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(Rowankind #1)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  684 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Set in 1800 in Britain, Mad King George is on the throne with Napoleon Bonaparte knocking on the door. Unregistered magic users are pursued to the death, while in every genteel home resides uncomplaining rowankind bondservants who have become so commonplace that no one can recall where they came from.

Meanwhile, Rossalinde Tremayne is satisfied with her life as a cross-dres
Mass Market Paperback, 424 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by DAW
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  684 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Winterwood and I were love at first sight, and all you have to do is take a gander at the book’s myriad subjects to see why: Magic. History. Fantasy. Romance. Fae. Ghosts. Shapeshifters. PIRATES. It’s like an irresistible smorgasbord of all my favorite themes and fantasy elements all in one place, and a strong, compelling female protagonist was the cherry on top.

Set in Britain in the time of King George III, Winterwood t
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know where to start with my love for this book. The privateering rocks, the cross-dressing female captain Ross is in the ranks of my favorite heroines, the romance is sexy but doesn't take over the plot, the magic is fan-freaking-tastic, and all of this set in an alternative 1800 England where Fae and magic aren't just myths. It also works well as a stand alone with everything tied up but I'm excited to find out what will happen in the sequel!!! ...more
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
This could have been so much more than it was. The premise is lovely and the prose is readable so why then did I fail to connect with the characters? The protagonist is very flat, one-dimensional even, and her actions and thoughts often fail to have a sense of process and come out absolute and without any sense of internal conflict. For instance, the magic box she is given by her mother. A normal person would show some curiousity, spend some time trying to open the box but she doesn't. In fact, ...more
Winterwood is a good solid read. A delightful blend of historical-fiction, fantasy, shape shifter, and romance.

Rossalinde Tremayne (Ross) is a young woman who has been widowed from her husband Will. She eloped with Will taking one of her father's ships as a dowry for their marriage. Will unexpectantly dies leaving Ross to captain their privateer ship. Will's ghost however continues to hang around. Ross' mother is ill so Ross goes to pay her a visit. The relationship between Ross and her mother
Jan 25, 2016 marked it as looks-interesting-maybe-read
The Kindle price is higher than the paperback price! Publishers really do think consumers are idiots.
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
I think it was the cover that got me. Who wouldn't want to be a dashing young woman dressed for piracy?

I like a good historic fantasy, and the Golden Age of Piracy certainly has a lot going for it in the action department. The idea of a woman who was old enough to be married, who is an illicit witch with a ghost husband to boot- sounds like fun!

My first disappointment was that although Ross, our heroine, is indeed a widow, she still is barely over twenty. I know that young heroines are the sta
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
After I read the opening of Winterwood, I thought I was going to love it, but I soon found myself bored by it. It's not that nothing happened; it's just that what did happen didn't interest me and I wasn't invested in the characters. I loved that Ross was a privateer captain respected by her crew, but there was very little characterization and the investigation in the story wasn't that compelling even though I had been looking forward to reading about Ross digging into old family secrets from th ...more
Jaine Fenn
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I should read my outside my comfort zone more often: this book proves it. Winterwood is an easy, compelling read which ticks loads of boxes – pirates, fae, adventure, angst, ghosts, wild magic – whilst managing to surprise you with unexpected plot developments and delight you its beautifully paced story and believably strange world. A delicious page-turner.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 60-some

I could not be more in love with this premise. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling anything for the characters and I'm bored.
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, b-grade
Lightning review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Winterwood is an alternate-history Regency fantasy novel with magic, elves, a werewolf, a ghost, and a heroine who is the captain of a privateer vessel (essentially a state-sanctioned pirate). The book is not a romance, although it has romance in it, and it’s the first book in a new series (thankfully, it does not end on a cliffhanger).

There’s an awful lot happening in Winterwood and yet the book feels fairly slow. There are a lot of side trips and
Set in Great Britain in the year 1800, Winterwood overflows with fantasy from the get-go. Rossalinde Tremayne, a witch who's "assumed" the identity of her dead husband and privateer captain Will, returns home for a bitter visit with her dying mother. There, Ross meets a half-brother she never knew about and inherits a magical winterwood box - a box that only she can open and, by doing so, free the nature-born rowankind from slavery. But the British government wants the box as well, and the ghost ...more
Great beginning but kind of fizzled out.
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon

This is a weird one to review because the first half of this book gets a 3.5 star rating for great pacing, plotting, and mystery. And pirates. Lady Pirates!!!

Then, Corwen shows up. It's still good, still awesome.

Then they meet the Fae.

And that's when it starts to go downhill. In fact, I'd hazard a guess and say that they didn't even need to meet the Fae in the book and then this book wouldn't have felt so rushed.

Because that's the real problem. The last 45% was incredibly rushed. This book
Agnieszka "Aeth" Jędrzejczyk
A successful blend of pirates, magic, mystery, and a well written female protagonist - basically the recipe for a great, almost cinematic-like adventure. And such it was and I enjoyed it very much, seeing as I find it so hard to lay my hands on any kind of epic adventure lately. It was strange at times - particularly when it came to introducing us to an altogether different culture - but Rossalinde, as the voice of the story, kept me grounded pretty much at all times (and I especially liked her ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I had higher expectations for this book - give its a lady pirate and it begins with her facing her (not dying fast enough) mother and the expectations that lady placed on her (and never forgave her for not living up to).

