Winter Reading Recommendations 2021

It’s nearly Christmas and the start of Winter though I have been freezing for ages! With Winter just around the corner here are some recommendations that I think would fit the season wonderfully.

  • Title: The Starless Sea
  • Author: Erin Morgenstern
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Series: Standalone

Plot: Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them. Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is. A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

So, I read this book last December and what I loved about this book was how wholeheartedly you can lose yourself in the pages. I was up for hours on end reading page after page. Reading this book feels like you’re sitting next to a cosy log fire with the snow slowly falling outside. A perfect for read for when you want to shut out the world.

  • Title: We Hunt the Flame
  • Author: Hafash Faizal
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Series: We Hunt the Flame #1

Plot: Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya–but neither wants to be. War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds–and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

A little bit on the nose with the recommendation here but the first part of the book is set in a place that is always snowing. It’s a great setting for winter but if you do miss the warm weather of the summer this book also has that as well. You get the best of both worlds. Scenes set in a place that never stops snowing and scenes in a place that is essentially a massive desert town. What more could you want? Adding to that you also have strong female characters and an amazing enemies to lovers ship!!!

  • Title: The Dollmaker of Krakow
  • Author: R. M. Romero
  • Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
  • Series: Standalone

Plot: Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past. The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina’s courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter–that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him. But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realise that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.

The next two books are books I haven’t personally read but I feel would be a great book to read during the winter months. Now, I have to be honest I saw the word Poland and the cover and instantly thought of Winter but this book also gave me some Nutcracker vibes which fits perfectly with that December time of year. This has been on my list for a super long time!

  • Title: For the Wolf
  • Author: Hannah Whitten
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Series: Wilderwood #1

Plot: As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods. Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again. But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

Ok, so the first thing I noticed was the cover which is giving a very strong wintery vibe but upon further investigation it was stated by the publisher to be a perfect book for fans of The Bear and Nightingale by Katherine Arden which was the book I recommended in last years Winter Recs post. This is also a book I so desperately want to read!!

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