Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog DEAD OF WINTER: JOURNEY 14, THE VEIL by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene). All is well that ends well. A fitting ending to a totally immersive journey

Hi all:

I promised recently that I’d bring you the review of the last journey in Dead of Winter pretty soon, and here it is. What an ending!

Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

From the very beginning, a prophecy from a creepy voice threaded throughout this story. “Winter is coming!” it warned. As the Journeys progressed, we became aware of additional related prophesies like one of the “lost white brother” and “the frozen sands.” Both of those are touched on in this concluding novella.

Other threads from the previous thirteen Journeys also come together in this volume, which concludes Dead of Winter.

As many readers said they don’t want these Journeys to end, in the final chapter, I added hints about potential future adventures for many of the characters. These are food for the imagination of readers, so that the story can continue in the mind.

This has been as much of a “journey” for me as it was for Emlyn. I’ve seen truths about myself along the way. Perhaps the same applies to you.

“Who can say? What is true for us? That with which we are born? Or that which is the manifestation of our heart and soul? I like who and what I am, as well as the way I see the world I see around me, when I am a dragon.”

Thank you for being an important part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter.
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Universal Purchase Links for Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil

Journey 14, The Veil

Kindle:  relinks.me/B0B41FF3FX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0B3RVHG1S

Author Teagan Geneviene

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. http://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?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

My review:

It is with some mixed feelings that I write this review. Not about this journey or Dead of Winter, of course. No need to worry. The ending is everything I could have hoped for, and even more. But, after a year and a half of following Emlyn (and the rest of the characters) in their adventures, it feels very strange to get to the end. No matter how well it all works and how fitting the ending is, knowing that I don’t have more journeys to look forward to makes me a bit sad. At a time when reality proved dire and challenging, Dead of Winter gave us something to look forward to: excitement, adventures, magic, friendship, legends, wisdom, risk, evil, courage, and faraway worlds that sometimes felt very close. So, yes, I’ll miss all that.

Thankfully, the author not only offers us a very satisfying closure (I won’t go into any details, don’t worry), but she also hints at things to come. As she explains in the description, these hints will help us all continue the adventures of our favourite characters in our imaginations, and we won’t be left so bereft.

As I don’t want to talk about the plot, or about the future that awaits the characters either, I will mention some of the things that I most enjoyed about this final journey.

Emlyn is the protagonist, as she should be, but despite her misgivings, she is not alone. It is great to see her be both, bold and timid, fearful and fearless, determined and full of self-doubt. Despite how far she has come, Emlyn is only twelve years old, and although she is not exactly the typical moody and unruly teenager, she still wants to do things her own way and act like a grown-up, while at the same time feeling that she is not good enough to do what is expected of her. But she is so generous that she forgets all her doubts when one of her friends is in danger, and… Well, I won’t share any specifics, but you probably know what I mean.

I enjoyed the fact that many of the characters we have met throughout these journeys make an appearance, and some of the questions that we’ve been thinking about and also a few matters pending are revisited and solved. We get to see more of the goddesses and their particular sense of justice and morality, and I chuckled at some of the tricks they play on each other (and smiled at some of the synergies and connections between goddesses and humans).

There are action scenes aplenty, there are wonderful settings, and marvellous events, there are surprising discoveries as well, and rather than an ending, this feels like the beginning of a much longer journey, for Emlyn, her friends, and allies.

If you have read the rest of the series, don’t delay and read this one. I understand your possible reluctance, but it will leave you with a happy smile on your face. And if you haven’t, remember to read it in the right order. If you are starting the journey now, I envy you a bit. But, it has been an unforgettable reading experience, and I’m sure the characters will remain with me. Congratulations to the author, and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future, in whichever genre she chooses.

 Here I leave you the link to the previous journeys, in case you’ve missed any.

