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Winter Rose (Winter Rose #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  5,424 ratings  ·  262 reviews
Sorrow and trouble and bitterness will bound you and yours and the children of yours...

Some said the dying words of Nial Lynn, murdered by his own son, were a wicked curse. To others, it was a winter's tale spun by firelight on cold, dark nights. But when Corbet Lynn came to rebuild his family estate, memories of his grandfather's curse were rekindled by young and old - an
Mass Market Paperback, 262 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Ace (first published July 1st 1996)
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3 stars solely for the quality of McKillip's writing - evocative, lyrical, full of beautiful imagery. Sort of a combination of Marillier's style, which is vivid, always filled with otherworldly and draws inspiration from folklore, and McKinley's - which is heavy on psychedelic "trips" her heroines have to go through to evolve and grow.

Winter Rose is an interesting enough Tam Lin re-imagining, too bad so much of the story is dedicated to the main character's running in the woods or in snow or hav
I love Patricia McKillip's writing. That bald statement doesn't do the depth of my feeling justice, but there it lies. She turns the simplest statement into poetry, creating exquisite images that shimmer before the mind's eye long after the book has been closed; she imbues the whole world with magic, drawing forth colors unimaginable from the stark black text on a white page.

It is possible that Winter Rose is her best book. Where normally her prose creates just the slightest distance, separating
When I first read this, it was the first book I’d read by McKillip and I really didn’t appreciate it. I thought the words were lovely, but the substance was all over the place; everything had dream logic, and sometimes I couldn’t hold onto that logic and follow it through — or I’d come to totally wrong conclusions that I don’t think McKillip intended at all. But I expected this time to be different: I’ve come to really love McKillip’s work, in general, and to enjoy and follow the lyricism, the i ...more
A.G. Howard
Ms. McKillip is one of my favorite authors. Her prose is simply beautiful and magical. Loved this broken fairy tale!
I sat down and read this grippingly passionate tale in the space of 4 hours. I was hooked from the first page and I realised around halfway through that my mouth was dry, I had a frown of concentration furrowing my brows and I had a crook in my neck from not moving for a long time... The sense of distance and mysteriousness in the writing style really added to the story (which was almost a mystery itself) as I found out more and more about what was going on as I read. I loved the way I had to ke ...more
Peejay Who Once Was Minsma
This is a beautifully written, near-hallucinatory little novel, almost breathless in its telling of the story of a young man, Corbet Lynn, who returns to the ruins of his ancestral home, Lynn Hall, and starts to rebuild. There's a village rumor of a family curse, a dying man's words no one can quite remember the same way, as if the words and the memories shift with each retelling. One winter Corbet's grandfather was murdered by his son, Tearle—Corbet's father—who then disappeared without a trace ...more
Winter Rose is a Tam Lin retelling, and I think a particularly good one; also, it's a favorite of mine among McKillip's books. The first person narrator (a device I can't remember McKillip using in any of her other books I've read) gives the book a little more emotional immediacy than usual, and the writing is just as gorgeous and rich as always: the faeries and the faery world are particularly outstanding, with just the otherworldliness I was missing from Janet McNaughton's An Earthly Knight.
Winter Rose is written in a very lyrical style, but on reflection, not much really seems to happen. I quite enjoyed the style, but in the end, I can't really think of much substance to it. It was a bit Goblin Market-esque, I suppose, with the two sisters, and one pining away, and the other doing all she could to make things better... And of course, there was the story of Tam Lin. But I got a bit confused with who was related to who and how -- at one point I thought Corbet's father was also Rois' ...more
Brandy Painter
Full review posted here.

As far as retellings of Tam Lin go, this one does an excellent job maintaining the story and characters. The meeting at the well with roses, the heroine’s heedless love of running through the woods in unladylike manner, the hero’s cold manipulative indifference, the curse, the unfeeling Faerie Queen, the heroine holding the hero through transformations to break the curse, it is all here. This story adds the twist of the sister equally fascinated by the hero. Corbet wants
Admittedly I started buying McKillip's books because of their covers, and was lucky enough to find an author that I liked. What I admire about the covers, aside from being lovely, is that they're done by an artist who has obviously read the books. Don't you hate it when you judge a book by it's cover, get it, and even if you LIKE the book come to realize that said cover was done by someone who never bothered to read more then a summary of the contents they're decorating?