In the end though it just wasn't fascinating enough to me to read in one go (it took me a couple months).
I liked this well enough that I am going to pick up the next in the series. The romance wasn't as strong as I would have liked, but the world building was well done and the characters well drawn. ...more
This book had potential and I'm sure there are some people who'd find it wonderful but I just couldn't get into it. In an alternative 1800 Britain with magic and fey a female cross-dressing pirate ( look at that cover - could she ever pass for a man, even with a false beard? I don't think so!) visits her dying mother, inherits a magic box she can't get rid of, discovers family she never knew she had and goes back to her pirate ship. And the ghost of her dead husband (who seems much too creepy an ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was utterly ridiculous (AU England with enslaved tree fairies, complete with some really unfortunate comparisons to actual, historical slavery) and completely historically inaccurate (among other things, the main character basically felt like Devi from the Fortune's Pawn series transported to England in 1800; also, LITERALLY NO ONE had an opinion about her dressing as a man).

This is not a good book by any objective means, but it was the perfect bedtime book because it was impossible t
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's the year 1800 and England has a firm handle on magic. Anyone with magical abilities is supposed to register with the Mysterium. Anyone who doesn't register will be punished - most likely hanged. Rossalinde Tremayne never registered herself but she's managed to evade the Mysterium by spending much of her time at sea. In truth, she's never been comfortable with her magical abilities and prefers the life of a privateer anyway. Taking on the guise of her late husband, Ross wreaks havoc on the h ...more
Grace Troxel
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:

Winterwood by Jacey Bedford is the first book in the Rowankind series. It features a strong female protagonist, angry fae, and pirates, which are an excellent combination.

Although it’s the first book in the Rowankind series, Winterwood is self-contained and forms a complete story arc. Book 2, Silverwolf, is scheduled for release in January.

Rossalinde (or Ross) Tremayne is a privateer ca
Apr 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
One of the few books for my DNF shelf. Normally i would try to push myself further in a book, but I just can't scrounge up the deisre to do so.
I have two reasons why I'm not finishing this. 1) the random F-Bomb that just came out of now where. I hate cursing I try to avoid it as much as possible when i read and I don't curse myself. Cursing is vulgar and crass and I just don't like it.
2) I was bored. given all that happened in the short amount i read, a house fire escape on horseback riding th
Apparently I promised a review almost a month ago. My apologies to anyone who's been waiting.

The original review will be posted on The Book Adventures the morning of Friday, February 26th, 2016.

This book has so many of the elements I love in a good fantasy: pirates, fae, magic, a wolf shapeshifter, a heroine who disguises herself as a man, adventure, romance, an alternative historical setting... really, this book is just my thing. I loved it.

Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe)
3.5 - 4 stars

I thought the world building was very interesting, and I loved the strong protagonist. The pacing was all over the place, though, making it hard for me to stay completely engaged in the story. When the action did kick into gear, the story telling soared. Waiting for these bursts of awesome got a little frustrating.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting fantasy romance, which also managed to be an alternate history novel. As the heroine was a cross-dressing pirate, it's no surprise I jumped on this book as fast as I could. And I was rewarded for that, too. I got action, adventure, magic, mythology, and a pretty good romance. I'm kind of wondering what book 2 will bring, as things wrapped up pretty well in here. ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Let's see here: pirates, werewolf -- strike that, lupine shapeshifter -- Fae, intrigue, social justice, and a strong female protagonist, plus just enough romance and humor, in an easy-to-digest, compact fantasy novel. Yup; no complaints here. It's not a 4-star book in terms of objective quality, but I enjoyed it plenty and look forward to the sequel. ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library, fantasy
Got through 330 pages and realized I just did not care about any of the characters or how it ended. So I dropped it.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2018
This was a fun book. Basically: Ross is called home from privateering to visit her dying mother, where she receive a mysterious winterwood box. It becomes shortly apparent that a man known as Walsingham is after the box.

I liked the magic - there are fae, and Ross is a powerful witch, but we slowly learn that magic is regulated, with witches being forced to register. Powerful ones join the military. As Ross failed to register, she hides - or she could be hung as a witch.

There's also social inequa
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars: cool premise, but the execution was lacking. The ghost-husband was an interesting idea and dilemma, but it feels like the author can't commit to really fleshing out any other relationships to a degree that would make me feel it as a reader. Ross loves her newfound half-brother because the author says so (I didn't feel that bond naturally develop; insta-love), same as the eventual romance happens because the author said so, I made this cool character design and you two are gonna be a t ...more
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rossalinde Tremayne has taken the place of her dead husband as a privateer captain, roaming the sea in her ship, the Heart and dressing as a man. When she is drawn to visit her mother on her deathbed, she inherits a magical winterwood box. Soon it becomes apparent that the box is something that a deadly magic user wants, and will stop at nothing to take from her, even using her brother as bait. In her quest to figure out what to do with the box, and find relatives she didn’t know she had, she di ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-2018
Privateer captain and unregistered witch Ross Tremayne feels most at home on the sea, but a deathbed visit to her estranged mother sets her on an unlooked-for different path. Inheriting a half-brother she never knew about as well as a magical box passed down from generation to generation, she is settled with the task of opening the box to right an old wrong. Accompanied by her late husband's possessive ghost and a handsome shapechanger of uncertain aims and allegiances, Ross discovers a weighty ...more
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Jacey Bedford is an English writer who is published by DAW in the USA. She lives and works behind a desk in Pennine Yorkshire. She's had stories published on both sides of the Atlantic. She has six novels out now and is currently working on three more. Empire of Dust, Crossways, and Nimbus are science fiction (space opera) which make up the Psi-Tech trilogy. Winterwood, a historical fantasy, is se ...more

Other books in the series

Rowankind (3 books)
  • Silverwolf (Rowankind, #2)
  • Rowankind (Rowankind, #3)

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