The North Wind
Author: Alexandria Warwick
Series: The Four Winds, book 1
Publisher: Andromeda Press (January 13, 2022)
Hardcover, 551 pages
Fantasy, Adult Fantasy Romance
Lush. Dark. Romantic. Introducing a newly reimagined tale written in the vein of Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone.
Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi—the Four Winds—and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.
Wren of Edgewood is no stranger to suffering. Her parents are gone. Survival is all she knows. For three hundred years, the land known as the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade, which protects the townsfolk from the Deadlands beyond.
But day by day, the Shade weakens.
Only one thing can stop the Shade’s fall: a mortal woman taken captive across the barrier, bound in wedlock to the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands. He is the North Wind, the Frost King, an immortal whose heart is said to be as frigid as the land he rules.
And the time has come for the Frost King to choose his bride.
The North Wind is a standalone, enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance, the first in a series sprinkled with Greek lore. Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Laura Thalassa, and Scarlett St. Clair.
Rating: 3.5 stars
CW: alcoholism, torture
This book reads like a really good first or second draft that needs a dev editor to go through and point out where the rough edges need to be smoothed out. The bones are really REALLY excellent, the story itself is great, but it’s just not fully realized. It’s like a raw crystal that just needs to be polished to really shine.
Timing/timelines are all over the place. One day a certain journey takes the full day, another time it can be made there and back in the span of an evening. There are all also some weird word choices or where a verb is suddenly past tense that should have been caught in editing. I read an e-galley so maybe they have been/will be fixed before final publication.
I sometimes liked Wren, and sometimes wanted to slap here. It felt like a lot fondue drama was manufactured by Wren being a character that is so torn between two extremes that sometimes it felt like she was giving me whiplash. I really like the dynamic between Boreas and Wren most of the time, with a little bit of a will they/won’t they enemies to lovers vibe. And there was definitely the amount of romance I was hoping for from a book I expected to be a fantasy romance!
The author made some writing choices that had me making the WTF girl meme face. You know the one.
Why you gonna throw a freaking party when your castle is potentially under siege and MAKE YOUR SISTER COME TO IT WITHOUT ANY PROTECTION? And then abandon her. In a castle full of specters. To go kill/bang your husband.
“Darkwalkers travel in small groups of 5 or 6, not more than 10 or else there’s in-fighting.” Three scenes later, there’s a group of at least 20 of them. You’d think that previous dialogue would be some foreshadowing… but nope. No. Just another random embellishment inserted that created plot inconsistencies and should just have been left out. There are a lot of these, and this is why a good editor is important.
Still, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next book, which is about the West Wind. I’m hoping we get to meet some of the other brothers!
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.