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text 2014-02-23 23:35
Mistress of the Wind - Michelle Diener

Sorry all! I can't resist sharing a post by Courtney Milan on self-publishing. I'm inching towards trying this myself, and so, completely obsessed by it. Didn't help that I was talking yesterday with Michelle Diener who is producing her own fabulous self-published books. Mistress of the Wind has a stunning cover. 


Do you read self-published books? or prefer ones from publishers you know and trust? Or do you truly not care?

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review 2014-01-27 00:00
Mistress of the Wind
Mistress of the Wind - Michelle Diener ***ARC received through Netgalley***

review to come
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review 2013-12-26 07:30
A Middle-Grade Fantasy with incongruous NA content
Mistress of the Wind - Michelle Diener

When I chose this book, the synopsis promised me:

A captivating and magical adult retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

What I got was:

a magical middle-grade retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon with an awkward mention of an 'erect penis'


And that's really my biggest complaint. 


It felt like the author really wanted to be writing a middle-grade/YA fantasy book, and she could have pulled that off beautifully with the framework she built, but instead she tried to ride the NA wave and draw in an older audience by adding some sexy times to her story. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like she was comfortable writing it and I was bored reading it.


Other than that one incongruent sexual reference, the love scenes were very vague and mostly "fade to black." I didn't go into this expecting an erotica or anything, but if you're going to market it to adults and throw in words like that, then don't prude out on me. Either refer to sex completely in vague terms, or tell me what happens, but you cannot throw in a graphic phrase for shock value and then fade into the next day when the girl is "sore down there." It just doesn't fit with the story.


Since this was supposed to be a NA book, I had higher expectations for world-building and wanted a deeper romance, but found this really was just the original fairytale with some padded action scenes and dialogue. She followed the fairy tale almost exactly (I looked it up on Wikipedia to make sure). That would be fine, except I don't personally care for fairytale retellings unless they take the original and put a new spin on it. This was just like reading a Hans Christian Anderson story, only a little longer and with a unexpected penis reference. Are you uncomfortable seeing Hans Christian Anderson and penis in the same sentence? Me too. Those two things just don't belong together, which is why I was put off by it.


The NA content (which honestly doesn't add anything to the story and is pretty sparse) could be eliminated and this would instantly become a great middle-grade fantasy book. This is a story I would have loved as a 13-year-old girl. But since it's there I can't recommend it for younger readers either, and it felt too juvenile for me to enjoy as an adult.


If you are an adult who likes middle-grade books and fairytale retellings, you may enjoy this story, but since that wasn't what I was looking for, it left me disappointed.


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review 2013-12-14 17:47
Glad i requested this story!
Mistress of the Wind - Michelle Diener
               Arc provided by Season Publishing through Netgalley



This was pretty much a perfect fairy tale retelling...weren't it for the beginning, and the end.


Although being a fairy tale addict, this was the first time i read this fairy tale. Of course i was familiar with the basic guidelines of this tale:


_Guy (during the night )/bear, (during the day), seeks woman to engage in serious relationship in order to break course.
_Woman must be the "one"...and must not have serious allergies due to large amounts of fur!
_Woman must not try to see the lover's face.
_After a while woman takes a peek (lol) at her lover's face: "Oh, isn't he gorgeous!"
_Lover wakes up..
_All is lost!
_Woman must try to get her lover back


It seems straightforward right? Well, in reality it wasn't..


Author Michelle Diener takes this re-telling to another level.

She doesn't restrict herself to East of the Sun, West of the moon retelling. Instead we are also given parts reminiscent of Psyche's quest. Which just allowed for a much more richer story. I loved reading about the Norse mythology.


The landscape in which the story takes place was just beautifully portrayed.

What is it with snow, that makes for such terrific descriptions?


The characters, well defined, interesting and intelligent. I loved how there was parts in which the author tried (and succeeded) in giving us readers, a balanced (mostly...after all, he's a guy!) male character. Bjorg understands Astrid's dilemmas, and why she would behave in a certain way.


She's a character that takes what life gives her, always trying to make the best of it. She's not a simpering miss, and you can see almost from the start how those two are really perfect for one another.


The second part of the story, shows us Astrid in her quest to save Bjorg. I loved it.
Here we have a strong female character _a powerful female character _ that takes matters into her own hands, and Deals with It.


The villains
Well, they were intelligent, i must give them that!!

When i got to the last pages of the story, and realized what were their aces (or ace) i was dumbstruck!!
Very well played...it's always good to be surprised!


So why not a five star rating?
Because i would have liked a little more story, a little more development before Astrid and Bjorg ended up involved.

Although, in the other hand, i understand why the author wrote it like this:
Difficult times, death lurking, a man who has living as a bear for almost a year, a woman who always done what was to be expected of her. Someone who has been living for her family.


Also regarding the way the story ended, i would have liked to have been given something more...maybe a little show of how their daily life would come to be.

Yes, because happy endings take time and trouble! ;)


Bottom line: Loved this, and i can't wait to read the next story of this series.


Author Official Site


Buy "Mistress of The Wind"

Kobo store (pre-order)


I will be adding more links on where you can buy this as soon as the author displays them.


Thank you, Season publishing for allowing me to read and review this Arc.



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quote 2013-12-13 17:29
“Where does Norga take you, then? Perhaps I could rescue you, somehow.”
He shook his head. “That is impossible. Norga’s palace can only be found east of the sun, and west of the moon.”
“But that’s . . .” She lifted a startled face to his.
“Yes. That’s no place at all.”
“I do not care. I will find a way.”
Mistress of the Wind - Michelle Diener

Although i was familiar with this fairy tale (tv series and movies), this is the first book i've read pertaining this story :)

Not bad...

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