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Red Winter (The Red Winter Trilogy Book 1) by [Marie, Annette]
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Red Winter (The Red Winter Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 324 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Language: English

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Product Description

In a few short months, Emi's mortal life will end when she becomes the human host of an immortal goddess. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess--and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a spirit of the earth and an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can't match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command--whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate--but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope ... and hope is all she has left.

RED WINTER includes 10 full-page illustrations by artist Brittany Jackson.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4807 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc. (21 October 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01M0Q30Z9
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,124 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
5 Stars!!!

Red Winter, was to put it bluntly, an absolute delight. The thought, vividness and expanse of the world, the intriguing and complicated characters combined with an interesting plot, which had a lot of great action scenes. Let me break it down...

The characters were all complex, emotional and really fascinating to read. Emi, our heroine, is a stunning character. Her desire to fulfil her duty warring with her melancholy and deep distress as missing out on her life as secrets are revealed was truly difficult to read at times. I completely understood her emotional turmoil and her inner monologues were thoughtful windows into her struggles to come to terms with what she had always been told and the freedom she truly wanted to grasp. Throughout all this, she demonstrates bravery, curiosity, open-mindedness and yes, a lot of angst, haha. Shiro was a fantastic character to play opposite Emi (plus, I always have a soft heart for a kitsune, ever since reading Kamisama Kiss). He was witty, dangerous and brooding, and the seed of romance blossoming between them is something I really want to see develop in the next two books. All of the other characters where great, but this story hinges on the strength of Emi and Shiro, and it does so beautifully.

Not going to deny it, the start of this book is slow. It takes a good 100+ pages until the kitsune even arrives on the scene (and we all know he is coming, because of the synopsis), so I found myself impatiently flipping through the pages just to get to that meeting. That being said, once Shiro does arrive, stuff gets crazy fairly quickly. From then on, mysteries, secrets, drama and lots of fight scenes unfold in rapid fire succession.
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By Cheryl L TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 October 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Ms Marie has done it again with another outstanding series that had me hooked and begging for more. I loved everything about this book – the pacing, the characters, the world building, and the plot.

Emi has been preparing since she was eight to become the human host of a goddess. She is focused, disciplined and honoured to be chosen. Until she learns the truth behind the lies and questions everything that she has been taught to believe.

Emi has led a very sheltered life and longs to experience all the things that she has not had the opportunity to. I loved her development from being trusting, obedient and naive to questioning, adventurous and rebellious. She has to determine where others’ loyalties lay, and whether she can or even wants to change her chosen fate.

Emi is a strong, brave, determined character who I instantly felt a connection to. I loved Shiro and Katsuo, who seem to be the only ones concerned about Emi as a person. Shiro is a kitsune, and nothing like she expected her enemy to be. He is confident and worldly wise, yet secretive and unpredictable. Katsuo is Emi’s protector. He knows her so well, and is supportive and caring, even though she gets him in trouble when her requests conflict with his duties.

I was left feeling exhausted after such an emotional rollercoaster ride. To be honest, I still have a book hangover. If you love beautifully crafted fantasy with plenty of action, suspense, plot twists and a touch of romance, than this is the book for you!

I can’t wait to see where Ms Marie takes this story and what happens next!