DEAD OF WINTER — THE PREVIOUS JOURNEYS

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 13, The Harbor

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09TN3NDX1

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09TN1F58B

Journey 12, Goddesses

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09P5LJY13

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09NTTZ9J8

Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09M7Q19XT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09M4QWDYK

Journey 10, Pergesca

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09J6TH8TD

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09J7GFWYV

Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09F8Y5DML

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09F1BB9RW

Journey 8, The Lost Library

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09C6MPTYT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09C34XR7P

Journey 7, Revenant Pass

Kindle:  relinks.me/B098MS8P48

Paperback:  relinks.me/B098GV1G5V

Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

Kindle:  relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Paperback: relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09431TD6G

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0942KC471

Journey 4, The Old Road

Kindle:  relinks.me/B092G5LB7R

Paperback:  relinks.me/B092M51Y88

Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08VMNSF97

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08VLMR2KD

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

I share the link to a recent interview with the author by Pat at e-Quips, because I found it fascinating, and I am sure you will as well.

https://equipsblog.wordpress.com/2022/06/18/author-interview-with-teagan-r-geneviene/

Thanks to the author for taking us on this journey, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, click, review, and always keep smiling. Big hugs!

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog Dead of Winter: Journey 13, The Harbor by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Old friends, strong enemies, wonders, worries and only one journey left #fantasy

Hi, all:

I bring you the last but one Journey of Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s Dead of Winter. And the author has shared that she has finished the last journey, so I will bring you that one pretty soon, I am sure, as I can’t wait to know what happens!

Dead of Winter: Journey 13, The Harbor by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 13, The Harbor by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

A great battle begins. Action abounds as many threads are drawn together. Arawn has amassed overwhelming legions of the dead. Another unexpected but powerful foe comes into the battle. All of Emlyn’s companions and friends are in grave danger as they face insurmountable odds. Two goddesses could even the odds, but gods and goddesses are known to be unreliable. Will they help? Or will they do more harm than good?

Meanwhile the goal of the Society of Deae Matres is to re-create the Binding to again trap Arawn and any other nightwalkers in the Realm of the Dead. Yet, what about Boabhan and Lucetius? Boabhan is at least half nightwalker. Lucetius, her son, was conceived when Arawn violated her while attempting to turn her. Will they be trapped in a new Binding along with their worst enemy? This is revealed in Journey 13.

Come, be a part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter.

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09TN3NDX1

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09TN1F58B

Author Teagan Geneviene

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. http://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?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

My review:

I’ve been following this novel, which the author decided to publish using the serial format, from the first journey. And now that there is only one more instalment left, I can honestly say it has been quite the journey. The author decided to divide the book up into Journeys, transforming the original novel to make it more compatible with the serialisation, and adding extra materials and new scenes as she went along. Journey is the perfect word for each one of these gems, not only because the characters visit many locations in the fantastic universe created by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, but also because Emlyn, the main protagonist, undergoes quite a transformative experience, and an emotional journey that takes her from childhood to adulthood (almost), and transforms her from a shy, quiet, ignored and forgotten girl, into an independent, brave, and determined young woman, one with skills, powers, and abilities beyond anything she could have ever dreamed.

In this particular journey, there are quite a few surprises. We have interesting asides about Gods, Goddesses, (with their suspect morals and as many vices as they have virtues), and their behaviour towards human beings. Some of the most fascinating characters we have met throughout the previous journeys make an appearance here, bringing with them allies and forces to help fight the war, although that is not without its added complications. How will they all interact with each other, and how invested they will be in the future of the inhabitants of the world? Will their own hatreds and their wish for revenge blind them to what might be best for Emlyn and her friends? Can the past be repeated, and if it can, should it be, when the consequences might be devastating for some?

While the “adults” make plans, Emlyn has a chance to reflect and wonder what the consequences of those plans might be. Although she still has doubts about her own skills and the role she has to play, many of those fantastical beings who come to their aid see her differently from her travelling companions, trust her and shower her with compliments and accolades. They believe in her and know her fate is linked to that of her world.

