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The Queen in Winter (Twelve Houses #1.5)

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  598 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Claire Delacroix delivers a tale of a gifted seer who receives a vision of a man whom she was not meant to marry, but was meant to love.

Lynn Kurland spins a story of a mortal man and an elven woman who endure both the mundane and the magical in their quest to remain together.

Sharon Shinn writes of a brave young woman who saves her sister's magically-gifted child, only to
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Berkley
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Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter HøegThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Call of the Wild by Jack LondonWhite Fang by Jack LondonThe Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Ice and Snow
223rd out of 363 books — 115 voters
In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteSmilla's Sense of Snow by Peter HøegThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréSnow by Orhan PamukThe Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
Frosty Book Titles
93rd out of 299 books — 55 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,133)
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Miss Ginny Tea
I think this would've got a worse rating from me if not for Monette's story (or even if Monette's hadn't been the last one). Mild spoilers follow, but how can you discuss a short story without them?

Lynn Kurland's "A Whisper of Spring" was fine. It was a bit of a romp love story between a human and a fairy. I was pleased that she was active in her rescue and didn't sit around wailing while the men did all the work. However, the flashbacks of the two first seeing each other were rather irritating.
Having never tried any of the other authors, I bought this mainly for Monette's contribution, because I liked Melusine so much; her novella (perhaps unsurprisingly) turned out to be my favorite.

Lynn Kurland's "A Whisper of Spring" just bored me; it was full of gorgeous, powerful people, none of whom were interesting, in a very generic fantasy world, and the romance, between a Powerful Sorcerer King and a Beautiful Elvish Princess, was unconvincing.

Sharon Shinn's "When Winter Comes" was better;
I think there may have been one story in here than I liked, but I'm not sure. I mainly remember starting each one and then skipping to the next in hopes it would be better. The title was the best thing about it. A pity; the theme has a lot of potential.
Twelve Houses 1.5 When Winter Comes - *** - Remember that pregnant girl Senneth saved in mystic and rider? So glad it worked out well for them.
Three weeks after the birth her sister Sosie takes her and the mystic baby from their fathers house and they set out in the middle of winter to find the mystic Senneth told them would take them in.
On the way though they are discovered by the Sisters of the Moon - who kill mystics. Luckily the just-too-perfect son of on of the twelve houses is riding throu
I gave these stories a five star rating simply because I loved being transported back to the wonderful worlds of Gillengaria and Neroche. If I had read them on their own, I probably would have given them four starts.

When Winter Comes by Sharon Shinn
This is the story of Sosie, a character found in Mystic & Rider. Sosie and her sister Annie are forced to leave their childhood home when Annie gives birth to a mystic baby. Annie is unwell and not entirely herself and soon the responsibility fal
Featuring the titular season as their backdrop, these four tales hinge on resourceful or desperate women who seek to carve out new destinies for themselves.

“The Kiss of the Snow Queen” falls short for me. Not only does it take its cue from a well-worn Hans Christian Andersen story, it features a heroine who’s just a bit too biddable and too much like a Harlequin romance heroine (at once infuriated and aroused by her cocky would-be suitor). Her invisible suitor proves to be a tricky creature and
Story by story:

#1: Another background story of the Nine Kingdoms! Yeah! Unfortunately, while the best story in the book, it isn't as good as the other NK stories.

#2: Okay, but unfulfilling.

#3: Sorry, stupid retelling of Snow Queen fairy tale.

#4: Murder mystery, but who cares.
The Sharon Shinn story was entertaining (as usual), but the other three were a bit weak. Claire Delacroix's story, "The Kiss of the Snow Queen" was especially bad.
Sharon Shinn, you’re wonderful. I didn’t think this story was especially great, but I loved the 12 Houses soooo much that just re-visiting the world, and getting to know more about the characters you meet always pleases me. I will always love everything written about the 12 Houses.

Lynn Kurland’s work makes me feel like I’m 14 again and dreaming of falling in love. Her stories are sweet and comforting, and I love her heroines. I
also loved revisiting The Nine Kingdoms and their intricate lore onc
The Window Seat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Only read "A Whisper in Spring" (Nine Kingdoms, Book 0.25) by Lynn Kurland

Symon of Neroche is sitting in his home, which is more of a hunting lodge, contemplating the problems from the north of his kindgom when in walks an unexpected guest. An elf, banished from his homeland, comes asking for help in rescuing his sister, Iolaire - princess of Ainneamh.

