Barrow of Winter by H.M Long – book review

What a book!

I just absolutely loved it.

I’ve read a lot of low fantasy recently and so I really enjoyed reading something a little more high fantasy again.

In Barrow of Winter, our protagonist is Thray, a demi-god – or at least she might be. To find out she needs to die and discover if she comes back to life. She doesn’t want to die though. She has a role to play in her village, a man she wants to marry – and life as a mortal is enough for her.

However she has a clan of half siblings who seem intent on bringing her into their fold. The only problem is that her grandfather (the god of winter) has warned her not to trust them.

Who is right? What schemes are at play? Why is the land her half-siblings control trapped in perpetual winter? And what power (if any) does Thray possess?

The premise was intriguing to be sure, but what really delivers such a complex setting is H.M. Long’s prose. It’s amazing, and it does such a good job of ramping up the tension. Similar to Anthony Ryan in this regard, the pieces are slowly put into place and built on and built on. Barrow of Winter is a slow burn of a novel that quickly catches fire – and there was one particular scene involving an ice covered pool that had me on the edge of my seat.

I believe the book is out in January – the coldest month of the year – which is very apt! It’s the perfect winter read. Atmospheric and richly detailed, I think fans of fantasy will adore this book.

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