Hello readers, and welcome to day 11 of Blogmas 2021! Today is my stop on TBR and Beyond Blog Tours for The Winter Charlatan by Victoria McCombs. Thank you to the author, the publisher and TBR & Beyond Tours for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.
Title: The Winter Charlatan
Series: Storyteller’s Series #3
Author: Victoria McCombs
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
Published: December 7th, 2021 (Parliament House Press)
Synopsis: A Queen raised in the shadows, and a Fraud Prince who needs her help.The sole heir to the kingdom is destined to sleep for a hundred years. To hide this liability, the queen left her cursed daughter in the care of a trusted lord, while taking his son as her own.
Rowan grew up hating the boy who had her crown and vowed to one day reclaim her place as queen. But when a neighboring king threatens a war they won’t survive, Rowan must work with the fraud prince to save Elenvérs. She pledges herself as his spy in the enemy court and lives in the heart of danger.If she can’t save her kingdom before the curse hits, there may be nothing left to wake up to.
Thank you to the publisher, Parliament House Press, NetGalley, and TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rowan is the true heir to the throne of Elenvers, but she has a curse that will see her sleep for a hundred years when she turns 18. Fearing the instability her curse could plunge the kingdom into, the king and queen traded away their own daughter to a family friend, taking in return their son, Cassian, who has been raised as the crown prince. Rowan has grown up hating Cassian, and continuously searches for a way to break her curse, determined to one day reclaim her rightful place. But when the neighboring kingdom of ThornHigh threatens to invade, Rowan will have to work with the imposter on her throne to save Elenvers with only a matter of months before the curse is due to strike.
The third novel in the Storyteller’s series is an imaginative retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but just like the two books before it, it takes the base story and creates an entirely new world and cast of characters. There are a few familiar faces but this can definitely be read as a standalone, which is really nice because you don’t have to remember the entirety of the stories so far to keep up either. The world building was really good, and I loved the concept of an ice palace. This was an enjoyable read and I really liked this take on the fairytale. With the added aspect of the tensions between the neighboring kingdoms, it was quite difficult to make out who was friend or foe, and I was constantly trying to figure out the characters motivations and how things might end.
Rowan was a very interesting character and she felt very authentic in her struggle with her situation. Her character arc was well done and I liked her relationship with her adoptive sister Elis. I couldn’t make up my mind about Cassian for quite some time, since we see him only from Rowan’s perspective and she hates him. It would have been nice if he had POVs as well, because my question from page one was what Cassian really thinks about the whole heir switch that their parents decided on.
Overall, I was very impressed with this latest addition to the Storyteller’s series and I really like the author’s approach to retellings. The Winter Charlatan was a fast paced read with some great plot twists and I think it’s my favorite in the series so far. The fourth book, Heir of Roses, already has a publishing date and seems to be a continuation of Rowan’s story, so I’m really excited to read it. Highly recommended!
The Winter Charlatan released on December 7th, 2021.
About the Author
Some of the things I love most in this world are peppermint hot chocolate, peanut butter ice cream, golfing dates, Jesus, and game nights with family. And of course, books.
Fairytales were my first love. I became obsessed with the idea that if one was brave enough, they could defeat dragons, and that true love was real. I met my true love in college, and together we raise our two boys. I have my dad to thank for teaching me to love writing, and my mom to thank for allowing us to keep a wall of medieval weapons in the house, which curated my love for that time period.
My dream is to write vivid worlds and charming characters that will leave an imprint on my reader’s hearts, the way that so many books have done for me.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
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