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Mother of Winter

(Darwath #4)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,012 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A beloved, bestselling sci-fi and fantasy master has written the long-aswaited sequel to her first fantsy series, The Darwath Trilogy. Five years after the Dark Ones were vanquished, the world is growing colder--and spawning hideous creatures that resist magic. Can mankind survive?
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published July 28th 1998 by Del Rey (first published 1996)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  1,012 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, own
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

My rating is 3.5 stars.

Comfortable. Like the feel of a cozy chair, or a sip of favorite coffee, or watching a movie you’ve seen a dozen times. That is what Darwath stories by Barbara Hambly are to me. Certainly, they are also exciting, suspenseful, and thought-provoking in equal measure, but sitting down with Ingold and Gil, Rudy and Minalde, Tir and the Icefalcon is a comfortable return to a fondly remembered place, surrounded by people I love. So please under
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 03-fantasy
This is a much-removed 4th installment of the world of Darwath, followed soon after by its 5th brother, Icefalcon's Quest. At this time in my life, I wasn't able to browse in bookstores anymore. When I saw these sitting on a shelf, I gasped and exclaimed in joy audibly, which was pretty embarrassing. The world and people Barbara Hambly created in her original Darwath trilogy were so realistic and lovely, that there were no words to express my delight to see a bonus set of two more novels.

This b
Joel Flank
Mother of Winter picks up 5 years after the original Darwath trilogy. The survivors of the Dark Ones have established a new kingdom, centered around the ancient Keep of Dare. They still struggle with the changing climate, but eke by. However, recently, crops fail, and a strange white fungus appears all over the land.

The wizard Ingold travels south to investigate lost lore, along with his lover Gil, who has grown into a formidable guard and warrior, far from the shy research assistant back on Ea
Gary Parker
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mother of Winter is a worthy addition to the Darwath adventure.
William Leight
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.5 stars, probably]

In many ways, this is a typical Hambly novel: everybody is cold all the time, wizards are always beset by hostile religious forces, there are impressive and disgusting enemies — the Dark is replaced by the vaguely fungal slunch, the gaboogoos it grows, and the terrible mutants that those who eat it turn into — and the world is only saved, improbably, at the very last minute. All the same main characters from the first Darwath trilogy are back, with similar dynamics, plus the
Douglas Cook
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
One of the Darwath series. Well-crafted fantasy series.

First paragraphs
In the moonstone dawn, the lone rider dismounted at the top of the steps, passed through the black square open eye where the doors would one day be, and halted on the edge of shadowed abyss. The woman who lay on the obsidian plinth in the chasm’s midst knew by the shape of his shoulders and back, by the way he carried his head, who he was; there was in any case only one person he could be. The wind that brought the s
Jennifer Gaarder
The fourth book in the Darwath series, Mother of Winter was a fantastic read. This story compiled more lore about the keep itself and the wizards of the days past. I enjoyed reading about the transformation that every person underwent and grew from, especially Rudy, in the days leading up to the end of the story.

Honestly, the end came as a surprise to me. I never thought the battle would be as it was, but to save this review from spoilers, I will say, it showed that perseverance definitely won o
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
The fouth book in the Time of the Dark series, this one deals with a completely different problem, and as such, could be considered a stand alone novel, with the caveat that there is no explanation for those who haven't read the previous three. Admittedly, I spent a good bit of time railing at the lack of presence, yet again, of our "strong female lead", which was mostly defrayed at the climax. Even so, I still feel that Hambly wrote Gil with far less passion than Rudy, who stands out to me as a ...more
Vanessa Parry
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was worried that this would just be a way to cash in on the success of the original trilogy but I need not have been.

This tale deepens even further the characters and relationships of Ingold, Gil and Rudy, pitting them against a new foe that I personally found to be the stuff of nightmare. (Suddenly nowhere is safe.) Add to that the slowly revealed secrets of the creation of the ancient Keep of Dare and you have a book that I found difficult to put down.
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Barbara Hambly since the beginning. I have recently going back to my favourites to re-read. This is one I had not read before. Unfortunately, this one didn't connect with me. I don't know if it was just because it's been 30 years and my reading material has changed but it didn't have the same feel to me as the original stories ...more
William Cardini
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually liked this book more than the original trilogy because it's so much more compact. More action and eldritch horror, less journeys, just like I prefer. The new threat is in some ways similar to the Dark but felt more original. ...more
Edwin Downward
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible follow-up to the Darweth Trilogy that explores both the past of the future of this world.
Mary Chaille
Not as good as the original series, which I loved and is still a page turner on the third or fourth reading, but still an enjoyable book.
Oct 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Pretty good as science fiction, but easily one of the creepiest books I have ever read.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things I liked:

* Rudy is left on his own for awhile (while Gil and Ingold are off on a mission) and has to learn how to cope with heavy responsibility for the first time in his life. He also has to learn some new magic on his own and spends a lot of time probing the deeper magic mysteries of the Keep. It's an interesting period of discovery for Rudy's character.

