I love winter.
Rowan’s father goes on a hunting trip and is away longer than expected. Meanwhile his daughters keep up the small cottage while they await his return. He has actually gotten himself into some trouble with a huntress who is quite upset that he and his traveling companions have been hunting her lands for pelts. She decides to let him go because otherwise death would be mercy. Later, the huntress realizes that he stole a rose. She goes to the cottage to make him pay. She kidnaps Rowan, because suffering her loss would be more fierce than death.
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I like that it is dark and gritty. There is no whimsy here like that of the Disney movies.
There were a lot of layers to this story. Rowan never felt like she belonged with her family after her merchant father lost his ships, her mother died, and they had to move away from her city and into the mountains. Her father betrothed her to a man that Rowan didn’t want to be with to secure their family’s place in the new village. Once captured, she had to go through the conflicting feelings of being held captive yet feeling free. The cursed huntress is cold and unfeeling after years of owning winter. The irony being that the one person who can melt her will destroy her.
I loved how Rowan was no shrinking violet. She had her own feelings and exacted her free will. And the huntress allowed it. I especially liked how Rowan took in the helpless wolf pup and the relationship that grew from that.
As far as the relationship between Rowan and the huntress goes… It was OK. I was never really convinced that Rowan fell for the huntress out of free will. I too, was concerned that it was only the magic of the rose. I wish there would have been more time between the two of them that made me see why Rowan developed such strong feelings. It was mostly attraction. I definitely felt that.
Overall it was an interesting retelling of a well known story. It was different enough to stand on its own without too much comparison.
I recommend this to people who like to read about romance, magic, fairytales, wolves, cold, curses, hunting, outdoors, and body heat.