Now that I do have more spare time, since I'm on vacation, not only I have more time to read, but also I have more time and also more motivation to write reviews!
So, expect more reviews than just this one for this week's Monday. Here goes, the first Mark This Book Monday for today!
Winter Queen by Amber Argyle
This is the first book by Amber Argyle that I've read, and I've really loved it.
The world building is amazing, this is a fantasy book, but the way everything is described, their way of life, the traditions, the relationships between the tribes... everything resonates so truthfully, that you feel you are actually reading history.
Another thing that truly held me captive to this story is Illyena's journey, the emotional journey that she goes through as well as where the story takes her. I connected so strongly with Illyena's struggles, and how she tries to always do what's right and what's best and how to do what's best for her people, even if she isn't even sure on how she'll manage to do that.
This is a fantastic story with a big reminder on why women need to never forget how much we've accomplished towards equallity, and how bloody hard and awful that fight has been. You might think that getting that out of a fantasy novel might be quite a stretch, but it isn't at all. A fantasy novel set in a Middle Ages-ish setting, with tribal associations and customs will always teach lessons on the value placed in human lives and in women's lives in particular, and how power can blind people to anything but their worst.
Illyena's choices are all very tough in this book, the suffering of others or her humanity, and Mrs Argyle takes us on that journey in a way that is never easy but that kept me glued to the page! If you are wondering if there is romance, yes, there is. The story doesn't really revolve about it, but it is a big motivator for the character's choices and in the end it also shows that it is really through love that we are human.