Book Review: The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick

Author: Alexandria Warwick
Series: The Four Winds #1
Age Category: New Adult/Adult
Publisher: Andromeda Press
Publish Date: January 13, 2022
Print Length: 551

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Official Synopsis

Lush. Dark. Romantic. Introducing a newly reimagined tale written in the vein of Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone.

Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi—the Four Winds—and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.

Wren of Edgewood is no stranger to suffering. Her parents are gone. Survival is all she knows. For three hundred years, the land known as the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade, which protects the townsfolk from the Deadlands beyond.

But day by day, the Shade weakens.

Only one thing can stop the Shade’s fall: a mortal woman taken captive across the barrier, bound in wedlock to the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands. He is the North Wind, the Frost King, an immortal whose heart is said to be as frigid as the land he rules.

And the time has come for the Frost King to choose his bride.

The North Wind is a standalone, enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance, the first in a series sprinkled with Greek lore. Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Laura Thalassa, and Scarlett St. Clair.

My Review

I received a free, digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. However, I forgot to download it before it was archived. Instead, I read it via Kindle Unlimited. Nonetheless, my review is my own and reflects my honest opinion about this book.

The official synopsis of THE NORTH WIND indicates that this book is clearly something that falls in my wheelhouse. I have a soft spot for enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance. There, I said it. This book definitely itches that spot. At this point, I still haven’t read anything by J.L. Armentrout, L. Thalassa, or S. St. Clair. However, right away I got Sarah J. Maas vibes a la A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES.

Wren is the sole provider for herself and her twin sister, Elora, after losing their parents. At times she treks miles to hunt for food because winter continues to encroach and worsen in Edgewood. Each venture is a risk because of darkwalkers, which feed on souls of the living. Every 30 years or so the Frost King arrives in Edgewood to claim a bride, and that time is now. He claims Wren’s sister, but Wren refuses to let her soft sister be taken to the Deadlands. So instead she disguises herself as Elora and leaves with the Frost King. As you might imagine, he was not pleased when he discovered the deception after their marriage.

Why the Frost King didn’t ask Wren to remove the scarf covering her face for their marriage, I have no idea. There are several scenes of this nature throughout the book where I raised an eyebrow at the simplicity of the situation. And, while Wren is a headstrong, female main character, I did roll my eyes at a few of her thoughts/scenes. For example, she and the Frost King have a moment in their tent at camp before preparing for battle. (Does this sound familiar, A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN fans?) Yet when someone alerts him to incoming danger, he shifts his attention to the impending battle. This prompts Wren to voice that he’s choosing battle over her. Um, excuse me?

I think this book could benefit from one more round of editing to clean up some word choices and consolidate the plot a bit. The book is a bit long. The benefit to this is that the relationship between Wren and the Frost King develops at a realistic pace. However, there are only so many times I want to read about how much Wren wants to kill him. The surprise ending, while I didn’t mind it, confused me; I wasn’t clear how the magic/magic system allowed for this event. A few other things are also lazily explained, but this was the most glaring, in my opinion.

However, one of my favorite things about the plot is that Wren decides to choose herself. She comes to realize that her sister used her all these years, never lifting a finger to help. (Again, sound familiar, A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES fans?) Though a painful realization, Wren finds the strength to do what’s best for herself and confronts her sister with how she feels. I also appreciated that Warwick repeatedly had Wren question her feelings for the Frost King. He took her captive, so of course that prompts conflicted thoughts as she wrestles with her growing fondness for him.

Overall, this book is well-written and is a solid 3.5 of 5 stars. This will satisfy fans of enemies-to-lovers and Hades and Persephone retellings.

Rating: 3.5/5
Content warnings: gore, sex, mention of death
Reading format: Kindle e-book

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