Hesitant still, but emboldened by the confidence some very important players have placed on her and worried about the fate of one of her friends, she sets off on one more journey, aware of the risks, but determined to play a part and not be left behind.

The journey ends up on quite a cliffhanger, although at this stage of the story, doing otherwise would be almost impossible.

I enjoyed everything: being reacquainted with some of my favourite characters from previous journeys; learning more about the past and about how the goddesses, the Deae Matres, the dead kings, and the many wondrous creatures get on with each other, and what their relationships, alliances, and disagreements are like; seeing Emlyn having a few moments with some of her friends and thinking about the future; seeing her figure out things that others (older and more experienced) have missed, and getting an opportunity to observe the tactical moves of both parties and how the war evolves.

Another unmissable chapter, once again enhanced by the beautiful writing, the powers of description and observation of the author, and her inclusion of a cast of locations and characters at the end.

As always, I recommend it to anybody who enjoys coming of age stories, especially those with a taste for fantasy, whimsy, wonderful and highly imaginative writing, and characters and creatures you’re unlikely to forget.

To fully enjoy the experience, the journeys should be read in the right order, and to make that easy for everybody, I include the universal links to all the previous journeys as well.

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 12, Goddesses

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09P5LJY13

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09NTTZ9J8

Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09M7Q19XT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09M4QWDYK

Journey 10, Pergesca

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09J6TH8TD

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09J7GFWYV

Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09F8Y5DML

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09F1BB9RW

Journey 8, The Lost Library

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09C6MPTYT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09C34XR7P

Journey 7, Revenant Pass

Kindle:  relinks.me/B098MS8P48

Paperback:  relinks.me/B098GV1G5V

Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

Kindle:  relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Paperback: relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09431TD6G

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0942KC471

Journey 4, The Old Road

Kindle:  relinks.me/B092G5LB7R

Paperback:  relinks.me/B092M51Y88

Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08VMNSF97

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08VLMR2KD

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Thanks to the author for this serial that has kept us on our toes, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, and keep smiling and safe!

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog DEAD OF WINTER: JOURNEY 11, The Sumelazon Escarpment and JOURNEY 12, Goddesses by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Wonderful new characters and a dark threat closing in #fantasy #bookreview

Hi all:

I’m not going to try to introduce the reviews of the two next journeys in the popular series Dead of Winter. Those who read my blog regularly know I’ve been following it for a year now, so, without further ado…

Author Teagan Geneviene

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. http://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?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

Dead of Winter: Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment. 

Meet a new character in this Journey of Dead of Winter. She is a Deae Matres whose encounter with Gethin Gwilym has an unexpected result. Next in Pergesca, we get better acquainted with a noblewoman or a “HaDritak,” who is an old friend of Zasha. She has a few tricks up her sleeves.

 Emlyn sees and experiences places, customs, and foods that are foreign to her. One of her gifts is growing.

 As the conclusion of Emlyn’s “Journeys” draws near, we see that our heroes are underdogs. They are out-manned, “out-spirited,” and under-powered — physically, magically, and politically. With no other recourse, they make use of deception and manipulation. Although, how can that possibly be enough?
Universal Purchase Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09M7Q19XT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09M4QWDYK

My review:

What to say? Teagan Geneviene has managed to hook a non-high-fantasy reader like me, into this story, which I have followed since the first instalment, and now I have been reading it for over a year. The fact that it is divided up into short and manageable bits, and that it builds up slowly without dumping huge doses of backstory and never-ending descriptions of complex worlds into the readers laps, demanding absolute attention and devotion, has helped me stay the course so far, and I have to admit that I will miss it when it is over (and I know the end is approaching).

For those readers who might leave some time between one instalment (or Journey) and the next, the author includes a cast of characters and locations at the end, which is continuously updated with all the new information, and allows us to catch up or refresh our memories of what went before.

Although the central character and main protagonist of the story is Emlyn, we get the opportunity to see the world from some of the other characters’ perspectives as well, and in this journey —which is one of those where we get a chance to catch our breath, digest what has come before and get ready for what is to come— we meet some new characters as well.

