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The Wolf of Winter

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  367 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Dedicating herself to bringing her brother Cerrov, the rightful heir, to the Wolf Throne of Rhazaulle, Shalindra is taken captive in the mountain stronghold of her uncle Varis, the master of the dead who hopes to usurp the crown. Reprint. K.
Paperback, 500 pages
Published December 1st 1994 by Spectra (first published November 1st 1993)
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Jul 25, 2015 Nathan rated it really liked it
Read the damn prologue.

Not often I say that but for The Wolf of Winter it actually is good advice. For one, it is really short. Like a single page short. And it appears to be a simple piece of random world building that gives the history of a simple title used throughout the book; Ulor, the leader of the people of Rhazaulle. But it matters people! It has implications to the larger story! Without, and this is important, giving anything away until the author is ready for everything to come togethe
Feb 24, 2016 Kathi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2015 Lauren rated it it was amazing
If I could rate it higher, I would. Seriously, her writing has fucked up the scale for all other books I've rated five stars.
Jan 08, 2011 Derek rated it liked it
The thing that captured me was the characterization of the art of necromancy, which I haven't seen done quite this way before: an esoteric magic requiring dangerous mind-expanding drugs that have unpredictable side effects, and which has an addictive, corruptive effect on the practitioner. The entire portrayal of the manipulated spirits as metaphysical lackeys and infinitely mutable ectoplasm was a unique take on the subject.

I'm not sure where Volsky was going with this theme. Varis succumbs to
Feb 23, 2015 Tracey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2-star
This felt, obviously, very Russian, in setting and theme. The royal family consists of three brothers, the youngest of whom, Varis, is weak and sickly in a land that all but exposes weak and sickly children. Again, it's a world where magic - here, necromancy - is despised, and again the main character ("hero" he ain't) turns to the forbidden for, in part, revenge. The story reminded me a little of a movie I saw around the same time, Perfume; Varis is a lot like Grenouille, in a way. He wants wha ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Nina rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristi Thompson
Mar 19, 2009 Kristi Thompson rated it liked it
Um. Fantasy Russia, with necromancy.

I had trouble with the prison library. I mean, I'd quite like to live there. Regular meals, routine, infinite quantities of books, tutors to help you study anything and everything, impassioned debates about footnoting. . . Not to mention benign necromancy in the cellar. Paradise! So it was hard to sympathise with Sharri's dislike.

Did the practice of necromancy invariably destroy a person's moral sense? Volsky didn't seem to have made up her mind. Varis had th
Apr 27, 2010 Mike rated it it was ok
The strength of the book lies in its early characterizations. There is a lot of setup for what seems to be an interesting political drama in a fantasy setting. Unfortunately, every time a scene is set up, it's resolved very quickly with most of the characters disappearing from view. Then there will be a new setup, which might be interesting except you're still reeling from the disappointment of the previous abrupt conclusion and then that one wraps up. Volsky likes to work in shades of gray wher ...more
Micha Meinderts
Aug 08, 2009 Micha Meinderts rated it really liked it
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Aug 17, 2011 Nadine rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-lovers
This book gave me mix feelings.. I like Varis, the main protagonist. He started out as a very sympathetic character who was always bullied by his older brothers. I like his characterization and his gradual descent to addiction and necromancy. He was really well written. Some parts of the book was boring and dragging but over all, the writing was really good. The ending was not typical and makes the reader think. I wish there was a sequel. It sort of felt incomplete.
Set in the same world as Illusion, which was a fantasy-version of the French Revolution, this book takes place in that parallel world's version of "Russia." I liked the story quite a lot, especially the very interesting take on necromancy, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Illusion, largely because the characters were not nearly as likeable.
Emily Snyder
Aug 09, 2011 Emily Snyder rated it really liked it
I LOVE the beginning of this book, but always felt that the second half was still too rushed. I still believe that, and privately suspect that Ms. Volsky should have been given/taken more time to really delve into the heroine all grown up, but multiple rereadings have found quite a bit of satisfaction in the details we DO have. Well worth reading!
Sep 29, 2011 Sara rated it did not like it
I did not like this book. I could not sympathize with the characters. There is only have one real character for the first third of the book and he's evil, simply. Then the second character you get after the first third of the book is is not amazing either & poorly integrated with the first. Also, the writing is often at times awkward.
Nov 18, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
I would give this book a 4.5 if possible. I liked how Varis and Shalindra's stories wove together to continue the plot. The imagined world is really interesting and that kept me interested in the book. The ending left me strangely sad, too.
Aug 11, 2008 Speed8ump rated it really liked it
If this is the book I remember it continues in Volsky's (unnamed) world, overlaying fairly limited magic onto the history of the world. This focuses necromancy. I remember worrying about the main character enough that it distracted me from work.
Feb 28, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc-fiction
A lot of the names (people & places) were hard to pronounce, even in your head making this book more difficult to read than it needed to be.
Feb 12, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
what Illusions did for the French Revolution, this one does for the last days of Tsar rule in Russia...
May 05, 2015 Ghostrunner rated it liked it
a complicated villain AND a complicated ingenue. it's Christmas.
Aug 06, 2008 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Necromancy can be addictive.
Anne marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2016
Lynn Diane Diebolt
Lynn Diane Diebolt marked it as to-read
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Christopher Peralta
Christopher Peralta marked it as to-read
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Kate rated it really liked it
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Zachary rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2016
Daniela & Roland
Daniela & Roland rated it liked it
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Paula Volsky is an American fantasy author. Born in Fanwood, New Jersey, she majored in English literature at liberal arts college Vassar in New York State. At the University of Birmingham, England, she received an M.A. in Shakespearian studies. Before writing fantasy, she sold real estate and also worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Illusion, The Wolf of Winter, The Ga
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