Feb 21, 2017

Dark Tempest (Red Winter Trilogy 2) by Annette Marie

LOSE YOURSELF IN a world of gods and spirits in Dark Tempest, sequel to the enchanting romantic fantasy Red Winter, by Annette Marie. In the mesmerizing sequel to Red Winter, Emi can no longer hide within the safety of the shrines. The goddess has charged her with a new task, one that will take her deep into the perilous realm of yokai. But as the solstice draws near, Shiro’s lost memories begin to emerge and his shadowed past threatens to destroy him. With the fate of the world in her mortal hands, she cannot falter, but is she strong enough to sacrifice everything—including him?



Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost—his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro’s past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world—and for Shiro.

Publication Date is January 6, 2017: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon AU Amazon CA 

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book review rating 5 out of 5

MY FIRST READ of this year has set an incredibly high bar! Annette Marie, Amazon’s best-selling YA fantasy author, has risen the stakes with Dark Tempest, the sequel to the Red Winter Trilogy. I was left breathless by its high-octane action, mesmeric and sweeping Japanese culture, and exquisitely slow-burn romance.

The richly descriptive prose is a sensual feast of word-building that expands beyond the first book to include new kamis and yokais inhabiting in frightening and fantastical realms, and performing strange and beautiful magic. The vivid details are occasionally paired with aesthetically gorgeous illustrations to create an anime-like reading experience, which I absolutely loved because it gave me a glimpse of how the author envisioned scenes.

From the first tensions of an attraction that blooms lovingly into a deep affection, the slow burn romance between Shiro and Emi was exquisitely nuanced. Inasmuch as I was entertained by Shiro's teasing smile and shameless flirting, I was more deeply touched by his vulnerability and devotion that was carefully hidden behind that nonchalant surface to keep Emi from looking at him too closely. The romance was sweet and swoony; tender and lacerating.

For fans of endless, unputdownable action, Dark Tempest will not disappoint. Emi and Shiro, along with the striking and mysterious Yumei, encountered one epic battle after another. With each battle becoming more electrifying and high-stakes, leading up to an explosive conclusion aptly described as dark tempest.

Although the action is highly entertaining, it is the well-drawn characters that is so integral to the storyline. Emi has more selflessness than sense sometimes. But, I really enjoyed seeing her transform from a demure kamigakari to a heroine who possesses strength through struggles. Ms. Marie never let me forget that Emi is human, but with a bit of luck, persistence, and cleverness, Emi fought her own battles admirable. Yet, it is Shiro who I think underwent the most transformation. Shiro’s mysterious past finally catches up to him, and the memories that was once hidden from him will surface to reveal a cunning and world-shattering plot that has been centuries in the making.

With each installment of the Red Winter Trilogy, I seem to be more and more enchanted by this series. Dark Tempest permeates with magic—of the ethereal and elemental, and in a spellbinding and delightful way. I can’t wait to find out what happens next for Shiro and Emi in Immortal Fire (Red Winter Trilogy 3).

{Thank you Annette Marie and Dark Owl Fantasy for kindly giving me this book free of charge, which does not influence my review.}



Cover links to my review.



Annette Marie

Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Find Annette Marie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads



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