A Deae Matres from ancient times finds one of the male characters (Gethin), tells him a few things aboout himself and his ancestors, and brings him a magical object as well. History is never quite past and gone in this story, and destiny, fate, family lines and legacy all play fundamental roles in the events.

Zasha comes into her own and shows us (and Emlyn and Osabide) that she has learned a lot about the inner workings of her world and the Deae Matres Society. HaDritak Baki, a friend of Zasha’s, is quickly becoming a new favourite of mine (she is a character!), and Lucetius, one of the most fascinating beings in a story full of them, comes back and proves that Emlyn was right in her feelings about being somehow connected to him. We meet a military man as well (and I do like him already), and Emlyn and Luce manage to do something quite extraordinary.

As I don’t want to spoil the story, I won’t give you any further details, but if I had to highlight something from this chapter, it would have to be the richness of the language and the beautiful descriptions of places, smells, foods, and most of all, clothes, which play a very important part in this Journey, especially for Emlyn. Oh, and there are some surprises in store about the Deae Matres Society, their membership, and their politics.

So, yes, don’t hesitate if you’ve already been following Dead of Winter and carry on reading it. The story keeps getting better and better and this journey is proof of that. If you haven´t started yet, you should, but do it in the right order, and begin reading Journey one immediately. You won’t regret it.

Dead of Winter: Journey 12, Goddesses by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 12, Goddesses by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene  

So far in previous Journeys of “Dead of Winter,” we’ve encountered villagers and city folk, religions, armies, and societies. We learned of terrifying beasts, nightwalkers, and the enigmatic Listeners. The final battle is at hand. Journey 12, brings us yet another type of extraordinary being – goddesses. Yet are they salvation? Or another complication… or even a threat.

Universal Purchase Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09P5LJY13

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09NTTZ9J8

My review:

You know you are hooked onto a series when you see or hear something and you wonder what the characters would say, see a piece of clothing and it reminds you of a dress one of them wears, or think about what might be happening there even when you are not reading it. And that is definitely what is happening to me with this series. I was watching TV and some of the things I saw in the news made me wonder what the Brethern of Un’Naf would have said if they had seen it, and I am sure I often stare at people because they remind me of one of the characters in Dead of Winter. Irrespective of the genre and how often you read it, if the story and the characters become alive for you and you care for them, you’ve found a new favourite.

I don’t want to reveal too much of the story for those who haven’t been following the series (you need to read the journeys in the right order, as the story builds up as it goes, and each journey is carefully designed to fit in neatly into the overall narrative), but things are coming to a head. Winter is no longer coming. It is here with a vengeance.

In this particular journey, as the blurb suggests, we have new beings that make an appearance, and it seems that they will play a big part in the events to come, at least some of them. The Goddesses of the title appear in the prologue already, and their magic spreads throughout the journey, where we also renew our acquaintance with other characters and get to see what is happening elsewhere, back where the first journey started.

Emlyn is happy to be joined again by a character she has become very fond of (sometimes the families we create are a much better fit than the ones we happen to be born into, as is the case here), and she even wonders about a possible romance (no, not for her, don’t fret); there are apologies and we get a new understanding of some past events, and other characters we have met before come bearing information and warnings.

I thoroughly enjoyed this journey, but some of the highlights for me were: the opportunity to see Emlyn become more independent, daring, and introspective; the way some characters got a chance to learn about new inventions and build up their knowledge by sharing it with others; our new insight into the feelings of one of the male characters (I am sure I wasn’t the only one wondering about this); the opportunity to learn a bit more about the World of the Dead and how thing work there; and especially the joy, playfulness, and sense of humour of one of the beings that comes into the story and makes quite an impression. Yes, she is a Goddess, and I love her already. Well, being a Goddess, I guess I adore her.

Although I haven’t been sharing samples, to avoid spoilers, I couldn’t resist including this one, because it made me laugh, and it shows how much more relaxed and at home Emlyn is now.

