess, I was a little bit wary in the beginning of the book. It felt a little slow and I was worried there wouldn't be as much action as her first series. But soon enough, it picked up and it was another wild roller coaster.
The book takes place in modern Japan. Emi, the main character is a kamigakari, a person who is meant to host her goddess, Amaterasu. She's lived a lonely life in the 10 years she's spent preparing--no physical contact, no real friends, no normal things to ensure her purity and safety for the goddess. And she's believed it was necessary all that time too. Until she comes across a bitter truth, that is.
I saw some parallels between this and Marie's other characters. But like I said, they were unique. Emi wasn't as capable with weapons as Piper had been, but she was still strong in her own manner. I loved reading from her POV and I can't wait for more of her adventures with Shiro!!
Shiro was just such an amazing character and I'm so excited to find out about his past but also afraid to know what he's been through. He's sly and strong and very, very intriguing. He sort of reminded me of Lyre and honestly, I can't even complain. They're both A++.
There is a romance in this book but it isn't the most important thing, which I loved! (but at the same time, I would have liked more because I already love the two of them together and it's killing me.) I have a feeling that there's going to be a forbidden romance type of thing in the series. After all, Emi's supposed to host one of the "good" goddesses, while Shiro... well. He's a yokai, which is a spirit for the "bad" god/goddesses. I don't know about you, but that doesn't really seem ideal.
You can tell Marie did her research well! Each term is explained thoroughly, and though it did sometimes feel like info-dumps, it didn't matter to me because at least I understood, which I consider more important. I'm very excited to see where she takes this series because it's so full of rich Japanese mythology. Combined with her writing talent, the series is going to be very interesting.
Also! Before I finish off, there's art in this book! And it's SOO beautiful and perfectly goes with the story. So you get to see the characters and the setting and it's wonderful. It'll definitely make the reading experience better!
So! All that being said, this is a solid 4 stars. I hope the next book comes out soon because n e e d.
I received an advanced copy from the author's ARC team in return for an honest review!