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The Winter Passing

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The days of Centaury’s mundane life are starting to fall through her; her job is going nowhere and her relationship with her childhood sweetheart is faltering. The island where she grew up is calling her home and it’s starting to bother her that she can’t remember why she ran away or what it was she left behind.

A chance encounter starts to free her memories and she learns those she thought she knew have been keeping dark secrets as well as the powers she possesses away from her. Suddenly in danger she must convince those who seek to lock her magic away she may be the only hope for stopping the dark power rising and threatening them all.

The Winter Passing is the first book in the House of Morrigan series and the debut novel from Sarah Lay.


Published June 21, 2018

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Sarah Lay

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Emma Pearson.
50 reviews11 followers
July 11, 2018
Full disclosure: I know the author!

My weakness in books is the melding of urban contemporary and epic fantasy. This isn't a Dresden Files or Rivers of London ripoff. It's steeped in UK culture, paganism and the importance of the solstice.

There are a lot of characters I hadn't seen before here, archetype-wise--the Fire Maiden, Taury's boss at the museum, even Pete is a kind of person you don't see too often in fantasy novels. Linnhe/Ciaran too.
There's clearly a lot of lore that's gone into these books, and I can't wait to learn more of it--just gotta wait til the next solstice!
Profile Image for Leah Kinthaert.
19 reviews
May 27, 2020
Some good clean witchy fun for your beach read this summer!

I don't normally read fantasy/sci-fi, I prefer nonfiction but thoroughly enjoyed this. Being a complete newbie I can only compare it to several TV shows or films with a similar theme. When it comes to shows, I actually prefer sci-fi/action and I can see this book doing really well translated into a film or series.

At times it reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, at other times Shadowhunters. Its Northern European countryside setting reminded me of the really creepy movies Midsommar or The Wicker Man (original version). (Spoiler alert, way less violent than those movies but not without violence.) Interestingly (I looked it up) none of these films or shows are based on books, they were first and foremost visual/theatrical productions.

I've done a good bit of reading about everything from crow behavior to animism and Celtic mythology so greatly appreciated that author Sarah Lay has a fairly sophisticated knowledge of all those topics which she brought to this book. Also fun was the setting, think a late 2010's version of 24 Hour Party People but set in London and minus the drugs.

And although there was more than enough romance to make any "Chick Lit" fan swoon, noticably absent is actual descriptions of physical sex between the two main love interests, which made it that much sexier. Portals to other worlds, shape shifting and otherwordly hallucinatory experiences more than make up for the lack of bodice ripping.

I couldn't put it down, and if that's not a compelling review I don't know what is. Buy the book!
2 reviews4 followers
July 30, 2018
A captivating and very well written debut novel. Fantasy isn't normally my type of genre but I found this book to be difficult to put down, and liked the way the main characters are fleshed out and have their own unique personalities - it meant I actually cared what happened to them. Also most of the characters aren't simply "good" or "bad" - they have more depth than that.
Written in the first-person, the story is engaging from the start as our hero Centaury struggles with a normal mundane life, while knowing that deep down a greater destiny lurks.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story that unravels , and will never look at a crow the same way again without a tinge of suspicion....
1 review1 follower
September 28, 2018
A strong, fast, exciting, powerful story of courage and camaraderie with characters led by their hearts and their guts. If you found yourself locked in this magical tale of mystery and secrets this is the squad you need at your back. So good I got an extra copy for my BFF!
118 reviews2 followers
February 19, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced spine tingling tale of magic and mystery of a girl who has run away from her remote Scottish island home to the big smoke. She seems to be being called back home but can’t remember her past or why she left all she knows is that there is fear and people close to her are not being honest.
A great debut novel I’m already excited to read the sequel
There are so many amazing little details in this story that mean it is very rereadable and have the potential to build an enthralling house of morrigan universe.
Profile Image for Lisa.
346 reviews4 followers
June 8, 2019
A complex world with more to offer

A fascinating debut novel. Sarah Lay has created a complex world of myth and magic and barely scraped the surface of it in this first novel in the series. There’s still a lot for a reader of fantasy fiction to enjoy, with the added thrill of more novels to come to fully explore the potential of the world of the Morrigans and the threat of the Neiman.
Profile Image for Peter Olding.
15 reviews
August 22, 2020
First of all I must state that I know the author. She was one of the first people I really met via twitter when I first joined it. Met her in person once our work paths crossed. So when I heard that she'd written a book I had to read it. I must admit I did enjoy the book even it is not my normal genre. It start off in my comfort zone with a woman working in a museum with a professor in charge. Then you are transported into a fantasy world of power, magic and mystery. I'm still not sure what power the main character has but I guess that could be explored in future books in this series. It has been stated that this is the first book in the House of Morrigan series. I can't wait to read the second one when it comes out and learn more about Centaury Morrigan.
25 reviews
July 28, 2021
I really enjoyed this book, It's been in my TBR pile for almost 2 years, I guess first person isn't really my thing. But once I started it, I found that any spare minute, my fingers were itching to pick it up again. I thought it was very well written and am very much looking forward to the next instalment.
April 28, 2023
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end, loving the suprises that kept on coming keeping you on the edge of your seat, cannot wait to continue with the trilogy, roll on the next one please Sarah.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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