Here, Emlyn is talking about a character she met before, who suddenly turns up again:

She was the picture of everything Emlyn had always imagined a well-to-do young lady should be. Well, except of course for being dead.

We are coming close to the (final?) battle, and the preparations are in haste, so I recommend anybody who enjoys creative stories, wonderful characters, and colour worlds and hasn’t yet started reading this series to start now, as I’m sure you’ll want to be ready for the ending, which I have the feeling will be quite spectacular. I can’t wait, although, at the same time, I don’t want it to end. I’m sure you know what I mean.

Thanks to the author for these journeys, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to stay safe and take care, to keep smiling and reading, and to enjoy every minute. 

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog Dead of Winter: Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls and Dead of Winter: Journey 6, The Fluting Fell by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Things keep getting intriguing, dangerous and wondrous #fantasy

Hi all:

I bring you the review of the next two installments in the Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s serial Dead of Winter. The author has shared that we’re more or less halfway through, and I’m happy there’s much more to come yet, although the story is getting to a point where many of the strands seem to be coming together, although there is much we don’t know yet.

Here they come.

Dead-of-Winter-Journey-5.-Llyn-Pistyll-Falls-by-Teagan-Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

The titular dead of Winter begin this Journey in a collection of vignettes. The Veil separating the world of the living and the Realm of the Dead has indeed become thin. As feared the dead begin to enter the Realm of the Living. Small outbreaks of chaos are scattered across the world as spirits try to resume their old lives.

Also in those shorts, two characters are introduced who will come back into the story in future Journeys — Gregorios, and Mairead who recalls the circumstance that brought Zasha and Tajín together. The spirits also visit some characters from past Journeys.

Emlyn and company encounter the King of Hell, and this time, Arawn is not in a dream-like netherworld.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09431TD6G/

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B09431TD6G/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09431TD6G/

Dead of Winter Journey 6. The Fluling Fell by Teagan Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 6, The Fluting Fell by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Emlyn’s story continues in Journey 6, The Fluting Fell. She gains tragic insight into Boabhan… horrifying things that she is too young to know. This event also shows an unexpected softer side to another character.

The travelers reach an abandoned estate, Wych Elm Manor, although it is not completely unoccupied. It yields answers as well as questions. Emlyn finds clues that lead them farther into their journey. She also meets the silvery-haired young man again.

The travelers have put some distance between themselves and the Brethren of Un’Naf, but do even worse dangers await them? Danger deepens when they take refuge in a mysterious structure.

Come, be a part of the Journeys of “Dead of Winter.”

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B096CMTPVP/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B096CMTPVP/

https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B096CMTPVP/

Author Teagan Geneviene

 

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?

My reviews:

I’ve been following the serial Dead of Winter from its first instalment; I have read many of the author’s novels, and I also follow her blog, so I didn’t hesitate when she started publishing this serial, even though I am not a regular reader of fantasy. She has a great imagination, can make the most fabulous scenarios and characters come alive, and she knows how to keep her audience captive, as she has proved week after week when she weaves her tales in her blog, even managing to include in the stories elements that her regular readers contribute. So, I’m not surprised to love this story and to have become hooked on it from the very beginning.

Journey 5 is slightly different from the others, as, although we get to hear (or see) from Haldis, the Watcher, as usual (although she knows many things, she does not remember everything, and her process of rediscovering her memories mirrors Emlyn’s learning, while also guiding and intriguing us at once), we also get to witness with her some episodes that clearly demonstrate what the Deae Matres and Emlyn have suspected for a while, that the veil between the living and the dead has definitely been breached. New characters are introduced, that we are told will appear again, and I am eager to see what happens to them in the future, in particular one of the Deae Matres. And, while the dead might bring comfort and advice to some, to others they provide a terrifying and amply-deserved warning (yes, I’m thinking about you, Elder Pwyll).

