Review: Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner

June 12, 2013 4 stars, Book Review 8 ★★★★

Pabkins’ One Liner: More sadness and brutality to twist your heart!

Faerie Winter

The long-awaited sequel to Janni Lee Simner’s breathtaking YA fantasy debut, Bones of Faerie.

Liza is a summoner. She can draw life to herself, even from beyond the grave. And because magic works both ways, she can drive life away. Months ago, she used her powers to banish her dangerous father and to rescue her mother, lost in dreams, from the ruined land of Faerie.

Born in the wake of the war between humanity and Faerie, Liza lived in a world where green things never slept, where trees sought to root in living flesh and bone. But now the forests have fallen silent. Even the evergreens’ branches are bare. Winter crops won’t grow, and the threat of starvation looms. And deep in the forest a dark, malevolent will is at work. To face it, Liza will have to find within herself something more powerful than magic alone.

Here at last is the sequel to Bones of Faerie, for all those fans of dark fantasy and dystopian adventure who thrilled to Janni Lee Simner’s unique vision of a postapocalyptic world infused with magic.

​​Faerie Winter exceeded my expectations for a sequel! I felt about it the same way I did Bones of Faerie. That it was a great story and by the end I would have been satisfied if I learned there wasn’t going to be another book. Lucky for me its a trilogy but even better that each book thus far in this trilogy has done such a stellar job of standing on it’s own legs.

There WAS NOT a ton of rehashing at the beginning going back over absolutely everything that happened in the prior book. There was a bit but thankfully it was minimal and found it was more spread throughout the entirety of Faerie Winter rather than a blunt force trauma to the head smash of it like I’ve seen in so many other series books. ​

​Life picks up where things left off in Bones of Faerie and I’m happy to see its realistic. There is tension between Liza and her mother, just as their should be. Problems in a relationship don’t just miraculously go away just because you’ve past a life threatening situation. The focus that was put on their relationship and how Liza still harbors a lot of resentment and anger towards her mother for all of the things she has hidden from her, and continues not to tell her really helps build on Liza’s character development and the choices that she makes. If she can’t trust someone who is supposed to be so close to her it would of course effect many of the things she does. I can’t even describe how well I thought this relationship was done.

And Matthew, Oh my wolfy boy Matthew! How I love this guy! He didn’t get a lot of screen time in Faerie Winter and for that I was seriously sad. I know that was important to the storyline but I missed him and this was a bit of a debbie downer for me. I fully anticipate though that he will be back in full force in the final book Faerie After which I am about to start today! I do have to say what little time he was there, sure had a lot of zing!

​We meet a few new characters of course, key of which are Kyle and Johnny, they are a few other kids in Liza’s town. Kyle is a little boy I think maybe age 5, and his brother Johnny is around Liza’s age. Kyle can be a bit annoying at moments but what 5 year old isn’t? I find it refreshing how all of the children born after the War feel a bond to each other, and like the nickname they gave themselves, “Afters.” They’ve feared their whole lives that their magic would be found out and that they would be put to death for it. You still get that sense of fear from them but they are definitely starting to come out of their shells.

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“Afters have to stick together.”

The level violence in the Faerie trilogy so far is something to keep in mind. Its not crazy graphic but there is a brutal nature to these books that I know not everyone would enjoy. I find it refreshing and realistic because fairy tales originally did have a much darker side – and quite frankly this is post apocalyptic, people die, people get hurt. Thats reality, whether its reality or fiction.

The Cons – only one thing really
The other thing was the constant “Go Away, Go Away,” that Liza would say when using her power. It just got really repetitive and I hate repetitive – it has a tendency to irk me and make me want to slap a ‘STFU’ sticker over someone’s mouth.

Favorite quote is actually the oath that Karin wants the children to take once they come into their magic:

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Blessed are the powers that grant me magic.

I promise to use their gift well.

To help mend my world.

To help mend all worlds.

And should I forget to mend,

Should I refuse to mend,

Still I will remember

To do no harm.


Faerie Winter

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• This book was purchased by ME! All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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8 Responses to “Review: Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I hope the last one ends everything nicely – I started reading it last night (of course I’m reading like three books right now haha!)

  1. Jaime Lester

    Had to see what you thought of book 2 after reading your review for book 1 and finally deciding to check it out for myself. Sounds to me like I wouldn’t be making a mistake by doing just that!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I really enjoyed this trilogy! In fact my review for the last book just went live right now! The author also did a guest post for us that also goes live in a few hours. I hope you check it out! It’s about my favorite character!

      • Jaime Lester

        Hi Tabitha! I just saw the review for the last book while checking my emails. I am sure there will be another of my comments for you as soon as I have the chance! Looking forward to learning all about your fave character!

          • Jaime Lester

            Why, yes! Yes, I am. My hubby works 3rd shift and I have a hard time getting to sleep early like should. So I scoot around and check out books and blogs. Good thing to do!