Review: Barrow of Winter by H.M. Long

Category:

Fantasy

Rating:

Introduction:

Thray, who is the last surviving daughter of Winter and possesses both mortal and immortal qualities, is plagued by the memories of her lineage. She is given an opportunity to visit the northern territory of Duamel, where her father once reigned, and despite having to deceive the priesthood she serves and her lover, she accepts the offer.

Duamel is ruled by Thray’s demi-god siblings, who are revered by mystical groups and the land is covered in a never-ending night. This results in the emergence of peculiar creatures, dreadful storms, and an increasing desperation for food. The inhabitants of Duamel are on the brink of violence, and Thray’s siblings, who are influential and immortal, are standing alongside them.

To gain the trust of her siblings and seek answers to her questions, Thray must overcome attempts on her life, schemes, and the frigid wastelands. Additionally, as her siblings begin to focus their attention on her warm and bright homeland, Thray must tap into her own primal abilities and determine her allegiances.

When the warm winds start blowing and the ice begins to thaw, the offspring of Winter will bring Thray’s native land to its knees.

Review:

This latest addition to the series takes into account all the minor shortcomings I experienced while reading the preceding two books and weaves them together to produce an outstanding novel. The wintry ambiance portrayed in the book is impressively powerful and cinematic, the character arcs are more emotionally charged and engaging, and the action sequences are even more vivid and cinematic than before. The list of positive attributes could go on indefinitely. The novel encompasses all the elements I crave from a fantasy novel: a sophisticated and emotionally resonant storyline, treachery and backstabbing, divine beings and their devotees, authentic character relationships, fantastical creatures, and much more.

Among the three books, Thray stands out as my preferred protagonist – my apologies to Hessa! I found her character to be highly intricate and multifaceted, which added to the novel’s appeal. As both a hero and a villain, Thray’s personality and loyalties were subject to change, which created a fascinating dynamic between her and the supporting cast. The book was an emotional rollercoaster of touching moments and thrilling action, punctuated by many thought-provoking and eloquent lines that highlighted Thray’s internal and external struggles. I’m struggling to express my admiration for the book as it had such a profound impact on me. Thray’s strength as a character was remarkable, and the ending, while fitting and poignant, left me deeply saddened.

The level of detail in these books is superb. The descriptions are so vivid that readers can practically feel the temperature and hear the sounds, making for a truly immersive reading experience. H.M. Long’s novels are truly captivating.

While the book is an enjoyable read, I would have preferred to see more of Thray’s relationships with Vistic and Arune, two of my favourite characters. Additionally, the cult aspect, which played a significant role in the resolution of the plot, could have been explored further. Nevertheless, this book was incredibly entertaining.

One of the best things about the series is that each book can be read independently, so there is no need to read them in order. However, I highly recommend reading them all as they are all phenomenal.

If you are seeking a thrilling, action-packed, and cinematic story that combines viking-inspired elements, immortality, the pursuit of fate, magical creatures, and cults, then this book and the entire series are perfect for you!

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