Review: Traitor of Redwinter by Ed McDonald


Raine’s mastery over the Sixth Gate intensifies with each passing day. However, she realizes that she requires instruction that no living Draoihn can provide in order to control her burgeoning powers. As she grapples with her transformation, her fledgling friendships are pushed to their limits. Meanwhile, her mentor, Ulovar, falls victim to a mysterious illness that gradually drains his vitality, leaving Raine to confront her deepening darkness in isolation. She has only one opportunity to harness the overwhelming surge of power within her—to uncover the long-lost secrets erased from the world by the Draoihn themselves.

A book comes into Raine’s possession, its origin and acquisition shrouded in mystery. Its ever-changing pages whisper ancient and untapped power, dormant for centuries.

Amidst a deteriorating state of the king’s health and a famine-stricken north, rebellious lords hunger for the Crown’s authority. They find support from forces that seek to dismantle the monarchy. In the face of this mounting threat, Raine’s former friend, Ovitus, forges a potent new alliance, elevating his own status and influence. He claims allegiance to the rightful heir of the throne, even as others scheme to seize power for themselves. Ovitus desperately seeks Raine’s forgiveness—or her submission.

Yet, the grandmaster holds her own agenda for Raine. The rigorous and lethal training she imparts has been meticulously designed. In Raine, she envisions a weapon aimed directly at the heart of their common enemy, as Redwinter strives to maintain a grip on power.


‘My sled-mother named me Akail.’ She said. ‘I’m the drinker of blood. I am the chewer of bones.’

‘Those sound like bad life choices.’ I said. ‘You should consider a better career.’

LIGHT ABOVE! THIS WAS JUST BRILLIANT! I know I shouldn’t be this shocked that Ed McDonald managed to swept me off my feet a second time, just like he did with Daughter of Redwinter but I am truly taken aback by the sheer brilliance of Traitor of Redwinter, as it managed to exceed all my already sky-high expectations. This is quite a statement considering how much I adored Daughter of Redwinter, which was undoubtedly one of my top picks from 2022. Needless to say, I was yearning for MORE, and Traitor of Redwinter delivered in every possible way. Ed has truly outdone himself with this exceptional sequel that kept me engrossed and eager to devour every single page.

Ed’s prowess in world building has consistently impressed me, and Traitor of Redwinter only solidifies his talent in this regard. Returning to the world of Redwinter was an absolute delight, and I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in its intricacies once again. The character development in Traitor of Redwinter was masterfully crafted, and my goodness, the unexpected plot twists and intricate turns were absolutely enthralling. While the initial half of the book may have unfolded at a more leisurely pace compared to the second half, my past experiences with Ed’s writing assured me that he needed the time to build up momentum and deliver something truly awe-inspiring. And indeed, my intuition was spot-on as Ed completely blew me away. The conversations and interactions amongst characters were beautifully done too. The writing was so stunning, by the time I finished the book, it looked like a coloring book, for I had highlighted so many paragraphs and conversations. lol!

Raine’s character development in this installment was truly remarkable. In contrast to her impulsive and impatient teenage self portrayed in Daughter of Redwinter, she exhibited a newfound maturity in Traitor of Redwinter. Taking the time to reflect and carefully consider the consequences of her actions, she became a more sensible and relatable character. However, her self-sabotaging tendencies, though present, added an additional layer of depth to her persona, making her all the more intriguing. Yes, she was overly cautious when it came to her romantic relationships but given her history of abusive and toxic past relationships, I actually sympathized with her in this regard. Understanding the challenges she had faced in the realm of relationships, it was natural for her to prioritize self-preservation and be hesitant to trust others easily.

Sanvaunt continued to shine as an exceptional supporting character, just as he did in the first book. The same can be said for Esher and Liara, who added depth and richness to the story. While I had reservations about Ovitus in Daughter of Redwinter, my dislike for him deepened exponentially in Traitor of Redwinter, leaving me with an intense loathing for his character. lol! I am itching to into details but alas spoilers…. The development of the relationship between Esher and Raine was both heartwarming and heart-wrenching, filled with tender moments that touched my soul. Similarly, the dynamic between Sanvaunt and Raine evoked bittersweet emotions, tugging at my heartstrings.

And to think I have to wait at least another year for the next book of the series! :'( Five out of five FECKING stars for Traitor of Redwinter and Ed!!!

I am truly grateful to Netgally, Tor Books and Ed McDonald for providing me this advanced reader copy.


The Book Cover

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