Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★
His heart stolen by a powerful pari’s magic, a young prince’s veins slowly fill with ice. That is what the stories say. Three years have passed since, and all efforts to save Kisin have failed. He won’t survive another winter. To save the prince’s life, Razin, the court wizard and Kisin’s childhood friend, plans to seek out the pari. But unbeknownst to Razin, Kisin’s heart was never stolen; he gave it freely to escape the pain of impossible love—his love for Razin.
Razin won’t accept Kisin’s fate, for reasons obvious to anyone who knows anything of love. Kisin agrees to the desperate quest, out of duty and a need to protect Razin. But it isn’t long before Razin realizes saving his prince will require more than simply retrieving his heart. Razin will have to convince him to want it.
Sometimes when I’m reading a story by R Cooper I feel as though I’m drawn back into the past along with it, the words convey a tale that makes me feel so much a part of their lives and adventures.
The Winter Prince is another wonderful fairytale, with a cold, blue prince without a heart as its focus. Kisin is turning to ice and everyone assumes they know the cause but they are so wrong. And one man closest to the prince, Razin who loves the Prince beyond all hope will do everything he can to save him. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Razin is a powerful mage in his own right but title. That’s part of the story as well.
R Cooper’s stories don’t unfold with haste but with a meaningful leisure. The author builds the tales slowly, upon scenes and history, upon the characters disclosures and moments of revelations that the reader, if they are patient, are rewarded with such gems of joy and magic along the way. I love it when I get the “aha, I see where you’ve been leading us” moment, or the laughter that comes when an angle totally unexpected pops up. But the clues are there if I hadn’t been paying attention to all the gorgeous work going on, the descriptions, the world building, the mythology…simply beautiful.
But its always the characters that bring me back. R Cooper makes me understand the isolation at the heart of Kisin’s sexual innocence and the deep pain that causes the grief the drives him to the desperation and worst decision of his life. We will see the story from other points of view than his, from Razin’s as well. I love the character of Razin. His life is so different than that of the remote, lonely prince. Razin was free in every way the Prince was not, in every way but one. I loved that you could see his pain and loss at his predicament too. There are simply so many other wonderful characters that will flow in and around these two, two women in particular, that will add their love and support in an astonishing way.
In the end, the magic of the story and the power of love kept me enthralled to the end. Happy ever after? Well, as much and as imperfectly perfectly so while staying true to the world they lived in. I could see it and still be happy for them all. Yes, I loved it.
Love R Cooper? Are you a fan of fairytales and fantasy? Here is another for your must read file. I highly recommend it.
Cover art by Brooke Albreacht doesn’t have enough of that fantasy element to satisfy me here. She could have done so much with the blue prince element and that was really lost.
ebook, 147 pages
Published February 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press