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The Queen in Winter

(Twelve Houses #1.5)

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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  752 ratings  ·  96 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
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Paperback, 312 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Berkley
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  752 ratings  ·  96 reviews


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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.
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Mir
Jul 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
Gundega (Rouzmary)
I only read "A Whisper of Spring" by Lynn Kurland for that was the one story that interested me, however I must admit, it was lovely. Truly. Hadn't expected for it to captivate me so.
I'd love to read more of Symon & Iolaire's story for sure.

And let's admit - a heroine that has been abducted, a princess no less, actually contemplating first thing that it's too bad the hole in privy is too small for her to crawl through or she would've escaped? Go girl, she's awesome! Now that's a real woman!
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Kathy * Bookworm Nation
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Margaret
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;
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Kara
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy

Well, this was an odd collection. Not what I expected in terms of winter and queens and magic – most of the stories felt like they were awkwardly trying to jam into the theme rather than being tailored around it. Also, all of the stories probably would have worked well as short stories but are just a shade too long in their chosen forms here of novellettes.

A Whisper of Spring by Lynn Kurland reads as Tolkien-lite – all of the human prince / elven princess in love and in angst mushiness, but with
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_inbetween_
Mar 14, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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Lin
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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Jamie Collins
Dec 05, 2012 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.
Martha
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Bianca
Jul 16, 2007 rated it did not like it
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.
Nicole Luiken
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I only read two of these (I'll update it, if that changes)

A GIFT OF WINGS by Sarah Monette 5 stars
I LOVED this. Tormented hero, experienced heroine, fantasy setting, trapped by a snowstorm with a murder mystery... This one got me by the heartstrings.

WHEN WINTER COMES by Sharon Shinn 4 stars
This features side characters from her wonderful Twelve Houses series. Unfortunately, it's been a bit too long since I read that series. I only vaguely remembered Sosie and her sister Annie. A good story in i
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JW Dillingham
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kurland or Shinn devotees
Shelves: fantasy, romance
Bought this book in order to read the story by Sharon Shinn which I enjoyed quite a bit. However, unless you have read many of Shinn's books it would be confusing.

Shinn's story I would give 5 *****, Lynn Kurland's story I would give 4 ****, but couldn't even finish the other two (barely got to the 2nd chapter of one of them). Found them too graphic sexually which I very much dislike in books -- have to skip over too many pages. When will authors understand that it is much more sensual if you le
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Elena
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff, romance
The four stars are for the two novellas I liked, the one by Sarah Monette and the one by Sharon Shinn. The Sharon Shinn novella is set in her Mystic and Rider universe and was mostly enjoyable because it was fun to spend more time with some of the minor characters from that series. The Sarah Monette story was clever and excellent, as is to be expected from Sarah Monette.

The other two novellas were not at all to my taste, and would each merit 2 stars from me. (One I finished, since I got halfway
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Ruth
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I sought out this compilation of four stories for Sharon Shinn's contribution in the Twelve Houses-verse, a real gem. The hidden diamond was the short story by Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison, set in the Doctrine of Laybrinths world. Indeed, this was my first exposure to Monette/Addison.
Jessie
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I purchased and read this book for the sharon shinn story. I enjoyed "A whisper in Spring" and "A Gift of Wings", but while i found "The Snow Queens Kiss" to be interesting, I just didnt enjoy it as much.
Meg
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I've read Lynn Kurland's "A Whisper of Spring" which was the only one I wanted to read.
It was an interesting idea but lacked the personality I've come to expect from her writing.
Jamie
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Loved Lynn Kurland story, not so much the others.
Carolynn Markey
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The only story I remotely liked was by Sharon shin. The rest were not well written.
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
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The Window Seat
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jai
Jun 24, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Marsha
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
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Angela
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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Lynn
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Today's post is on A Whisper of Spring by Lynn Kurland. It is a novella that takes place before her first Nine Kingdoms trilogy. It is 82 pages long and is published by Berkley. The intended reader is someone who likes fantasy, love stories, and interesting plots. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. The story is told from the third person close perspective of the two main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- When Iolaire, princess of Ainneamh, is
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Shana
Apr 22, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Arliegh Kovacs
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short stories and novellas aren't generally my cup of tea but the fantasy-romances by these authors [The other book is 'To Weave a Web of Magic'.] have been delightful. (I would have finished this book much more quickly but one of my grandsons poured a drink all over it in my car and it took weeks to get it dried out... it's fairly stained and "crunkled" but still readable.) The book contains 4 stories: "A Whisper of Spring" by Lynn Kurland, in which an elf enlists the aid of a wizard king to re ...more
Anna
Oct 20, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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Cindy
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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Emily
Sep 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf
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
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New York Times bestselling author Claire Delacroix sold her first book in 1992, an historical romance called ROMANCE OF THE ROSE. Since then, she has published over sixty 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 literat ...more

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)