Title: The Winter Prince
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 147 Pages
At a Glance: I love fairy tales for their darkness and their light—The Winter Prince is both.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: 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 Kişin have failed. He won’t survive another winter. To save the prince’s life, Razin, the court wizard and Kişin’s childhood friend, plans to seek out the pari. But unbeknownst to Razin, Kişin’s heart was never stolen; he gave it freely to escape the pain of impossible love—his love for Razin.
Razin won’t accept Kişin’s fate, for reasons obvious to anyone who knows anything of love. Kişin agrees to the desperate quest, out of duty and a need to protect Razin. They are soon joined by Kişin’s once-betrothed, Lana, the daughter of the khan, who seeks to break the curse that has turned her into a beast. 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.
Review: If you believe everything you read on the internet, Albert Einstein has been quoted as having once said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” I have no clue whether or not that’s true, but I can say one thing for sure—I think he was right because I’m totally biased.
R. Cooper’s The Winter Prince might be called a fairy tale romance by some, and that wouldn’t be wrong, but that’s not all this story is. As with all fairy tales, this story has a lesson to it too. The Winter Prince is a tale of love and loyalty, of friendship and courage, but perhaps most importantly, it’s a story of redemption for a prince who gave away his heart because it was easier to live without any heart at all than to live with the ache of a love that could never be. The Winter Prince is a story about learning how to give without losing, how not to take a priceless gift without giving something of oneself in return, and to accept that a broken heart means that sometimes love is an imperfect gift that just keeps on giving.
Kişin Bey goes by several titles in this story—he is the Prince-in-Winter but was born Kaman Bey, Prince Arrow. He is Highness. He is Captain of the Immortal Guard. But only Razin, a powerful wizard who serves Kişin’s family—and who was once Kişin’s dearest friend—is bold enough to use the prince’s name as both compliment and insult, depending on his mood. As Razin and the royal court watch Kişin grow weaker as the ice in his veins threatens to consume him, as Kişin turns away suitor after suitor because without a heart he knows he cannot love, Razin makes it his mission to accompany Kişin on a quest to find the pari to whom Kişin gave his heart, and more. It’s a quest that, at its end, Kişin will either succeed in and regain what has been gone those long three years. Or, will die trying. Something Razin is determined will not happen. Razin’s dual quest in this tale is to convince his Arrow to live.
A dangerous journey into the unknown brings unexpected alliances, reunites a prince with his once-betrothed—but now cursed—princess, a dragon to slay, the slaying of personal demons, an awakening and a resurrection. Is the heart the seat of the soul and the vessel of all our emotions? It’s a question that arises while reading this story—fairy tales would allow us to think so. Or maybe it’s the heart of the one who loves Kişin that holds his lost soul instead. The alchemy of Kişin’s story is one that burns of ice not of fire. Unless, of course, you count a desire that burns hot enough to resurrect a lost love. And what could be more romantic than that?
I love fairy tales for their darkness and their light—The Winter Prince is both. R. Cooper leads her characters on a journey through trials and, ultimately, on to triumph and a sweet ending in a magical realm where the deepest and darkest mystery is love and the human heart.
You can buy The Winter Prince here: