"Here is the god of darkness and death, the devastating fist of winter. His words snap like bone and ring like metal forged. There is something alluring to his assuredness. He has lived millennia while I am but a gasping breath, dandelion fluff, ice beneath a summer sun. To stand in his path is to be cut down."
Before anything, I have to say that, by Goodreads ratings, I really liked “The North Wind”.
The Greek mythology influence is obvious if only we look at the names and the “social” and geographical constructions. The story could be “in the vein of” as the blurb states, but to say that “The North Wind” is a retelling of Hades and Persephone or the modern Beauty and the Beast, would be a mistake. Alexandra Warwick (AW) brings much more to this supernatural feast.
Focusing on the romance, because “The North Wind” is a love story, AW ingeniously tests the heroine and hero. Charged with the old meanings, the mythological elements (things, names, believes, or creatures) are modified to properly challenge the characters. The “slow-burn” love fans and connoisseurs will appreciate the transition from enemies to lovers whilst the “insta-love” enthusiasts will open their hearts and recognize a good love story. The characters, main or secondary, change, evolve. The relationships and the witty, sarcastic comebacks, the way in which "Wife" ignores or outright breaks the rules are delicious and made me remember a bit of the atmosphere of The Taming of the Shrew.
The writing is vivid, the visual being very well developed. The imagines are detailed, representative without clogging the narration but supporting the events and reasoning the characterization of the heroes. The winter's white is shadowed in many nuances of grey. The slow-ish and alert passages alternate, the safe and dangerous scenes are well placed, resulting in a good pace, and feeding the readers’ interest. The battle scenes are also “believable”, and their rhythm and gore are well balanced. The mature scenes... yes, probably here there are some discussions especially about the last one which, even let's say it is "possible and probable" still... was not fully prepared...
The messages (including those of the “politically correct” nature) for the readers are present, more or less evident, but skillfully braided in the characters’ thoughts, words, or as echoes of their actions or situations.
It matters very little if you prefer fantasy/supernatural/paranormal stories or not, or if you know or not this author, I’m sure that many of you will like “The North Wind”. As for myself, I cannot wait for the next volume of “The Four Winds” series, hoping to be at least as delightful as the first.