Today, I bring you the review of the third Journey of a series I’ve been following with growing interest. If you haven’t, yet, I hope you give it a try. And you don’t need to be all-out fantasy fans to enjoy it. I am not.
Dead of Winter: Journey 3, The Fever Field by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
The Fever Field is burial ground that is far older than the inhabitants of the Flowing Lands realize. We first saw it in the prologue of Journey 1, Forlorn Peak. Now we learn more about the place where ancient evil was buried and forgotten, until that moment in the prologue when it broke free.
On the cover of Journey 3, The Fever Field, Emlyn has turned to look toward Zasha. Much of this third installment is told from Zasha’s point of view. We’ll get better acquainted with the sisters in the Society of Deae Matres who traveled with Zasha. Also, we meet a tall, intriguing north-man and the most mysterious adherent of the Deae Matres.
The youngest of all the Society, Zasha encounters some resistance from the other sisters traveling with her. She also runs into trouble of her own.
Meanwhile, Emlyn’s uncertain situation with her family combines with the threat posed by the Brethren of Un’Naf. What is the greater danger, her loved ones, or the fanatics? In Journey 3, Emlyn’s circumstances reach a tipping point. There seems to be no good choice for her. How can she survive?
About the author:
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.
Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.
Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.
Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. www.teagansbooks.com
Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.
See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?
I received an ARC copy of this instalment of the serial, which I freely chose to review.
I’ve been following Dead of Winter since its first journey, and despite my usual reluctance to commit to series or long-winded sagas, I’ve been surprised by how quickly it has grabbed my attention and how easy it is to adapt to the format. The length of each journey is such that it gives readers an opportunity to re-engage with the characters and learn more about them, while at the same time moving forward with the adventures and the overall story. The author’s skill is evident in the way she chooses where to pause the story —always managing to give us a sense of completion while leaving us with unanswered questions— and also in her inclusion of a list of characters and settings which allows readers to get their bearings quickly if they have taken a long break in between reading the different journeys.
As per this specific journey… Well, I’ll try not to reveal any spoilers, but I can say that Emlyn is faced with her worst fears; she discovers (as do we) that her gifts/powers go beyond what she had realised until now; her hopes and dreams become real in more ways than one, and she makes some new acquaintances (and I won’t say anything else).
We also learn more about the Deæ Matres, especially from Zasha’s point of view, and realise that not everything is harmony and good cheer. Although it is not surprising, as this group of women come from different regions, cultures, and have been brought up in different traditions, we get to experience some of the tensions, doubts, and to have a peek behind the united front they offer to the outside world.
Magic and mystery are at the heart of this journey, and we get some intriguing clues about objects and characters that have made flitting appearances before but haven’t quite come to the fore yet. We also learn about some of the beliefs and the layers of existence in this universe. The plot thickens, indeed, and the 4th Journey promises to bring even more revelations and eerie happenings.
I also wanted to highlight the quality of the writing. The third person narration from the main characters’ point of view (Emlyn and Zasha in this journey) allows us to witness their internal thoughts and feel closer to the protagonists, while at the same time offering us beautiful (but succinct) descriptions of settings, objects, and people. We also get to experience the feelings, doubts, worries, and sense of wonder they live through.
I can’t but recommend this journey and, of course, remind everybody this is a serial that must be read in the right order. So, if you haven’t started on the Dead of Winter journey yet, do yourself a favour, and get going. And remember, Winter is Coming.
Thanks to the author for keeping the momentum going, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to stay safe, and to keep smiling, reading, reviewing, and hoping. Big hugs!