Iolaire was stolen from her home, banished by default for leaving - regardless if it's against her will - and stuck in Lothar, the black mage of W
The UHQ Nasanta
Reading and review in progress

"A Whisper of Spring" by Lynn Kurland

I purchased this book specifically for this novella by Lynn Kurland. The novella is set in the same world as the Nine Kingdoms series, but in the past at the beginning of the kingdom of Neroche. It is the story of Symon of Neroche and Iolaire of that-impossible-to-pronounce-or-spell-Elf-kingdom.

Given that there was only a passing mention of Ehrne in the main series, I was tickled to learn more about what he was like. I found him
Four short stories in this collection. I borrowed it from the library for the express purpose of reading the second story, which links two novels together in a series I am reading, and follows up on a minor character from the first novel. It was quite good, with a satisfying fate for the character, and has spurred me to continue with the series. The fourth story in the book (the title escapes me) is also well-done, with an interesting-enough murder mystery and a compellingly emotional set of lov ...more
Janice (Janicu)
Four fantasy stories with a winter element and a female protagonist. This is the second collection of stories by these authors, the first being "To Weave a Web of Magic". "A Whisper of Spring" by Lynn Kurland is the story of an elf princess being kidnapped from her kingdom by an evil wizard. Her brother seeks help from a mortal man to rescue her. Possibly my favorite story, mostly because of unexpected humor throughout. "When Winter Comes" by Sharon Shinn is the story of two sisters kicked out o ...more
This was a little collection of short fantasy/romance stories, by 4 women writers, that I picked up at the library book sale. I had never tried any of the authors before, so I thought it would be a fun experiment.

And it was fun. The first story, A Whisper of Spring, was by Lynn Kurland and it was a tale of a kidnapped elven princess and a wizard human prince who goes to rescue her. Nothing especially deep, but I just loved it. I liked the characters and the storytelling itself. I wish it had bee
Short story by Monette. Much, very much like the two novels I read so far, with one person looking after the other who is crippled and ill - once again fingers were cut and ruined, and magic stolen, the treatment making Maur fully insane.

This time the protector is a woman, older than her (former) lover, but it's the same dynamic. The setting is like Heyer's night in a hostelry. Sebastian from the Labyrinth novels is in it, though it is set in Norvena, with locations like Zauberhof as smart refe
Four stories in the book by four different authors, so the quality is a bit uneven. Each has some element of fantasy--elves, or special powers, or fairy tale, or magic. The first story is a more traditional romance story, with the man coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress. The second was quite slow but had an interesting premise; less traditional love story, and more a slow progression of events. The third story is a retelling of the Snow Queen fairy tale. I'm not generally a fan of this ...more
Cecilia Rodriguez
A collection of four short stories with variation the theme of Winter.
My personal favorite was Claire Delacroix's "The Kiss of the Snow Queen," Which took Hans Christian Anderson's well-known fairytale and gave a slight tweak here and there.
The stories work well together and is a nice collection of romantic fantasy.
Oddly matched stories. Shinn's fans will appreciate another installment of 12 Houses, but I'm not sure how well readers not already familiar with the ongoing story would appreciate it.