I think the worst offende
I've been thinking quite a bit about this book lately. I loved it when I first read it as a fourteen-year-old. (This was not long after I read Villette by Charlotte Bronte and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, two amazing novels that opened my eyes to the manifold benefits of giving a book a strong female first-person narrator.)

McKillip is not for everybody: her writing is highly stylized, intensely florid, and stubbornly pre-Raphaelite in its aesthetics. She uses phrases like "He rode a horse the c
Mary Catelli
Rois sees a man walk out to the woods. . . and being a rather wild thing herself, she gathers flowers and herbs and returns to learn of Corbet Lynn, who returned home to claim his grandfather's lands, which have fallen to wrack and ruin since the day so many years ago when his father killed his grandfather and ran off, cursed by that grandfather. Not that any two people can tell the same story of what the curse was, or any one person tell who was there to see that it was murder, or hear the curs ...more
Michael Miley
Don't read much fantasy, but my girlfriend recommended this. A lovely slightly gothic tale, a love story, it moves between two worlds, a kind of deathly underworld and the light of day, between a tragic hero and a nature woman who doesn't know her own boundaries.
I started reading this book a number of years ago and never finished. After having read it completely, I understand why I put it down the first time. While Winter Rose is a wonderful novel with great storytelling, you have to be ready to be pulled into the Winter Rose experience when you pick it up. The descriptions are beautiful, but they take over. Sometimes I felt like I was trapped in a haze of impressions rather than a novel, which is the perfect way to experience this book--but not if you' ...more
I've been hearing praise about McKillip's books for a while, so when I found out that she had written a "Tam Lin" retelling, I was excited to finally be introduced to her works.

By far my favorite aspect of Winter Rose is the language. Beautiful, nostalgic, and searching, it perfectly conveys the greater themes of the novel.

The hard winds sang their way into my dreams again that night. Long, white, insistent fingers of snow brushed against the window glass until I saw the storm out of memory, s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
REREAD #1: 8/10 (3 September 2006 - 5 September 2006)

This was a reread for me. I have McKillip's latest, Solstice Wood and since I knew that was about descendants of the characters in Winter Rose it seemed a good idea to reread that one first.

This is classic McKillip. The writing is dense, lyrical and beautiful. The tale is told in a tangle of metaphor and illusion that drags the reader in. Winter Rose is build from the basis of a retelling of Tam Lin, but McKillip takes the tale new places and
Lacey Louwagie
This was the first book by Patricia McKillip I've ever read, and the first fantasy novel I've read in quite a long time. I was impressed by how evocative McKillip's writing was; there was a sense of "place" that was both dream-like and tangible. I identified with her protagonists' sense of never quite belonging as well as her inexplicable yearning for something she couldn't quite name. The intricacy of the family relationships, particularly between Rose and her sister, were also well done. Someh ...more
I couldn't bring myself to finish this. I tried my utmost to like it, and I've gotten to the point where I feel a kind of moral obligation to finish a book once I start it, but I just couldn't do it. I know P. McKillip's style is all 'dreamy' and 'lyrical' or whatever, good for her, but I don't enjoy that kind of writing - it seems pretentious and unrealistic to me. Plus, I found the plot fatally slow-moving and I disliked the heroine with such a strangely passionate hatred that I longed to impa ...more
About 70% of this book is made up of descriptive words like: green, leaves, roses, winter, wind, dreams, wood, eyes, heart, cold, ivy, shadow, light, etc. The remaining 30% is story. It's like a house that is made up of 70% rococo gold scrolls and 30% foundation, which is fine as long as you don't live on a fault line. The story is interesting enough though except is one of those things where at the end you're still kind of wondering what happened and there's no right answer. If you're okay with ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rois and Laurel are two very different sisters. The story follows Rois, the wild girl who feels at home outdoors. Both girls become fascinated with a man named Corbet. Rois becomes tangled in enchantments and mystery as she seeks to rescue the man she and her sister both love.
There is something that can be said about transitions, or rather the lack of them. I think of the authors weaknesses, its this here. While I did appreciate that she skiped over the usual mundane parts of the story we all would know by heart, you do need a little context before you launch into the next big event.
Aside from this though, I loved this book. The author is truely gifted, and just reading the rich quality of her words was enough to make anyone fall in love. Certain books, are less abo
Review to come :)
Setting/World Building: 5/5
Main Character: 5/5
Other Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Triggering/Issues: 5/5 (None)

AVERAGED TOTAL: 5 out of 5!!!

