I'll start by saying I enjoyed The Wolf of WInter. It was intriguing,at times shocking and Volsky did a great job turning a sympathetic character into a complete and utter monster.
Varis, youngest of three brothers and part of the royal family, has not had the best go at life. Pale, scrawny and plagued by illness and weeping eyes, he has been teased and tormented his entire life. After being rejected for a position at court and having a terrifying prank pulled on him, Varis decides he needs to step away, to lick his wounds and let his anger simmer down. While away, Varis gets wrapped up in the terrifying art of necromancy, a practice that is forbidden and detested.
Consuming mysterious substances meant to aide in the power of necromancy, he slowly spirals into a power hungry maniac and sets his sights on claiming more power for himself, no matter how high the cost.
This first part of the book was most intriguing to me. Watching a character that I actually really liked and sympathized with quickly spiral into someone I could hate made for an interesting read. I also, as mentioned in a previous post, really love Paula Volsky's writing style and I liked it just as much in this book as I did in Illusion.
The biggest flaw with the book is actually the synopsis on the back. It basically tells you what the last half of the book is going to entail. Not just hints at, but practically breaks down all the major details of the story, effectively ruining any interest I had in the last half of the book. Things that could have really made me wonder or that could have kept my interest simply stopped being that way because I already knew it was going to happen.
While knowing ahead doesn't always ruin a book, the amount of details given in the synopsis really did hurt the overall experience. So, fair warning, if you decide to read it, just ignore the back of the book entirely. I feel without those details known ahead of time, I could have enjoyed the book a lot more and probably would have rated it higher.
+ Good Length
+ Enjoyable, poetic writing style
+ Interesting characters (Especially Varis)
+ Intriguing - Necromancy was neat
- Synopsis hinders enjoyment of second half of book - don't read it!
- Pace slows to a crawl halfway through the book