The Fantasy Book That Had Me Frolicking Around My Apartment

The Winter KingThe Winter King by C.L. Wilson
Series: Weathermages of Mystral #1
Published by: Avon on July 29, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Romance
Pages: 608
Source: Purchased
Book Details
Rating: ★★★★★

After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.

Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom—and her first taste of overwhelming passion.

As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion—she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.


You might disagree (different strokes for different folks), but I think it looks like a cheesy, soap opera historical romance.

Had I come across this book on my own, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I wouldn’t have bought it. I probably never would have even read the synopsis. The book cover—to me—screams, “not my kind of book.”

But I decided to pick up The Winter King when someone recommended it to fans of A Promise of Fire, which I ADORED beyond all measure. So without even taking much time to absorb the cover art, I bought The Winter King. turns out, I loved The Winter King even more than A Promise of Fire.

A detailed fantasy world with an earth-shattering romance

That was exactly what I was in the mood for before picking up The Winter King. I wanted a romance that was all consuming—the kind that shatters worlds, and starts wars, and has people scouring the edges of the Earth.

The Winter King had that and so much more.

The book hooked me straight away, but it was the last half that had me reading each word with tears in my eyes (constantly shifting from happy to sad tears).

It was like binge reading a series

At over 600 pages, The Winter King is long. But not too long. It never dragged on. Instead, I felt like I was binge reading an entire series in one sitting, but without the annoying cliffhangers and breaks in between. There was that much action, adventure, and conflict. The epicness just kept coming and coming and I never wanted it to end.

There was an incredible, detailed world; interesting history; conflicts between kingdoms; heart-wrenching family problems; an earth-shattering romance; and so much more. There was a purpose to the length and it completely sucked me in.

On top of it all, every single character was perfect.


The main character, Khamsin, was one of the most kick-ass characters I’ve read, and not just because of her storm magic. She’s brave, stubborn, and commanding. She had fear, but she also had the courage to suck it up and do scary shit anyway. I found myself wishing I was more like her.

I seriously don’t even have the words to convey how much I adored this book.

  • It kept me up at night.
  • It had me reading first thing in the morning.
  • I had my book propped up while I ate so I could read during meals.
  • It sent me twirling and frolicking around my apartment in excitement.

I so much wanted the universe to be real. I wanted to slip into it and find a home in the cold, icy Wintercraig.

The Verdict


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    1. I hope so too Lory. 🙂 I already convinced one other blogger to read it and she loved it so much!! So that makes me happy. ♥

  1. YAAAASSSS! I loved this book! I read it before it published two years ago, and I remember pushing it on literally every single romance blogger and reader I knew. And I remember most of them coming back to me saying “OMG ALYSSA THANK YOU FOR RECOMMENDING THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT WAS PERFECT AND I WOULD HAVE PASSED IT STRAIGHT OTHERWISE BECAUSE THE COVER IS EHHH.” 😀 I’ve been waiting for The Sea King for over two years now… it keeps getting pushed back. :/ Now it is indefinite in terms of pub date! Let’s all pray together and hope that Ms. Wilson will get some creative juices flowing! =)

    I’m so glad you loved this book, Ashley! This one and more recently, A Promise of Fire (which I know you loved!) are my two favorite adult fantasy romance novels. So so so so perfect!!!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Yessss! Seriously! How can we get the word out? This book demands to be placed on a freakin’ pedastal!

      My understanding is that the author has had health issues, which is why the publication date keeps getting pushed back. 🙁 I hope she’s doing okay!

      I’ve started reading her other series (Tairen Soul) and it’s just as good!!

    1. Oh Jennifer I think you’ll adore this!! And I apologize to your bank account, but I’m on book #2 of her other series, Tairen Soul, and it’s equally amazing.

      Wilson is officially my favourite author.

    1. I’m so glad you’re going to give it a chance!

      If I saw this on another person’s blog I fear I would have tabbed out as soon as I saw the cover too.

    1. Haha well I should warn you that there are at least two detailed sex scenes so it is a smidge lusty. 😉 But the cover seriously doesn’t do the book justice.

  2. Okay, if I wasn’t broke as a joke I would have literally clicked off of this review and went straight to any book website to buy this book. The way you describe it, it sounds a lot like my all time fave Adult HF series, The Wayfarer Redemption. And I’ve always craved to find something similar but have never been able to. It’s a damn shame that my library doesn’t have this book, because after your review I neeeeed it!!! I will definitely be ordering it asap 🙂

    1. Ohh I haven’t heard of The Wayfarer Redemption! I’ll have to look that up. 🙂 I’m starting to run out of Wilson books to read (only 2 left!) and I have no idea what I’ll do with my life when I’m done. X_X

  3. After reading this review I am all over wanting to read this book. I am used to awful covers for books now and whilst this one is a bit offputting, it isn’t enough to drive me away. But your review! Hot damn, who don’t I own this book already. it sounds like it ticks all the boxes for things I want in a book and I most definitely want it now.

    Thank you for reviewing a book I probably would have ignored completely otherwise.

    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: The Rose & The Dagger // The Perfect Ending To A Story I Loved
    1. I hope you adore the book, Becky!! I’m forever grateful to the blogger who brought this book to my attention. C.L. Wilson has quickly become my all time favourite author!

  4. Thanks so much for such a lovely review. I’m absolutely thrilled you enjoyed THE WINTER KING so much, and thanks for the terrific review and recommend. I hope to have news on THE SEA KING soon.

    C.L. Wilson recently posted: Update on SEA KING
    1. I look forward to the update!! 🙂 In the meantime I’m keeping myself busy with the Tairen Soul series. I’m already on book #4 and loving it! I have no idea what I’ll do when I run out of books!

  5. I think it looks like a cheesy, soap opera historical romance too lol though, I have no issue with those type of books. I kind of love them 🙂
    Wow, such high praise from you! Guess I have to add this to my tbr now!

    1. YESSS!! I’m so glad to hear that!!

      I read her Tairen Soul series immediately after and it’s JUST AS GOOD!!

  6. Ha ha, yeah I thought the same thing about the cover. This type of cover typically sends me running in the opposite direction. I know we’ve all been told to never read a book by it’s cover, but I always do.

    1. Yeah I can’t help but judge books by their covers as well. I’m so glad someone recommended this book to me, which allowed me to look past the cover! Otherwise I fear I may never have picked it up.

  7. Yeah the cover throws me as well, but with your review it has me totally hooked, thanks! I am reading Ajax Minor’s book Sun Valley Moon Mountains, a great fantasy on loss and the search for a loved one. I need to finish it and get to this one, I love to frolick!!

  8. OMG FINALLY! It’s so hard to find people that have read this book and the cover is to be blamed for it (seriously this is the #1 cover that doesn’t help sales AT. ALL.!). When I read The Winter Kind I wanted to scream, I couldn’t believe I had found THE BOOK. I’m so in love with it and I keep checking for updates on The Sea King, fingers crossed!

    Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews recently posted: Moonshot by Alessandra Torre
    1. YESSSS! I can’t believe more people haven’t read this!

      Have you read Tairen Soul? I read that series immediately after this one and it’s FAAABULOUS!

  9. Just put a hold of it at the library-opted for the Kindle version though so I didn’t have to carry a book around with that ‘lovely’ cover hehe. My all time favorite series also has hideous covers (Kate Daniels), so maybe the uglier the cover the better the book lol 🙂

    1. I definitely wish I wasn’t so judgemental when it came to book covers. It scares me to think of the awesome books I might be missing out on because of first impressions!

  10. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for this review. I would never in a million years given this book a chance! Yet because of you, I am so glad I did!

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