* New types of magic. (view spoiler)
Oct 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic, monsters
Hambly is great at taking a story and moving it in an unexpected direction. Just because the Dark is gone, doesn't mean Our Heroes can rest on their laurels - their world is not only in economic, political, and ecological upheaval, but now they face strange and dangerous changes in the world itself.

This book is the bastard child of a drunken fantasy/sci fi twist, and moves the characters of the former books forward in comfortable, domestic ways. As always with Hambly's books, it's just NICE to
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in alternative worlds and mage-craft, this book is for you.
This is the 4th book in the Darwath series. I have not read the previous three, and I am not sure I want to. There is enough remembering by Rudy and Gil to figure out how they came to be in this place from their Southern California roots.
This is a suspenseful story--worth a read.
I liked books 1-3 more then this title.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-kindle-books
Very good story. Although her chemistry is a bit confused. So don’t take the book as a science lesson.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, Steve Martin might have sung "Oh, murder and death and grief and sorrow," but Barbara Hambly has sure taken it to heart in "Mother of Winter." In book time, it's only been a couple of years since the characters prevented the end of the world in the previous book. But, now, here it is all over again with Barbara Hambly's standard set of antagonists who are not exactly pleasant or helpful. But, hey, that all gets better as the book progresses. Anyway, Hambly published this book in 1996 (13 y ...more
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the original trilogy, it was fun and I really enjoy a long story that spans several books.

That said I did not find this one all that great and was kind of happy to see it end, it just didn't have that epic "feel" or struggle to it except for maybe at the very end there.

Dunno I think this world and it's characters was quite interesting and fascinating and deserve better than some "one off filler" books that don't lead to a bigger story arc.

I am half way through Iceflacon's Quest an
Dec 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes place post Darwath series.. It explains how Dare keep continued to be a viable place to live thousands of years after it was built... The Dark have been defeated but the terrible cold continues...the ice has frozen most of the food that was planted as well as their livestock.. In addition alien being that loves cold is producing life forms that kill the land....The Keep has to figure out how to obtain sufficient food and how to defeat this menace in the south...
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I didn't even realize there was a fourth book in the series until I stumbled across it.

And there shouldn't have been.

It's basically just the previous three novels all rolled into one, but with a new enemy.

Though, I suppose it might be okay if I hadn't read it immediately after rereading the first three.
Katie Bee
1) "Babies ever after" is really not my favorite trope.
2) Hambly does many things well. Extended road trips are not her strength.
3) Ugh, the "horrid black Southerners who treat their women like subhumans" is really, really old and offputting.

Gil is still a good character. I also loved Tir, who's growing up quickly. I think the book could've done with waaaaay more Alde, though.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the first three books in the Darwath Trilogy, Mother of Winter just wasn't as great for me. It was fun being with beloved characters and inside Hambly's world again, but the plot of this one was just really confusing for me and I'm still not totally certain who the "Mother of Winter" was supposed to be or how exactly that final "battle" played out. ...more
May 08, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weather, 2009, fantasy
Odd, and much darker than the original Darwath trilogy.

And slunch has to be one of the most disgusting things ever invented in literature. Some of the descriptions of it and the gabagoos made me feel positively nauseous and squeamish.
Marc Pressley
It was interesting to catch up with the cast of the Darwath Trilogy a few years later. As usual, Hambly weaves into her story a historical mystery for the heroes to decipher. The whole slunch-and-gaboogoos plot was a little weird (bordering on tiresome) by the end.
Melissa Rockenfield
This is Book 4 of the Darwath series. I had no idea there were 4!
K.C. May
Aug 24, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just one of the books I keep re-reading. Solid, enjoyable fantasy writing with several intriguing characters (Icefalcon, anyone?).
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aka Barbara Hamilton

Ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Barbara Hambly has a masterful way of spinning a story. Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.

"I always wanted to be a writer but everyone

Other books in the series

Darwath (5 books)
  • The Time of the Dark (Darwath, #1)
  • The Walls of Air (Darwath, #2)
  • The Armies of Daylight (Darwath, #3)
  • Icefalcon's Quest (Darwath, #5)

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