And what a beautiful cover and gorgeous illustrations!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 139 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the new unique paranormal aspect 28 October 2016
By Justine - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It is not often I leave book reviews, but after reading Annette Marie's steel and stone series, I felt compelled to give my opinion on this book. I would have said the steel and stone series was the nest series I had ever read until I got to the last chapter of the series. This of course left me slightly bitter and angry. It is with this feeling that I started reading the authors newest book, Red Winter. I was nervous of starting something I would love only to see it end horribly. Of course, I read it anyway. I was pleasantly surprised at the sheer uniqueness of this book. The paranormal aspects and mythology this book are based on are very different for an American author. I have always been familiar with Japanese mythology and literature so this was a very pleasant surprise (especially then the male lead turned out to be a fox youkai, every shoujo fanfirls dream!). The only thing that kept me from rating the book at 5 starts was the first quarter to third of the book. Although I realize the beginning was a necessary evil for those who are not familiar with Japanese folklore, it was so slow and tedious for me to get through. It was EXTREMELY descriptive in order to educate the reader. Although it was very informative, it was difficult to move the plot along at a reasonable speed. This changed quickly about a third through the book. Thats when things get awesome and cant put the book down. Over all - great book even if the beginning is slow. However, it is perfectly set up for a bittersweet ending or open ending like steel and stone.... so I have a bad feeling things won't be happily ever after at the end of this trilogy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a new series, loved Emi & Shiro 8 January 2017
By A.S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I definitely consider myself an Annette Marie fan because of her other work, the Steel & Stone series (if you haven't read it yet you should), but I wasn't sure what to expect with this new one because it sounded so different from the Steel & Stone series. But this first installment of the Red Winter trilogy turned out to be great. I love that Marie tried a concept so different from her other series and still managed to pull it off beautifully. As someone that has some Japanese ancestry, I especially enjoyed her take on Japanese mythology and the tie in with Japanese culture. It made a great setting for this type of fantasy story. The heroine Emi is a character you'll warm up to quickly even if you have trouble at first. I found her a little hard to understand initially, but by 1/4 or 1/3 of the way through the book I really felt I understood her and her motivations a lot better and I grew very fond of her. There's other characters that you'll love- in my case and many others' cases Shiro especially. To give you a little background without going into spoilers, Emi is a miko, and has trained most of her life for her future role with the goddess Amaterasu at the upcoming solstice. She is relocated to a different, small town shrine for her own safety, as she has had a traumatic past experience at her previous shrine. This happened because there are forces, the yokai (Earth spirits or demons) and others that we learn about, that want to stop Emi from fulfilling her role for the goddess. After she relocates, she makes certain discoveries that change everything she thought she knew. The story unfolds at a pretty fast pace and is engaging throughout. It sticks to a small group of core characters to its strength because it allows the author to really focus on their development and the various mysteries surrounding them. If you're like me you'll love the approach to the romance too- let's just say I'm sure you'll be quickly hooked.
Edit: Almost forgot to mention the beautiful illustrations included in the book! A really nice touch that I appreciated. I'm someone that always will picture the characters in my head based on the written description, and it's nice to have a visual to go with the words. It helps bring the story to life- kudos to the artist.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully visual story with an intriguing set of characters. 10 November 2016
By SheWhoDiesWithTheMostBooksWins! - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I have followed and enjoyed Annette Marie since her first book, I was very pleasantly surprised with her newest effort, Red Winter. Her growth as a writer is undeniable. That said, this book relies a little more on character development and a little less on punches thrown every five pages. The setting is beautifully rendered, and although people with an interest in Eastern culture will certainly love this book, it's not one a particular interest of mine and the story line still sucked me in. I think it would still appeal to anyone interested in fantasy or urban fantasy.

The main character begins as an elegant and poised young woman on the brink of adulthood, only coming of age means a lot more to Emi than it does to most girls. Though Emi has always embraced her future as a host to one of the ancient gods, this book is a great example of how the future is never as certain as one might think and how you never know anyone as well as you believe. Especially yourself.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soooo good! 10 October 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Annette Marie head done it again. A thoroughly enjoyable start to another series- the only downside is that I have to impatiently await the next books in the series. Right from the beginning the character development and world building suck you in and make you invest yourself in the outcome.
5.0 out of 5 stars New series to love 20 May 2017
By Amiryd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me a while to get in to this one, mostly because I loved Steele and Stone so much that I had this weird feeling that I was cheating on my favorite characters. Yes, I am that strange. I should have trusted Annette Marie's craft more because after I got past all the new terms thrown at me in the beginning of Red Winter I LOVED it. Emi's great, if a little holier than though, but Shiro is just....perfect. I could read about Shiro trimming his toenails and enjoy it. I didn't care for the Tengu much in this book, though he grew on me in the later ones. The mythology was truly original but delivered in a novelized manga like format that worked really well. And those illustrations! They were truly fantastic and added a lot of enjoyment to the story. I started the next one as soon as I finished this one. I just couldn't help myself. It was that good. I think Annette Marie is my new favorite author and I'll be reading anything she publishes. Highly recommended.