Book Review: Winter Queen by Amber Argyle

Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page

Title: Winter Queen
Author: Amber Argyle
Published: June 19, 2013
Publisher: Starling Books
ISBN13: 9780985739423
Format: Paperback
Series: Fairy Queens #1
Acquisition: Won from a read-a-thon

Purchase at: Amazon

Becoming a winter queen will make Ilyenna as cold and cruel and deadly as winter itself, but it might be the only way to save her people from a war they have no hope of winning. Mortally wounded during a raid, seventeen-year-old Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: become one of them and share their power over winter. But that power comes with a price. If she accepts, she will become a force of nature, lose her humanity, and abandon her family. Unwilling to pay such a high price, Ilyenna is enslaved by the one of the invaders, Darrien. While in captivity, she learns the attack wasn’t just a simple raid but part of a larger plot to overthrow her entire nation. With the enemy stealing over the mountains and Darrien coming to take her to his bed, Ilyenna must decide whether to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat Darrien and the other invaders, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying power-forever.


This book has one of the most stunning covers I have ever seen so I made sure to get a physical copy. And it truly is beautiful – both the front and the back cover. Amber Argyle’s books definitely have amazing covers, but I only chose to read this one because I personally like fairies, and her other published books are about witches, which I’m not that fond of. So I was pretty much excited for this book, and I think that it was a pretty good read albeit a little unexpected. I don’t want to recount the idea of the book since the synopsis is there already anyway. I just want to talk about a few notable parts.

I guess one thing that I didn’t really expect from this book was how Ilyena stayed as a human for most of the chapters. For a book that’s entitled Winter Queen and is part of the Fairy Queen’s series, she doesn’t spend a lot of time being a fairy. However, she did see a couple of winter and summer fairies, and I just love the descriptions for those. Each one looked different from the others, and the cover even shows off some of them.

I think that Amber Argyle’s world building is really effective, creating a fantasy world with different places and different kinds of people. There are a lot of clans in the realm, and each one contributes something of their own for the other clans (i.e. wool, wheat, fish, etc.). They are all living in unity led by the Council. They also believe in the Balance (i.e. man and woman, good and evil, etc.), which is a very interesting concept to me.

I’m thinking that the ending should be a crowd-pleaser, but I was honestly not expecting it at all. I’m torn between liking it and being a little disappointed. I’m not really sure what I should feel about the whole thing, but I do know is that it ended well for the characters so I think that’s good enough.


OVERALL, Winter Queen is about Ilyena’s struggles as her clan was besieged and she was taken captive by the ruthless clan lord’s son. She was marked and had the choice to be the Winter Queen, yet hesitated because she wanted to live her life. Amber Argyle wrote fascinating descriptions of summer and winter fairies, as well as a whole different human realm. The book deals with romance, politics, and priorities. There were parts that I wasn’t comfortable with, but Winter Queen surely entertained me.




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  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Winter Queen by Amber Argyle

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