The Winter Road is an emotionally-charged, epic journey featuring one of the strongest heroines you’ll come across. Teyr is powerful beyond measure, channeling her rage into action, often for the greater good. The writing is superb, switching between past and present, illustrating how she became the person she is and what drives her forward. Coupled with a world most fitting of epic fantasy and a terrifying enemy, The Winter Road presents a powerful story of loss and the fight to restore justice to the world.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. I only publish reviews of books I enjoy, and this novel meets that criterion.
A Few of My Favorite Things
The heroine of The Winter Road is Teyr, a badass mercenary with a shady past who tries to use her wealth to improve the world. She has so many layers, brought out by her various roles as stepmother, warrior, merchant, and leader. She refuses to give up on her ambitions, which does, admittedly, lead to ruin. When you’d expect her to yield, she continues fighting, coming to the aid of others and showing the world it can’t bring her down.
Her fight scenes are truly epic, given the assistance she has from the strange plants littering the kingdom. She has skills that don’t seem to be rivaled in her world, and she uses them ruthlessly when needed. All in all, she’s a powerful, committed character who fights with passion and leads with admirable strength.
The world of The Winter Road is truly fitting of the epic fantasy genre. The map is well developed and deeply plotted. The history of the land is extensive and it leads to a lot of interesting interactions as past ties and alliances are revealed at unexpected times. I’m truly impressed at Selby’s ability to juggle such a large cast of characters. It rivals Game of Thrones in my opinion, balancing people from all walks of life with their respective clans. It takes a lot of skill to create such an immense world and I tip my hat to the author.
I was most impressed with Selby’s writing style. The book is driven by dialogue, intermixed with a great use of place and setting. As the world around them gets darker and more dangerous, the writing reflects that mood, giving the reader an unsettling feeling as Teyr marches into the belly of the beast. The fight scenes are epic, making it easy to visualize the loosing of every arrow. It’s a tragic read, to be sure, but one that’s sure to be enjoyable for any fan of epic fantasy.
This is a spoiler, so stop if you don’t want to know!
I found the main villain of the book to be terrifying. He seems to be a man who has nothing to lose, who doesn’t have a heart and who rules with an iron fist. Human life doesn’t mean anything to him, he just wants to take over everything he sees. I couldn’t help but imagine the Ice King from Game of Thrones. His legend is gradually built throughout the book and, when we finally meet him, the feelings of trepidation are well warranted.