Winter Solstice Winter: A Viking Blood Saga Book 1
by E. J. Squires
Seventeen-year-old Ailia has vowed to find out if her recurring mare dreams, of what she thinks are glimpses into her previous life, are real. In her dreams, she is married to her soul mate, and an evil Empress named Eiess pursues and kills her. Lucia, the heir of the Northlandic Kingdom, will be crowned Sun Queen - the Queen responsible for shifting the seasons each solstice. The eve before Lucia's eighteenth birthday and coronation, Eiess storms the castle, taking Lucia and her Father prisoner. Eiess immediately instigates the prophesied three-year winter before the end of Midgard when she usurps the throne. One day, and unbeknownst to her - nearly two years later - Ailia wakes up in a glacier cave cold, beaten, and far away from home. She doesn't remember how she ended up there or even that she was abducted by the ruthless Vikings. When a healer named Soren rescues her, Ailia can't help but think that she knows him from somewhere, and that they were fated to meet - and destined to fall in love. And when Ailia, Lucia and Soren discover a shocking secret that intertwines their destinies, one of them betrays the other two - a betrayal that ultimately puts their lives, and the lives of humanity, in which they had sworn to protect, in grave danger.
I did like the idea of the how Ailia and Lucia were raise and could understand why Lucia felt the way she did about things, it made her seem more real to me. The book is told from both of their point of views but mainly focuses on Ailia towards the end. This was done really well, there was never a time that I couldn't figure out who's head I was in.
The added mix of Christianity seemed on the odd side to me. I don't have anything against anyone adding something like this to their book because I am a Christian myself, but it just didn't seem to fit right with the story. It just seemed to be the authors way of putting their religion out there for others, and I can see how other people won't like this.
I did find that a lot of the characters fell flat for me. The only one I really liked was Lucia because she seemed to feel the way someone in her place would. Where Ailia just seemed to be there, and when she started to finally come into her own things happened to stop the progress.
The romance in the book felt forced to me. I understand that they are destine for each other, but no one understands their back story other than them, and other then a few dreams were Ailia flashes back to her dreams there is nothing there other then the fact that she feels pulled towards Soren.
But for all that I didn't like about this book there was something there that kept me reading. I can't really put my finger on it. The author has talent and if in the next book to come focuses more on fleshing out her characters and making them more real I can see her coming out with some really great works.
Its always really hard for me to write reviews for books that this happens with. Sometimes I just can't figure out what it was about the book that made me want to read it to the end, but there was definitely something there.
Would I recommend this book? Eh, I see myself recommending other books before this one.