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Review: Heart of the Winterland By Kristen Kooistra

HotWThe Princess
On her 200th birthday, the enchantment that holds Princess Calisandra in a state of apathy breaks. Full of questions about her kingdom’s history and what lies outside the borders of her snow-cursed kingdom, she leaves home in search of answers.

The Sorceress
Fate has always been against Amee. Orphaned as a baby, she grew up with darkness snuffing out what little light she could find in her life. When her spirit breaks, she sequesters herself in the border forest. Powerful and angry, she waits …

The Guardian
An orb formed to protect Cali, Voice has never had a purpose beyond caring for the princess’s needs. But as she joins Cali on her journey and the spell that confined her breaks, she starts to wonder about her place in the world.

The Captain
Captain Kota, in forced exile from her homeland, swears that never again will she be powerless. Ascending the ranks of the Shayal guard, her latest mission is to find the one who has escaped Duke Bludgaard.

The Fugitive
A desperate search has brought Angel far from her home, but now Captain Kota’s relentless pursuit keeps her from her task. When she crosses paths with a naïve princess and a sage orb, she finds more than she anticipated.

~*~*~*~

My Review:

Rating: 5 Stars

A fantastic story with gripping characters!

I just finished reading Winterland and am already itching to read the next book. I loved everything about this novel – the story, the characters, the plot twists and the amazing way Ms. Kooistra has weaved the back-story with the present.

Heart of the Winterland takes us through a magical journey with Princess Cali who wakes up after 200 years with new emotions that bombard her senses as the dampening spell cast upon her weakens. She leaves her home, Trabor, which is cursed to be a land of eternal winter to go on an adventure to meet other humans outside her borders.

Ms. Kooistra has done a fantastic job of showing us the range of emotions Cali feels as she meets different people on her journey and how she evolves from a child-like, innocent princess to become a queen who’ll lead Trabor into the future.

Cali and her guardian (the magical orb, Voice) meet various people along the way – the mysterious fugitive Angel, Captain Kota, Rose and others who help Cali to become the queen she is meant to be.

But of all the characters, my favorite is Amee, the dark sorceress who took revenge on the royal family of Trabor. Ha ha! You heard me right 🙂 I love the antagonist of the story too. That says a lot about Ms. Kooistra’s talent in writing gripping characters. From the first moment I met Amee, I connected to her, felt all her pain and rooted for her.

And that’s one of the things that really touched me about Winterland. It shows throughout the story that no one is completely evil. Everyone is shaped to be who they are because of things that happened in the past and, if they’re given a second chance, they can come out of the trap of negativity they are in and find their path.

All in all, I really loved reading this novel and would recommend this for all lovers of fairy tale, fantasy adventures and magical worlds.