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Midwinter

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Midwinter Cover

ISBN13: 9781591027348
ISBN10: 1591027349
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winter comes to the land only once in a hundred years. But the snow covers ancient secrets: secrets that could topple a kingdom.

Mauritaine was a war hero, a captain in the Seelie Army. Then he was accused of treason and sentenced to life without parole at Crere Sulace, a dark and ancient prison in the mountains, far from the City Emerald. But now the Seelie Queen - Regina Titania herself - has offered him one last chance to redeem himself, an opportunity to regain his freedom and his honor.

Unfortunately, it's a suicide mission, which is why only Mauritaine and the few prisoners he trusts enough to accompany him, would even dare attempt it: Raieve, beautiful and harsh, an emissary from a foreign land caught in the wrong place at the wrong time; Perrin Alt, Lord Silverdun, a nobleman imprisoned as a result of political intrigues so Byzantine that not even he understands them; and Brian Satterly, a human physicist, apprehended searching for the human victims of the faery changeling trade.

Meanwhile, dark forces are at work at home and abroad. In the Seelie kingdom, the reluctant soldier Purane-Es burns with hatred for Mauritaine, and plots to steal the one thing that remains to him: his wife. Across the border, the black artist Hy Pezho courts the whim of Mab, offering a deadly weapon that could allow the Unseelie in their flying cities to crush Titania and her army once and for all.

With time running out, Mauritaine and his companions must cross the deadly Contested Lands filled with dire magical fallout from wars past. They will confront mounted patrols, brigands, and a traitor in their midst. And before they reach their destination, as the Unseelie Armies led by Queen Mab approach the border, Mauritaine must decide between his own freedom and the fate of the very land that has forsaken him.

Review:

"Comic book writer Sturges (Jack of Fables) makes an impressive debut with this superb low fantasy. During the titular cold season, the imprisoned soldier Mauritane is offered the opportunity to earn his freedom if he undertakes a risky mission for Seelie Queen Titania. Mauritane brings along a motley crew from the prison, including a gorgeous foreign warrior elf, a disgraced guard and a human scientist trapped in their world. Their Dirty Dozen — style exploits are interwoven with political intrigues at both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Sturges deftly works in superb character development, solid action sequences and engaging heroes and villains, as well as an original and fascinating mythological backbone for the Fae world. Although there is certainly room for the planned sequel, this tale stands nicely on its own." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

With time running out, Mauritaine and his companions are forced to cross the deadly Contested Lands filled with dire magical fallout from wars past. In the process, they must confront mounted patrols, brigands, and a traitor in their midst.

About the Author

Matthew Sturges's works include the comic book series House of Mystery, Shadowpact, Salvation Run, Countdown to Mystery, Blue Beetle, and the Eisner Award-nominated Jack of Fables, cowritten with Bill Willingham. His short stories have been published on RevolutionSF and in the anthology Live without a Net. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two daughters.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jvstin, May 5, 2009 (view all comments by Jvstin)
Better known as co-author of the first volumes of the Fables comic series, Matthew Sturges has turned his talents to novel writing.

Like his fellow Clockwork Storybook writer Chris Roberson, Sturges has produced a variation on the "Dirty Dozen" concept--prisoners given a chance at redemption by taking a one-way near-suicidal mission. Roberson set a Dirty Dozen in his "Chinese and Aztec" universe in The Dragon's Nine Sons.

Midwinter, Sturges effort, is similarly located in a place very different than our Earth--in Faerieland.

Midwinter is the story of Mauritaine. War hero, former Captain of the Royal Guard, he is in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He gets the chance at redemption at the low part of a 100 year cycle in the seasons--Midwinter. It seems that this occasion has cause for the Queen of the Seelie, Regina Titania, to offer a secret mission to him, and a few of his fellow prisoners. Survive, and their sentences will be commuted.

Not everyone is happy about this mission of course, especially Queen Titania's rival, Queen Mab of the Unseelie. As well as rivals to Mauritaine within the realm of the Seelie, and possibly within his own party...

The novel is both familiar and new in its treatment of Faerie and its inhabitants. The team has a variety of tropes, including a displaced human whose knowledge of technology and science seems useless in Faerie. At first.

We also have a couple of POVs from outside of the team, in both the Courts of Titania as well as Mab. Some of these POVs and characters are more compelling and well drawn than others.

I enjoyed the inventiveness of the premise (of winter coming to the land every century). I guessed the secret of the mission before it was revealed, but only just. And there are other delights in the world, like the strange Contested Lands, and the floating city that Mab calls her capital.

Overall, while I enjoyed the novel and was entertained, I do not think the novel quite hits on all cylinders. I do want to see how Sturges grows as a writer in subsequent novels. There is clear potential here that I would love to see in full bloom. So, if you can forgive a few faults in the novel, then you, too, just might enjoy Midwinter.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781591027348
Author:
Sturges, Matthew
Publisher:
Pyr
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Prisoners
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20090331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
345
Dimensions:
8.94x6.32x.77 in. 1.01 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Epic
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Surveys

Midwinter Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 345 pages Pyr - English 9781591027348 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Comic book writer Sturges (Jack of Fables) makes an impressive debut with this superb low fantasy. During the titular cold season, the imprisoned soldier Mauritane is offered the opportunity to earn his freedom if he undertakes a risky mission for Seelie Queen Titania. Mauritane brings along a motley crew from the prison, including a gorgeous foreign warrior elf, a disgraced guard and a human scientist trapped in their world. Their Dirty Dozen — style exploits are interwoven with political intrigues at both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Sturges deftly works in superb character development, solid action sequences and engaging heroes and villains, as well as an original and fascinating mythological backbone for the Fae world. Although there is certainly room for the planned sequel, this tale stands nicely on its own." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , With time running out, Mauritaine and his companions are forced to cross the deadly Contested Lands filled with dire magical fallout from wars past. In the process, they must confront mounted patrols, brigands, and a traitor in their midst.
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