WOW. Wow. Wow. WOW.

Did I say wow enough? Because wow. Alright, I think this is without a doubt my favorite McKillip book so far, although Changeling Sea is a close second. This was just beautifully written, as poetic and gorgeous as McKillip's books always are. The best part to me though, was that unlike previous books that I've read of hers, this
Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip
5 Stars + Favorite
272 Pages

When Corbett Lynn returns to the home of his father and grandfather before him, intent on rebuilding Lynn Hall, he stirs up memories long since locked away. It is said that on the night his grandfather mysteriously died, some say murdered, and his father disappeared, Nial Lynn uttered a powerful curse to chase his descendents through time. Yet no one was there to see the old man die, so how could they know of this curse, or more correctl
Althea Ann
McKillip is one of my favorite authors: she has an unrivalled ability to take a seemingly simple story and invest it with a beauty of language and depth of meaning seen in few books. Her fairytales are for adults, as well as younger people (as such stories were originally meant to be); she stays true to the heart and soul of this most enduring and significant form of tale-telling.
This book is based on the legend of Tam Lin, with a bit of Andersen’s Snow Queen thrown into the mix –
Set in a timele
This is my third book by McKillip this week. I might have gotten a bit over enthusiastic when ordering at the library :) Sometimes I forget I need breaks between things to really even out my feels.

Let me say this, the woman can tell an intricate, complex story and she does so with such evocative, beautiful prose. I've enjoyed every book I've read so far.

So Winter Rose was the third book I finished of hers this week and it was by far the most hair-pulling out, frustrating, wonderful one so far.
When Corbet Lynn comes to reclaim the dilapidated Lynn Hall, the wild Rois--given to foraging barefoot in the woods--becomes obsessed with the secrets and curses of his past. Winter Rose is a Tam Lin retelling at its best: it harvests some aspects (from Tam Lin and other tales) and discards others while maintaining the emotional and symbolic essence of the source material; it then weaves an entire tale around that skeleton, creating a vivid setting and cast without losing the story's magic. Inde ...more
Recommended by: Year's Best Fantasy And Horror (10th)

"Winter Rose" is the story of wild child Rois and her sensible sister Laurel and their obsession with the mysterious and cursed Corbett.

I tried to like this book, it took me three attempts to read the whole thing, but I did! I just found that I didn't really enjoy it and found it difficult to get into.

For me, the language was beautiful, in parts, but the pretty metaphors, similes and adjectives got in the way of the story and at t
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  • White as Snow
  • Thomas the Rhymer
  • Black Swan, White Raven
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  • The Perilous Gard
  • Snow White And Rose Red
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  • The Wood Wife
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Patricia Anne McKillip is an American author of fantasy and science fiction novels, distinguished by lyrical, delicate prose and careful attention to detail and characterization. She is a past winner of the World Fantasy Award and Locus Award, and she lives in Oregon. Most of her recent novels have cover paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft. She is married to David Lunde, a poet.

According to Fantasy Book
More about Patricia A. McKillip...

Other Books in the Series

Winter Rose (2 books)
  • Solstice Wood (Winter Rose, #2)

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“But you must stop playing among his ghosts -- it's stupid and dangerous and completely pointless. He's trying to lay them to rest here, not stir them up, and you seem eager to drag out all the sad old bones of his history and make them dance again. It's not nice, and it's not fair.” 15 likes
“Winds shook me apart piecemeal, flung a bone here, a bone there. My eyes became snow, my hair turned to ice; I heard it chime against my shoulders like wind-blown glass. If I spoke, words would fall from me like snow, pour out of me like black wind.” 4 likes
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