And then we follow Emlyn’s journey with the Deae Matres; she realises she is being taught many lessons by all the women; and she starts making personal connections and friends with some of them as well, discovering fascinating affinities between herself and these women and learning about some of their wondrous powers.

We get to know more about these incredible women, we travel with them to vividly and wonderfully described places, we hear about distant lands and traditions, and the chapter ends in a hair-raising cliffhanger. What else could we ask for? Luckily, I had the next Journey in the serial already waiting for me, so I knew what to do. And I hope you follow my example.

 

Journey 6 of this serial is, in some ways, like a microcosm of the whole of our Journey so far. It contains adventures and wonderful and scary events aplenty; it has thoughtful and contemplative moments where the characters question their experiences, thoughts, and feelings; it includes beautiful settings, and it adds to our knowledge of the world the story takes place in and its different traditions and legends; it deepens our awareness of the mysteries underlying the story and how intricately they are woven into its fabric; and it manages to captivate us and keep its hold on us, because we have become as invested in the fate of the characters as they are. Having read some of the author’s other novels and her blog, I think most people who are familiar with her work will recognise certain elements and motifs that tend to appear in her writing no matter what the genre is, characteristic of her oeuvre, that will make her fans very happy.

This particular journey comes with a content warning by the author, as Emlyn shares a vivid dream of the abuse of one of the other characters (I am trying not to give too much of the plot away), and although not explicit, as Geneviene explains, it might be disturbing to people who have survived similar experiences. The warning also contains information and advice on who to contact for those who might feel personally affected or who need support. Although there are other dangerous and scary episodes in this journey, I agree that the vivid shared dream Emlyn experiences is the most disturbing part of it.

I had mentioned Haldis when reviewing Journey 5, and she expresses her doubts and confusion quite clearly at the beginning of this journey, while also leaving us some highly intriguing comments that bring some interesting connections and links to mind and leave us wondering.

Emlyn shows great courage but also an impulsive nature that had been kept under control by her circumstances until now. She is greatly affected by the dream mentioned, and that causes her to question many things and to go into a reflective mood, which seems to affect many of the other characters as well. This more contemplative aspect of the journey allows us to gain insight into some of the characters’ personalities and also to learn more details about their lives. We get to understand why some of the characters behave in the way they do, and also why their interaction with others can appear peculiar at times.

Emlyn gets dragged into the world of the Dead once more, and her experience leaves her with some answers but many more questions. It is clear that Emlyn is called to play an important part in the Deae Matres’ journey, and a new quest —full of magic and wonder— takes form.

In this journey, we get to visit some fascinating locations, and there are beautiful examples of the rich and textured descriptions the author has got us accustomed to (I loved the way she describes the clothes they find, but also the furniture, the landscape…). There are also more episodes of the dead coming into the world of the living, some glimpses at what might be behind some of the things that are happening, and an overall sense that the past, the present, and the future, life and death, and reality and dream might not be as fixed and separate as we’d all like to believe.

I wanted to mention a couple of things I haven’t talked about for a while. The author includes a list of characters and locations at the end of the book, to make sure people can check if they have any doubts and don’t feel lost if they cannot recall the full details about a character or a place. The beauty of this list is that it is updated with every Journey, and that means that not only there are no spoilers, but also that although new information is added with every journey, you don’t need to search through lots of characters and places you know nothing about, which are bound to cause confusion before we can locate the one we are looking for.

The other thing I wanted to mention is the wonderful illustrations that accompany each new chapter, which offer us a gallery of pictures and provide a perfect visual companion to the story.

Is there a cliffhanger? Well, we leave the characters in a pretty dire situation, that is true, although it is not as dramatic and dangerous as the point at what the story left us in the previous Journey. But I know I’ll be thinking about what will happen next until Journey 7 falls on my hands.

(I was provided with an ARC copy of this Journey of the serial, which I freely chose to review).

Thanks to the author for her story and for the care she has invested in the adaptation of her novel into a serial that keeps getting better and better, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to keep safe, keep smiling, review, share, and of course, never stop reading. ♥

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