I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have to admit, I had mixed feelings about moving the focus of the series (at least for this book) away from Summer and Decker. I should not have worried because Lizzy has proven once again that she has a talent for effortlessly weaving a complex narrative that combines her characters’ minds and voices while managing to preserve their distinct personalities. Well done Lizzy!
I was ecstatic to delve into Morgan’s mind. We were introduced to her briefly in a teaser exchange between her and Beck at the end of the previous book in the Witchling series, Autumn Storm. Let me just recap the how things stand at the end of Autumn Storm and at the beginning of Winter’s Fire. There is so much about the situation that I like because it gives you an idea about what kind of character Morgan will be. In the last book: (1) Beck puts his soul on the line and doesn't get the girl (I didn't want him to be with Summer or anything, but you have to admit, this usually results in a bit of fangirling) (2) Beck comes to the grim realization that he may not be able to keep the Darkness at bay forever and that he has no one to help him to carry that responsibility both physically and emotionally (3) Beck and Decker wonder if the Master of Light could also have a counterbalance (You have to ask yourself, what kind of girl would even be a counterbalance for Beck? I mean, she would probably have to be strong and sarcastic, but other than that...?).
AND...in walks Morgan and offers to set Dawn’s shoes on fire. Lizzy had me fully invested in a character in five pages. Sometimes it takes me a whole series to like a character...other times I never like protagonists. Five minutes...might be a record.
I was surprised to find Morgan to be the most believable and human of the characters in the series thus far. She seems like a teenager--but that may just be a result of the impulsiveness of her fire element. Even when she gets into trouble, I never felt like she needed saving. She was far from a damsel in distress. If anything, she is the princess who the white knight tries to save, but who knocks him off his horse and rides off into the sunset so that she can go save others. Throughout the book, she saves or protects others even if she is facing the possibility of pain or death. She was similar to Summer in this way, but while there are parallels between the two characters--they are both self-sacrificing, brave, and smart--but they are in no way replicas of one another.
Winter’s Fire has an interesting plot that builds off the story arc of Dark Summer and Autumn Storm. It is face-paced that makes it anything but dull and (surprise!) it ends with another trademark-Lizzy cliffhanger. When I read the last pages, the five-year-old in me was stomping her feet in protest. The novel excels at weaving the voices of new characters like Morgan and Noah (Dawn’s brother) while also, for the first time, letting us into the minds of those characters we already love. I was so relieved when I read Biji’s thoughts that she is as snarky as I thought she was! She may be my favorite character in the series.
Lizzy, if you’re reading this, more Biji please...all snarky all the time...
And, poor Sam...aren't there girl Sams in the world? He could use some yeti love.