Reading Level: Adult
Length: 290 pages
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Release Date: October 21, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Red Winter Trilogy
Source: eGalley from NetGallery.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
“Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess—and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.
Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command—whether she wants him or not.
On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate—but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope … and hope is all she has left.”
I absolutely loved Marie’s Steel and Stone series and was incredibly excited to see that she has a new series starting. This book starts out pretty slow but it picked up a lot towards the second half and I ended up enjoying it.
I think part of what made the story slow at the beginning is that it is a bit of an info dump with all the Japanese mythology and terminology thrown at the reader. However, it does pick up pace quite a bit in the second half of the book and there is a lot more action.
I ended up enjoying the story quite a bit, I loved the action, and also loved the Japanese mythology that the story is based on.
As with the Stone and Steel series; Marie does an amazing job creating characters that are complex and easy to engage with. Additionally the action scenes are incredibly well written; I am not sure how Marie does it but the action scenes just absolutely grab you and have you on the edge of the seat. Marie also does a wonderful job creating a believable world that’s nestled secretly next to our modern day world.
Overall this was a great start to a new fantasy series by Marie. I thought the start was a bit slow, but things really started to pick up in the second half. I am eager to read more about Emi and Shiro and figure out how they are going to balance the battle between the different ancient powers at work. I would recommend to those who enjoy urban fantasy and are interested in Japanese mythology.