Saturday, 14 December 2013

Mistress of the Wind by Michelle Diener

Arc provided by Season Publishing through Netgalley

This was pretty much a perfect fairy tale retelling... weren't it for the beginning and the end.

Although being a fairy tale addict this was the first time I read this fairy tale. Of course I was familiar with the basic guidelines of this tale:

_Guy (during the night )/bear (during the day), seeks woman to engage in serious relationship in order to break curse.
_Woman must be the "one"... and must not have serious allergies due to large amounts of fur!
_Woman must not try to see the lover's face.
_After a while woman takes a peek (lol) at her lover's face: "Oh, isn't he gorgeous!"
_Lover wakes up...
_All is lost!
_Woman must try to get her lover back

It seems straightforward, right? Well, in reality it wasn't..

Author Michelle Diener takes this re-telling to another level. 
She doesn't restrict herself to an East of the Sun, West of the moon retelling. Instead we are also given parts reminiscent of Psyche's quest. Which just allowed for a much more richer story. I loved reading about the Norse mythology.

The landscape in which the story takes place was just beautifully portrayed.
What is it with snow, that makes for such terrific descriptions?

The characters are well defined, interesting and intelligent. I loved how there was parts in which the author tried (and succeeded) in giving us readers, a balanced (mostly...after all, he's a guy!) male character. Bjorg understands Astrid's dilemmas, and why she would behave in a certain way.

She's a character that takes what life gives her, always trying to make the best of it. She's not a simpering miss, and you can see almost from the start how those two are really perfect for one another.

The second part of the story, shows us Astrid in her quest to save Bjorg. I loved it.
Here we have a strong female character _a powerful female character _ that takes matters into her own hands, and Deals with It.

The villains
Well, they were intelligent, I must give them that!!
When I got to the last pages of the story and realized what were their aces (or ace) I was dumbstruck!!
Very well played.. .it's always good to be surprised!

So why not a five star rating?
Because I would have liked a little more story, a little more development before Astrid and Bjorg ended up involved.
Although, on the other hand, I understand why the author wrote it like this: 
Difficult times, death lurking, a man who has living as a bear for almost a year, a woman who always done what was to be expected of her. Someone who has been living for her family.

Also regarding the way the story ended, I would have liked to have been given something more... maybe a little show of how their daily life would come to be.

Yes, because happy endings take time and trouble! ;)

Bottom line: Loved this, and I can't wait to read the next story of this series.

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Thank you, Season publishing for allowing me to read and review this Arc.

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