I’m back after over a week, this time with my third review! A Winter Grim and Lonely is a novella written by Nicki Chapelway. It is set in the lovely world of Havenkeep.
Ismena is the queen of Alain and considered by all to be the fairest maiden in the land. She happily looks forward to the day when she will marry the love of her life and unite two of the three kingdoms that make up Illesya. That all changes when King Stephan, her fiance, falls in love with an ice nymph considered more fair than she.
In My Hand…
Scorned by the man she once loved, Ismena is driven by her need for vengeance. She makes a dangerous bargain with King Morren the dark lord who sits on the throne of the third kingdom Mooraven. With his help, she will bring Stephan down. She does not care who she has to double cross in the process, nor how many enemies she will have to make. But her plan for revenge crumbles around her when she finds that she cannot kill a young princess with Stephan’s eyes.
Who is the Fairest…
An eternal winter, a chance at a happy life, and a beautiful stepdaughter. The fate of three kingdoms will be decided.
In the Land?
This is the tale of how an ordinary girl became the wicked queen.
First off, I LOVE the cover and blurb! Seriously, they’re both amazing and I applaud Nicki for writing the blurb and commissioning the cover!
Onto the actual review!
The story is a novella set before the previous novella, A Winter Cursed. Still, you don’t need to read it in order to understand what is going on.
Since it’s so short, though, the world-building and characterization is a bit simple and/or rushed. But again, there are more books in the series and it is a novella. The characters are extemely likable/hateable (is that even a word?).
I genuinely loved Ismena sooo much! She’s such a flawed but lovable character, despite her psychotic tendencies. And I hate Stephen. I will never like him. Not ever. This book inspires many emotions, few of which are happy. While I’m not a crier, I did get quite angry and/or sad at times.
I did have one minor issue with the book, though, and that was grammatical errors. There were quite a few missing commas, typos, or small inconsistencies. A run through an editor or even a proof-reader would have helped a lot. Just because a book is self-published doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have the same quality. (I am by no means bashing the author. I simply believe that the demand for quality is so much more harsh when it comes to self-published novels, and so we should strive harder for the same quality)
The story is short, dark, sad, but oh, so enjoyable! Grab yourself a copy on Amazon now, because this isn’t a story you’re going to want to miss.