Winter Road

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Characters that leave a lasting impact on a readers soul. She's this gloriously flawed badass with a big heart. Well-rounded, passionate, intelligent, ambitious, broken, hopeful. She has faced incredible obstacles throughout her life and she has made mistakes. She is just.. I love her so fucking much! The Winter Road is a luminous tale. Vivid and powerful, gritty and emotional. It's astounding that this is only Selby's second novel. The world he has created within a thousand miles of claustrophobic forest is vast and immersive.

You guys.. This book is made of magic. The Winter Road is out today and I honestly can't recommend it highly enough! View all 4 comments. To say that I had been eagerly awaiting the release of that game would be a massive understatement! I have waited years to get my cowboy and Old West fix, years! At every opportunity I chose to read. I thought that as an author Selby had some good ideas, a great cast of grizzled old mercenaries and that the story that he was telling was interesting but, I also struggled with the book finding the writing style hard going particularly at the beginning though I did become accustomed to it later in the book.

One thing that I did take away from my time spent reading Snakewood though was that I thought Selby had plenty of potential. At the start of The Winter Road, there are duel timelines then and now. Both timelines do a good job of bringing the story that Selby is telling together. Giving you the whole picture on the events that transpire. Inevitably and as is the wont with duel narratives you get to the point where the past then timeline gets to the starting point of the present now timeline and the two converge into a single present-day storyline.

Using her accumulated wealth to build roads and outposts and establishing a trade route across the Circle connecting the various settlements, clans and bloodlands including her own together. Building relationships between them all, making the clans thrive and forging a prosperous future for the area.

At the same time as Teyr and her caravan embark on their journey from Hillfast, the warlord, Samma Khiese the youngest son of one of the clan families has risen in power in the Circle. Khiese along with his army of whiteboys they have their faces painted with a white chalk paste is out to bring the clans of the Circle and their sworn families to heel, asserting his order and rule over them.

The caravan crosses paths with the Warlord and Teyr falls foul of Khiese and his demands. Now, after Teyr has been attacked and left for dead.

She struggles to carry on, to find a will to live and to survive. She has endured more heartbreak, grief, loss, sorrow and trauma than any single person should. She can either go to the gallows and choose death. I loved the use of plants in The Winter Road. They were a tremendous idea in Snakewood and this time around they are implemented to perfection by Selby. Various leaves, plants, seeds and bark are used individually or mixed together to form different pastes, poisons, spore bags, brews and rubs which are all concocted and made by a Drudha a plant mixer, each mercenary crew has their own and they have their own recipes.

Brews enhance your abilities and heighten your senses strength, endurance, you can see in the dark, smell, hearing, muscles grow, time seems to slow. Plants are also used in poisons and antidotes, to bind and heal wounds and in medicine. The use of plants, however, is not without a cost and there is a price to pay.

Day brews give you an edge but are not as potent as the fight brews that the mercenaries take to aid them in battle but all leave an indelible mark. The colour of your eyes, skin and veins will permanently change the colour depending on what plants are used in the brew. You can become addicted to the plant and women are left barren by the fight brews they take. I found The Winter Road to be both story-driven and character-driven and for me, Selby got the balance just right.

The first part of the book is quite slow-paced and Selby gives his characters and his story plenty of time to settle in both of the narratives. Without rushing, he allows the reader the chance to become acquainted with the characters, the setting and the story that is taking place and unfolding. Plenty of the other characters also have stellar characterisation too. The world-building is rich and on point and the Circle is a tremendous setting for The Winter Road to take place that comes to life and is well-realised by Selby. Various clans and their lands dotted around and spread throughout a harsh location that is hard to traverse and in the centre, The Almet, the heart of the Circle and the forest where the mysterious Oskoro reside.

For the last fifty pages, The Winter Road ends with a series of letters sent over a span of years. The letters are a fantastic way to finish the book adding extra depth to both the characters lives and the world. There is a darkness to The Winter Road and the story that Selby is telling. It is a tale fermented in misery and steeped in pain with Selby putting his characters through many a hardship.

There is suffering aplenty handed out for many involved and the world is savage. The journeys undertaken are fraught with peril and the Circle is a cruel mistress for those who inhabit it. I was drawn to the darkness in The Winter Road and I absolutely loved it! Dec 03, Nick T.

Borrelli rated it it was amazing. It was with a great deal of excitement that I was able to procure an advance copy of his latest novel just as the aforementioned buzz was reaching its pinnacle. The Circle is structured just as it sounds, with various clan territories laid out in a circular arrangement on the map surrounding a dense forest patch in the middle called The Almet. The story is told in the form of a dual timeline of then and now, which lends a nice flow to the narrative in that we get to see how things progressed to their current situation through alternating chapters.

I enjoy reading books that use this technique a lot so I was encouraged right from the start that I would probably be sucked into this story. Main character Teyr Amondsen was once a mercenary but is now a merchant trying to build a life for herself with her husband and young son. She also has another important desire though, and that is to unite the fractured clans of The Circle by building a trade road that cuts straight through from one end to the other. Teyr believes by constructing this road that it will not only open up trade among the clans, but also open communication that will be vital to bringing peace to the land once and for all.

