Book Review: The Winter King, by Christine Cohen

This book looked delightfully scary. (For those of you who know me, I’m a sucker for cover art, I’m a massive chicken, and one of my sisters likes scary things.) So I picked it up, under the impression it was a dark fantasy novel that might be something scary enough for her tastes, but something I could handle. (It was in the kids’ section of the library, for crying out loud…)

Whether I was right or wrong, I’ll leave you to decide.

This story centers around Cora, a girl who lives in a village forever trapped by the rules and dictates of a wrathful god: the Winter King. Under his law, the people waste away, and Cora’s family, in particular. Since her father’s death, years ago, their family’s been pariahs— outcasts, due to the High Aldorman’s declaration of their being cursed by the Winter King.

I don’t want to spoil this book for you, as I enjoyed it greatly and hope you’ll read it yourself some day; so I’ll just tell you that Cora was real; her choices are ones that any of us would make. Her struggles, doubts, and fears were excellently crafted, and the worldbuilding only gave a lush background to such well-crafted (I deliberately do not say “characters”) people. The plot was engaging enough that I ruined dinner while reading it and was relatively unconcerned with it. (As I am a foodie, this is either an alarm bell or an excellent book recommendation.) There is also beautiful and powerful messages about self-sacrifice and love within the story, layer upon layer, in a gorgeous allegory.

The whole thing wove together into a tapestry that I am loath to return to the library, and will be searching for a copy of to keep.

For parental warnings: People die from a mysterious illness. There is a scary chase scene with what appear to be frost zombies. There is some mild gore; someone is beaten and animals are sacrificed in this world, though they don’t linger on it too long. There are 2 kisses that I recall, one villain drinks to drunkenness, and it is implied that this same villain takes advantage of women. I would recommend it for 12 and up, though if you want to read it as a group, I believe that it would entertain, educate, and make for excellent discussion even with readers as young as eight.

In summary: read this. It’s not a book to miss!

Word count for the week: 768 words, a small chunk of editing, BUT most of my work was outlining and such for the Writer Games Trials… which was helpful for sharpening some ideas in the quiver. The Trials have been lengthened until the 25th, so I’ll end up updating you a little later than planned…

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Winter King, by Christine Cohen

  1. Oh goodness, I LOVED this book. It shot up into my top ten—probably top three, honestly—immediately after reading it, and it made me cry so so much at the end. Glad to read this review! 😀
    Christine Cohen has another book out called The Sunken City, in case that interests you. I haven’t read it, but I want to.

    Liked by 1 person

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