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The Winter Riddle

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  40 reviews
"Will it bring an end to the world as we know it?" This is the most basic test to distinguish a good idea from a bad one.

Bad ideas have a way of wrecking solitude, and that's all she wants. When the Winter Witch can't get a moment's peace in the North Pole, she'll try anything: swearing at the top of her lungs to convince people to leave her alone, or casting a spell to be
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Paperback, 338 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Black Spot Books (first published November 9th 2016)
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Shelly
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"And she mourned, as much as it was appropriate and not at all insane to mourn the loss of a stew."

The Winter Riddle was a really fun read. I enjoyed the satirical tone, the plot was twisty enough for me to be engaged, and OMG SANTA IS IN IT!

I am often suspicious (rightly or wrongly) when a dude writes a main female character that she will be boring. But the main character Volgha is complex and relatable and very real. I found myself laughing aloud at several points, which confused people in St
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Steve
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Not at all what I expected. Wasn't really in the mood for a book like this.
Koeur
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Publishing Date: November 2018

Publisher: Black Spot

ISBN:9781732400702

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.7/5

Publisher’s Description: In this updated version of Sam Hooker’s humorous dark fantasy novel that’s a perfect holiday read, The Winter Riddle destiny calls on an unlikely hero to save the North Pole. The Winter Witch would have been more than happy to be left alone entirely, and that’s exactly the sort of person who sticks out like a sore thumb when destiny goes shopping for heroes. Destiny has a nos
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Elley Murray
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm having a really hard time deciding what age group this is intended for. I got it thinking it was an adult novel, then I started reading it and going "Is this middle grade? No wait it must be adult... YA? No, that seems decidedly middle grade... But THAT is decidedly NOT middle grade content. ...Well huh." It was just that sometimes the humor was a little too on the nose, if that makes sense. I'm pretty sure this is an adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel with that particular quirky sense of humor that ...more
Sheela
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a hilariously farcical adventure story, the wit and humor of this fantasy story overflow in a way that makes me think a lot of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Volgha the winter witch just wants to practice her witchery in peace, away from the kingdom of Aurora (in the north pole of course) where her extravagantly crazy sister rules as queen, add in a drunkenly ridiculous Loki, Vikings, Norse Gods, Druids in trees and an Ex-warrior named Santa Klaus well things get a little stressful f ...more
Diane Hernandez
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Part Game of Thrones, part The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and part Viking mythology, Winter Riddle is a thinking person’s fantasy. And it’s hilarious!

At the North Pole, Volgha the Winter Witch is just trying to live an introverted life. However, her younger sister took over the kingdom, her mentor is now a tree and Santa is the worst neighbor ever. Enter the wacky fantasy world of Winter Riddle.

Incorporating Viking myth, witchy lore, familiars and Santa in one plot doesn’t even sound pos
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Sheela
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a hilariously farcical adventure story, the wit and humor of this fantasy story overflow in a way that makes me think a lot of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Volgha the winter witch just wants to practice her witchery in peace, away from the kingdom of Aurora (in the north pole of course) where her extravagantly crazy sister rules as queen, add in a drunkenly ridiculous Loki, Vikings, Norse Gods, Druids in trees and an Ex-warrior named Santa Klaus well things get a little stressful f
...more
Nicki Markus
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Winter Riddle is a funny, entertaining tale that blends Santa with witches, Vikings, and Norse gods. The book kept me amused from start to finish, and often had me laughing out loud. The characters are well written and nicely fleshed out, and the plot is great fun and perfectly paced. All in all, this is a great book to read snuggled up by the fire on a cold winter's night. I appreciated the quirky humour in this piece and would definitely read more by the author in the future.

I received thi
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Engel Dreizehn
ARC Copy...a yuletide humorous, absurd winter fantasy with a reluctant winter witch, a Santa who is not exactly the jolly old fellow and swearing in wolf.
Anjana
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I need to begin with something I am sure multiple blurbs will mention at some point. If you are a fan of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and/or Neil Gaiman there is something  in this book that will resonate with you. There is a randomness to the story which eventually gets to a point which will make you smile. 

The story begins in a land far, far away with the winter witch Volgha. All she wants is to be left alone to do her own things. This is hampered by the fact that she was originally born in
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Laura
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This one was a bit slow to start for me, I didn’t get into it until about halfway through. I think mostly because I just couldn’t see where the story was going, and Volgha doesn’t really endear herself as a character. Once we meet the Vikings and the story started to take shape I began to enjoy it a lot more.
I liked the use of a mix of characters from different origins. They all played up to their stereotypes really (Santa was jolly and friendly, the Vikings were drinkers and fighters, and Volgh
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Priyanka Mane
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To start with the first few chapters didn't get to me, but then when the story started to unfold, I couldn't stop reading it. There was to much information and character at the start so I guess that's reason it didn't make me want to read it. But I wanted to know the story as there was to much to know about it. And I kind of want to be a witch now. The story was good and it was interesting. It had Santa, Asgard gods and magic. And you would never think how can there be these elements in one stor ...more
Joel Mitchell
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I discovered Sam Hooker’s writing a few months ago with his Black Spot Press debut: Peril in the Old Country. I enjoyed that book so much that I jumped at the chance to read this one.

