You’ve probably heard me rave about a couple of W.R. Gingell’s books that I’ve had the opportunity to read, so I’m really excited to help celebrate Gingell’s newest release, The First Chill of Autumn. I reviewed the first in this series, Twelve Days of Faerie, here and pretty much recommend it to everyone and their cat / dog / favorite stuffy. I enjoyed the rest of the series as well (review of this book below!) but that first book is an utter gem.
And now I’m going to let Gingell tell you a little more about this lovely new novella….
The First Chill of Autumn is a tale of adventure, treachery, love, and death. Beautiful Fae. Deadly dragons. Shifting loyalties and shifty motives. And two young twins at the centre of an invasion that has already happened.
Dion ferch Alawn and her trusty companions will fight, fly, and sneak their way through countries and kingdoms to save the world.
The First Chill of Autumn is the third book in the Shards of a Broken Sword trilogy. All the books can be read as standalones, but they do build upon each other, so don’t forget to check out Twelve Days of Faery (only 99c on all platforms for the month of June–buy it! Buy it now! Yes, this is Intisar butting in, but you really need this lovely gem of a story in your life) and Fire in the Blood.
Llassar is an occupied country– but nobody seems to know it.
Fae began to filter slowly into the land shortly after the birth of the crown princess, Dion ferch Alawn, supposedly fleeing a dark threat in Faery known as the Guardians. But that was fifteen years ago, and now there isn’t a town in Llassar that isn’t populated by or under the control of the Fae.
Smaller, weaker, and less talented at magic, Llassarians are quickly finding out that there’s no fighting the invasion that crept in so quietly and politely. Even the castle isn’t free of Fae: those closest to the king and queen are faery advisors.
When Dion ferch Alawn returns from a carefully sanitised tour of Outer Llassar, the most exciting thing she expects from the near future is the present her twin sister Aerwn promised for their seventeenth birthday.
Then her carriage breaks down, and Dion gets a taste of what the real Llassar has become: desperate, enslaved, and ripe for rebellion. Getting home safely is just the first problem she faces: the real struggle begins when Dion returns to the castle. Her new knowledge is inconvenient and unwelcome– to declare it, treason.
This final installment has a very different pace from the first two books in the Shards of a Broken Sword trilogy. Rather than jumping right into the thick of things, The First Chill of Autumn starts early on, introducing us to our heroine when she’s a child, and letting us grow with Dion, recognizing the signs of wrongness around her long before her eyes are opened to it.
Dion is an interesting character, and I really enjoyed watching her grow. She’s not brave and strong and tough–or rather, she is, but in her own quiet way. She stammers when she’s nervous and she’s prone to fainting when she receives a shock (though not in a melodramatic way so much as an embarrassing one), and yet she’s lived with the prophecy that she’s expected to die since she was a child, and she’s quite all right with it. She knows what’s expected of her, and she intends to do it. What a refreshing sort of hero, both strong and weak, steady and uncertain.
Overall, the story was slower in pace than I expected, but featured a unique heroine and delved into some intriguing questions. There were at least a couple twists at the end I didn’t quite see coming, which is always a pleasure to experience. While I didn’t love this story in the way that I did Twelve Days of Faerie, I definitely enjoyed it and am glad I read it. I highly recommend this series to lovers of fairy tales, unusual heroines, and stories that subvert the usual tropes.
Find it here:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-first-chill-of-autumn-wr-gingell/1123779094?ean=2940153011479
About the Author
W.R. Gingell is a Tasmanian author who lives in a house with a green door. She loves to rewrite fairytales with a twist or two–and a murder or three–and original fantasy where dragons, enchantresses, and other magical creatures abound. Occasionally she will also dip her toes into the waters of SciFi.
W.R. spends her time reading, drinking an inordinate amount of tea, and slouching in front of the fire to write. Like Peter Pan, she never really grew up, and is still occasionally to be found climbing trees.