The magic of Summer is unlike anything else. Imagine life, fertility, laughter, joy, ripening fruits and the smell of fresh bread baking in the morning. That is Summer magic.
— Bitter Frost, by Kailin Gow.

[Artwork: Summer Is Icumen In, by Herbert Arnould Olivier.]

Rating: 4/5
*Warning: Very, very, very mild spoilers*

Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl get ripped apart by deep rooted faerie feuding. Girl is banished from her world and dreams of Boy for years until he makes an unexpected reappearance.

So begins the tale of the first book in the Bitter Frost series. Breena is a faerie princess, banished from her kingdom and forced to live in the mortal world with no recollection of her life in the faerie courts aside from a reaccuring dream. One night, which she originally planned to spend with her best friend as, of course, a quiet evening at home, changes the course of her life when her mother goes missing, she’s nearly kidnapped, and the boy from her dreams decides to tumble back into her life.

Out of all the books on faeries I’ve read that involve seasonal courts, I don’t think I’ve ever found one where the heroine falls for someone from the Winter Court (or as handsome sounding as Kian is…) Then, of course, I stumbled across Bitter Frost. It truly is a dazzling read, and my vivid imagination soaked up every detail about Feyland (although, I positively cannot stand that name). Let’s put the bad before the good, shall we?

- Obvious typos and grammatical errors. A pet peeve, but really not a big deal in the long run.

- During the first battle with Delano, he goes from pixie to Pixie King in about six paragraphs, but several chapters later Breena is shocked to hear Delano is the Pixie King.

- During the aforementioned battle, Delano suddenly has weapons out of nowhere, and they way it is written makes it seem like they’ve been around the whole fight. This is also the case with Kian during the minotaur battle.

- The book is slightly too fast paced in the beginning. However, this is quickly resolved once Breena gets to Feyland.

- I don’t really like that there are dashes where commas should be in the text. Some dashes are where they should be, but commas would have been a lot more appropriate. This is just my opinion.

- Too many exclamation points! Faeries are not human; they don’t react like humans, they’re overconfident, sure of themselves. Even in dire situations, they don’t seem the type to get too…overexcited.

- The scene where Kian’s release is being negotiated is written a bit confusingly. I had to flip the page back a few times to try figuring out who was glamoured as who and who was being swapped for who.

- Breena is spunky! Too often we see heroines who meekly go along with what’s happening or want to take some sort of action but are too afraid to. Not in Breena’s case. I could read her narrative forever. We need more heroines like this in YA. Seven books in this series so far, keep ‘em coming!

- Breena immediately settles into her role as Summer princess. Another thing I see in YA is a girl who finds out she has some sort of role in the supernatural world and is either nervously reluctant to accept it or stamps her foot down and says she won’t go. Breena thinks, “I’m a princess, darn it, so I better start acting like one.” Breena is one of my new favorite YA heroines.

- Ahh, the imagery! I’m used to reading urban faerie fiction, where the Fair Folk have had to settle in amongst human cities and make due with living with or around them. It’s been a while since I’ve read something where faeries have their own realm, and what a beautiful realm it is. Descriptions of little things also put a smile on my face, such as the stones in Delano’s throne and how each race has a different colored blood, and a fitting color at that.

And finally, we have both a pro and a con. I started reading this book around six o clock in the evening and had it done by about eight thirty. The con to this is that I usually like my YA books to last me at least two or three days (nine or so if it’s, say, an omnibus) because if I’m halfway through and it’s amazing I’ll go buy the next one so I can jump right back into the story. The pro to this is that I can buy the rest of the series and zip through them all in one afternoon without having to flip back through an old one because I forgot some important character’s role or the actions of some minor character that will be important in the long run. Since I have many an unread book in my collection, and Spring Frost comes out in April, I think as soon as there’s a nice little bit of money in my wallet, I’ll invest in the rest of the series (currently, I own 1-4) and save them for a nice, warm summer day, so I can relax on my pool deck and spend a few hours in Feyland..

I’ve certainly become a fan of this series and can’t wait to see what happens to Breena, Kian, and Logan, and what Delano has up his sleeve. Here’s to the hope that this series lasts at least ten books.

If you were wondering what my ‘Gary King and the Enablers' Redbubble T-shirt looked like in real life here it is being modelled by Kyna Kowalchuk, who you can follow on Tumblr at :D

You can buy T-shirts, hooded tops and iphone cases of the design here and you can also purchase art prints and canvases from my Society6 store


It was a strange dawn, so unlike the sunrises in my world. First, a deep red light was cast over the mountainside. I thought at first that some creatures had set the woods aflame, for in the human world the only light that makes that color is fire. Then it faded into orange, a ripe, juicy color, before gradually turning into the bright golden yellow we in human-land only associated with summer days at noon; those rare stolen hours on beaches or in meadows…