Stir together a mirthfully unhinged monarch who is best friends with Loki, her sister who is the Winter Witch, Santa Claus (seen wielding a war hammer on the cover…so you can expect someone a little different from the “right jolly old elf”), battle-loving Vikings, and various other mythical/magical beings and you ju
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Gianna
Oct 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The North Pole hasn't always been an empty place. Once upon a time, a Kingdom lay there. And there were all kinds of different creatures there: from strange Queens and Viking Gods, to Santa and elves. And, among them all is our protagonist, the Winter Witch. When her world is threatened by Ragnarok, our Winter Witch will ally with Santa himself, and the result can only be both epic and hilarious.
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Denice
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was perfect to read during this holiday season. It was really humorous and I enjoyed it a lot. It also had som really meaningful messages between all the jokes and silly stuff. I loved the writing style of this book.

Volgha the winter witch, our main character, was honestly just perfect for this story. I loved her. Her conversations with Osgrey were the funniest things ever.

I really liked some of the side characters as well, like Santa and Krespo. I do however think that the author cou
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Gabrielle Mathieu
If you are a moody young woman who likes to wear black, you might well be a witch. Or aspire to be a witch. If you needed a tongue-in-cheek guide on how to behave, you could benefit from picking up The Winter Riddle, by Sam Hooker. Quaint, and yet somehow very modern, this is the tale of Volgha the Winter Witch. Volgha, like Greta Garbo just “vants to be alone,” in her moldering, but cozy hut in the far North of the world. Unfortunately, not only is she royal by blood, her depraved, needy sister ...more
Cthulhu Down My Chimney 2Night
Review of THE WINTER RIDDLE
by Sam Hooker

Beautifully and delightfully snarky. I frequently had to stop and reread a line to be certain I absorbed all the humour! (smile) Mr. Hooker definitely has a flair for writing, especially of writing his special combination of dark-humourous-eccentric-poignant-grim epic fantasy. Yes, that's a whole new subgenre I just coined, to fit this novel. Although it's mostly set in the Kingdom of Aurora at the wonderful North Pole, the themes and characters are often
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Francesca
*Thanks to Net galley and the publisher for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review*

3 stars

This book is weird. The writing style is great and the characters are compelling, but the story is, well, weird. It's a melting pot of traditions and stories, and I'm not convinced they go with each other.
Nevertheless, it reminded me of Terry Pratchett's books and that's always good.
Klara
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully funny and mysterious read! Sam Hooker is an author that manages to balance magic, mystery, riddles and sarcasm! I laught so hard while reading this book that I stopped drinking my tea! If you wan t a funny story that has its basis in old myths and nordic religions, this book is definitely for you! And besides, the cover alone is certainly a selling point!
Craig Pearson
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. DNF. Sorry, I just did not see the point or the humor. The writing, thus the story line, seemed forced and without depth. This type of fantastic story, even with the addition of Santa, was not worth my time.
Dawie
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you have to become Queen just so people can leave you alone so you can get back to the Witching Way, be sure to employ Santa, The Vikings, maybe Odin and throw in some Ice Giants too, just for good measure. This was another great effort from Sam Hooker.
Jennifer Kelley
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This started off kind of silly, and I wasn't sure I would like it, but in the end I enjoyed the story. Who would imagine the author would be able to pull off a story with drunken monarchs, witches, Vikings, and Santa?
Lindy Ryan
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a light-hearted, soul-tingling seasonal read this holiday season, THIS IS THE BOOK. Hooker delivers his trademark wit in a Yuletide farce featuring all the things you won't expect in what sure to be a holiday classic.
Angela Ryser Bahling
Fun read for this gloomy weekend!
Leslie Christ
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was a fun fairytale. We have the reluctant hero and heroine. The quirky sidekicks. Defeated quirky bad guys and the ambivalent Gods. I laughed, cheered and shouted for them to save their world. This review is via NETGALLEY.
Cornelia Sanders
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hilariously written winter tale, combining aspects of so many different things like viking mythology, witchery, Santa, and more. Best for fans who like a little absurd, at times over the top, sometimes rediculous humor similar to the Life of Brian, Discworld, or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It doesn't completely go to the nonsense spots, these two hit, but it is lingering on the same kind of quirky humor - at least from my perspective.

It was overall a really fun wintery book and I tru
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Hannah
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found my self laughing out loud numerous time throughout the book. I do feel as though I should have read it during winter though (obviously) but other than that, the writing was well done and I absolutely ADORE the cover!!! The characters were a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a Santa that goes against what we recognize him as today.
Laura
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This one was a bit slow to start for me, I didn’t get into it until about halfway through. I think mostly because I just couldn’t see where the story was going, and Volgha doesn’t really endear herself as a character. Once we meet the Vikings and the story started to take shape I began to enjoy it a lot more.

I liked the use of a mix of characters from different origins. They all played up to their stereotypes really (Santa was jolly and friendly, the Vikings were drinkers and fighters, and Volgh
...more
Steve Thomas
rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2018
Felicia Allen
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an okay book. It was well written and the characters were humorous. It just isn't my favorite book.
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Sam writes darkly humorous fantasy novels about things like tyrannical despots and the masked scoundrels who tickle them without mercy. He knows all the best swear words, though he refuses to repeat them because he doesn't want to attract goblins. He lives in California with his wife and son, who renew their tolerance for his absurdity on a per-novel basis.