by Sharon Tucker
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of A Girl in White Winter. We also have a link to purchase the book from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
How pleasant it is to spend a bit of time in a world without our 21st century distractions of social media, IT, traffic jams, and cell phones. Welcome back to the medieval world of Barb Hendee’s Dark Glass fantasies. A Girl of White Winter (2018), reacquaints readers with the enchanted triple mirror of Through a Dark Glass (Jan. 2018) and A Choice of Crowns (Feb. 2018). As we remember, the mirror became enchanted by a witch whose powers were so ill-used by her vain overlord that she contrived a spell to escape his servitude and to trap him inside the mirror. Alas, her plans went awry—instead she found herself trapped in it, but the spirit of the mirror assured the witch that together they would right the vain lord’s wrongs by offering querrants faced with an impossible decision three possible outcomes to their dilemma.
Our protagonist in A Girl of White Winter is Kara, a striking beauty with no status in the traditional sense. Although she has been nurtured, cloistered, and educated by the lady of her house, her grandmother, she is illegitimate and therefore fair game to the unscrupulous. She has escaped the scrutiny of strangers until this novel begins. To her horror, and that of her grandmother, she was to be part of a land deal—her grandfather would pay less for a coveted section of land if she were part of the bargain. Despite the pleas of both women, neither of them had any say in the matter. Thus begins a remarkable and frightening journey for a girl who has never left the safety of her home’s inner courtyard or even ridden a horse.
Kara had no time to adjust to her predicament since she and her new protectors set off the next morning. As they travel throughout that day, she must face the fact she has become chattel to a lord whose every look is terrifying to her. However, before her captors can stop for the night to make camp, thieves set upon the travelers. The thieves disable her captors, steal both their wagons and baggage, and spirit her away to their robbers’ roost high on a wooded plateau.
In no time, Kara finds her new captors give her three options to consider, she who has never had any choice at all regarding her life. Should she remain in the relative safety of the outlaws’ camp? Should she try to escape, striking out on her own to find her way back to the only home she has ever known? Should she wait to discover what fate the leader of the bandits who took her has in mind? Before she can make any decision, the air near her shimmers and an elegant pewter trimmed mirror with three panes materializes. Within one of the three panes, an unsmiling woman in black offers Kara the gift of seeing her three possible fates played out in the three sections of the mirror. She can choose and live through the consequences of each.
Startling as the events were that set Kara’s journey in motion, is it not fortunate that she finally had a chance to live a different kind of life? Was her choice wise at the novel’s end? Each reader will decide after sharing Kara’s experiences then look forward to the next Dark Mirror novel in the series.
You can find more fantasy reviews in out Fantasy and Fangs section.
To enter to win a copy of A Girl in White Winter, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “white winter,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 29, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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