It’s not a good month without an indie novel or two. Today I’ll be reviewing Winter of the Wolf by Christina Ochs—part of her Desolate Empire series. Check out the review below and make sure to give your two cents in the comments section if you’ve already read the book, too!
Rating: 5 stars
Just when you think Teodora is defeated, she manages to put her cunning and survival skills to use. Of course, Lennart will give it everything he has to see the war to the bitter end.
Winter of the Wolf gives you insight on how each side plans to finally close the war, but as each chapter unfolds, another character thwarts the opposite side—twist after twist.
Kenndryk will do whatever he can to protect his family, which proves to come at a grave cost. Meanwhile, Gwynneth must survive Teodora’s wrath as she must balance her duties as queen and mother to her children born during war and struggle. She will watch her children mature quickly to face what the war brings them.
We also learn more about Elektra, who takes part in both sides to ultimately determine who she is, what she truly believes, and how she’ll kill her mother, the empress.
What I enjoyed:
If multiple plot twists give you life, then this book—like the rest of the series—brings its A-game. Rumors spread about who’s dead and who’s actually not dead, which leads to interesting war strategy that aids or hinders the characters. You’re the only one with all the information, so it sucks knowing that something bad has happened, and someone on the other side of the war zone has no idea what just happened. It makes the pacing very intense!
For example, there was a relatively huge twist about a quarter into the novel which made me wonder how the rest of the novel would go. Another one exploded across the 80% marker and I was anxious to see how it would be rectified with just a few chapters left. For a war novel, there’s always a new surprise for your favorite character.
As always, I’m impressed by Och’s extensive research to create a war-torn continent seem realistic. From the war itself, to the political intrigue behind the scenes, I was able to visualize the world she further establishes and feel like I had a firm grasp of the current situation and the implications of each strategy.
Also, so many things happen. Each of her novels are pretty extensive, but she’s able to pack a lot of events into one novel that creates an interesting flow. Since she juggles so many characters POV, there’s a lot for the reader to soak up about where everyone is and what might happen to them.
My Final Thoughts
Oh man, I read this novel under the impression that it was her final novel to the series. It definitely made me anxious for my few favorite characters—including Teodora, whom I just love to hate. Once I realized that it wasn’t described as the concluding novel, I calmed the heck down.
Until then, I’ll keep myself company with Och’s recent prequel, The Forsaken Crown, which focuses on Sonya, a new character to the series who befriends a younger version of Kenndryk. The novel just came out mid December of last year, so give it some love!
Winter of the Wolf, like the rest of the series, is such a treat. There is so much to read so it’s hard to binge, but it definitely keeps you engaged the whole time. As much as I wanted to rush, I had to slowly enjoy each chapter. Like eating fudge, maybe?
A friendly reminder: there are a lot of events and characters, so it does pay to read the whole series to fully enjoy this fourth addition to the series. You won’t regret it, especially if you love everything about Game of Thrones except the nudity.
If you’d like to learn more about Christina Ochs and her work, you can catch up with her via social media:
Have you read this novel? Do you have your own thoughts about it? Share with me in the comments!