The others did not match in quality or tone. A cute but unconvincing faery story, a less cute and even less convincing story about a medieval seer being manipulated by a strangely modern imp/demon, and a mildly interesting fantasy murder mystery in a mildly interesting world, that may be more interesting to those
Britney (BookDrunkSloth)
I honestly wasn't too impressed with this anthology. Lynn Kurland's story was good, but nowhere near her best. While I loved finding out what happened to the two sisters that Senneth saved in Sharon Shinn's "Mystic and Rider", the story turned out to be ok. It wasn't very exciting for me. I hated the story by Claire Delacroix because I never felt the love between the couple and the girl was annoying. Sarah Monette's story was good. The only thing that took this story down for me was all the name ...more
Feb 23, 2011 Melissa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kurland and Shinn fans
Ok Three stars cause I didn't like Two of the stories. I love Kurland and Shinn and really enjoyed both of these stories. When winter comes was fun to read about a character that was in the book "The Mystic and the Ryder.A book I love. 'A Whisper of Spring' is a little background for the Nine Kingdom books by Kurland. I did try to read Kiss of the Snow Queen but it was crude and not well written so I didn't finish. A gift of Wings was ok but I was missing major back story and it wasn't clean and ...more
The only story I liked was "A Whisper of Spring" by Lynn Kurland and I really didn't love it. The middle two stories by Sharon Shinn and Claire Delacroix were merely tolerable and I didn't care for the last story by Sarah Monette at all. I'm not generally a fan of this genre and this anthology did nothing to change my mind. Kurland is the author I follow so I expected to like her story. I found the other three confusing and felt like I'd been dropped into the middle of a longer story without hav ...more
I just read Lynn Kurland's story. It was a prequel short story to the Nine Kingdoms series. Fun to have that bit of background!
Justine Camacho-Tajonera
It was great to read this collection. I'm a sucker for fantasy...especially stories about powerful women. But the only story I really, really liked in this whole collection was the one by Sarah Monette. I was crying through a whole love scene. Maybe it was the pathos of deserving love. One easily forgets that love isn't earned. It's freely given. Her main character was not easy to like at first. But I warmed up to her with the progression in the storytelling. So...more Sarah Monette for me, I th ...more
Enjoyed the first story. Fun love story, but very simple tale. I would enjoy reading more about these characters and/or the world the author created.

I loved the second story so much that immediately upon finishing it, I looked for a way to stay in the world she created. Lucky for me, there is a series of books called The Twelve Houses Series, which is now on my to read list. Excellent!
I liked the first two stories. They were sweet and quick, but didn't really delve too deep. The third story really rubbed me the wrong way. I was not a fan of the implication that no matter how awesome the heroine is, she still has to be tied to one guy or the other. The last story, A Gift of Wings, was the real draw to this book. It wasn't what I was expecting, and it was absolutely lovely.
This was a nice collection of four stories from authors well known in the fantasy and/or romance genres. None were stellar, but still quite entertaining. These were more fantasy than romance, the characters were adults, not pouting children, and the romance focused on the emotional rather than the physical. This would be a good choice for someone looking for a bit of light reading.
MB (What she read)
I was not impressed with this book. Except for Sharon Shinn's selection (which would have been better to have included in with Dark Moon Defender), the quality of the novellas is amateur. Not recommended unless you are a big fan of these authors.
Dec 16, 2012 Jamie added it
Shelves: fantasy
I picked this up just for the story by Sarah Monette, which is set in the Melusine universe. I was disappointed in it. Monette's writing is fine, but the story felt like a weak echo of Melusine: tension between a pitifully damaged wizard and his frustrated former lover, who is escorting him to a place where he can find help to heal his wounds.
Eliza Baum
1/31/14 :O It's a story featuring Darryn Rappengrass?!? Must get my hands on this one. Why isn't this available on Kindle?

2/10/14 Oh yeah, that's right. Thank you, amazon seller, for your $.01 + shipping copy that is now in my eager little hands. Will be reading the Mystic and Rider story as soon as I'm done with book 3.
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New York Times bestselling author Claire Delacroix sold her first book in 1992, an historical romance called THE ROMANCE OF THE ROSE. Since then, she has published over forty romance novels and novellas, and has also been published under the names Claire Cross and Deborah Cooke. She has an honours degree in history, with a focus on medieval studies. She is an avid reader of medieval vernacular lit ...more
More about Claire Delacroix...

Other Books in the Series

Twelve Houses (5 books)
  • Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses, #1)
  • The Thirteenth House (Twelve Houses, #2)
  • Dark Moon Defender (Twelve Houses, #3)
  • Reader and Raelynx (Twelve Houses, #4)
  • Fortune and Fate (Twelve Houses, #5)
The Beauty Bride (Jewels of Kinfairlie, #1) To Weave a Web of Magic (Samaria Chronological Order #3.5) The Princess (Bride Quest, #1) The Rose Red Bride (The Jewels of Kinfairlie Book 2) The Snow White Bride (The Jewels of Kinfairlie Book 3)

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