The problem is that the road will have to cut through the volatile area of The Almet where a ruthless warlord named Khiese has staked his claim. Khiese and his warrior Whiteboys named for the white chalk that they use to paint their face and bodies have been extending their attacks beyond the central Almet to the outer clan villages, which proves more than problematic for Teyr's plans. Khiese's goal is to bring everyone under his heel and for the clans to swear fealty to him as the supreme leader of the region.

So it is against this tumultuous background that Teyr and her caravan must set out to begin making plans for the road. It doesn't take long however for Teyr and her cohorts to stumble upon the first ravaged clan settlement, and it becomes quickly evident that she must deal with the immediate threat posed by the barbarous Khiese before any hope of uniting the clans in peace can take place.

What follows are some incredibly intense battles, both physical and emotional, which test Teyr's will to its absolute fullest. Teyr is put through the ringer and tested mightily as she struggles with her desire to fulfill her dream plus keep her family together, against merely surviving the relentless and brutal attacks of the Whiteboys. As she travels from clan settlement to clan settlement she comes across a mostly beaten populace, many of whom have been forced to follow Khiese and his twisted campaign of annihilation.

Will that be enough to repel the growing menace of Khiese and the Whiteboys, or will Teyr, her family, and her people also eventually bow to the oppressive tyranny that is taking hold across The Circle? One thing is certain: it won't be easy, not by a long shot. My initial impression was that this was going to be an incredibly violent and brutal book.

Oh and that it is! In fact there are sections that are extremely difficult to get through because of the savage violence. Having said that, it never made me want to stop reading because the violence is a product of the setting and the characters. The Circle ain't a very nice place and these characters have been hardened by it to the point where the only way to survive in this harshest of environments is to kill first and ask questions later.

The weak do not survive very long in The Circle to be sure. I was also quite fascinated and connected to the main character Teyr in a way that I haven't been to any character in some of my recent reads. Teyr is one of the strongest female characters you will ever come across and this was incredibly refreshing and a joy to experience. There's no Mary Sue in Teyr Amondsen, that's for darn sure. Strong female characters should be celebrated and Selby has given us one here in Teyr. Read this book if only for that reason, but luckily for us there are many more reasons than that.

The dual timeline storyline worked amazingly well for me as I had a feeling that it would. Selby makes effective use of this technique and throughout the book as we go back in time, we get snippets and hints of the eventual conflict to come which is handled beautifully.

Then there's the world-building which I thought was some of the best I've ever encountered. The Circle is a complex and mysterious place and the central forest holds even further mysteries, which really gives the story a sense of foreboding and suspense that just raises it far above your ordinary fantasy book. I heard someone else describe this book as "Grimdark with heart" and I think that is a very accurate description in many ways. My advice is to try not to be put off by the violence in the beginning of the book because if you stick with it, you will be so richly rewarded with a tremendous story that checks off all the required boxes.

Pick it up and read it soon, you won't regret it. View all 3 comments. Dec 18, Dustin rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorite-reads. The Winter Road by Adrian Selby absolutely gripped me, start to finish. The writing and crafting of this book is beautiful, from the bloody start to the bittersweet end. I found the style more accessible than Snakewood, a book I also admire. The final 20 percent or so is in the form of letters between two characters that absolutely shattered me.

This book is full of action, suspense, violent skirmishes and the aftermath of said blood-letting. I find the best books are those that impact me emotionally and leave a mark, so to speak. Jan 31, Dave rated it it was amazing Shelves: science-fiction-not-classic , fantasy , netgalley-books , read-have. It features a battle-hardened aging mercenary battling against impossible odds. And, spores are thrown into battle.

Not for the queasy among us. The lead character, Teyr Amondson, is a fantastic creation whose spirit is undaunting and prowess unmatched. Teyr has a dream of building a road through the wilderness to unite the clans. But on the way the caravan takes on foes such as bandit warlords and is betrayed and backstabbed. There is a map of this world at the start of the book, but much of the geography is a bit mysterious and cloaked in mist. There are several timelines at work here, which might at first be a little confusing, but it will all make sense.

Altogether, a very satisfying gritty dark fantasy read. Jan 27, Esme rated it really liked it.

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I had seen a few blogger friends of mine rate this book highly so I decided to check it out. I found her to be a very different kind of militant, humanized by her love, passion, and a desire to have a do-over at life. She kills when she needs to, but I had seen a few blogger friends of mine rate this book highly so I decided to check it out.

She kills when she needs to, but her real purpose is to try and make the world a better place. She believes that building a road would help every clan in the Circle and is trying to unite them under this cause. His forces move swiftly and without mercy. When Teyr encounters some villages who have suffered his wrath she knows that the only way this unification will happen is if she gets the warlord out of the way first. I found Teyr to be a compelling character, it took me a while to warm up to her, but once I did I was totally behind her.

The magic in this world revolves largely around different brews people drink to give them extraordinary powers. There are two timelines, one in the present and one in the past, and switching between them was a bit confusing at first. The fact that it was written in the first person made it all the more frequent since it happened in both dialogue and narrative.

These are very subjective ticks, and all in all, I feel like the book was well written. It was very atmospheric, I feel like the writing flowed nicely and sped the story along. There were a lot of fight scenes in this, a lot of action and blood that kept up a high paced feel throughout the story from beginning to end. Not the easiest book to get into, but once I grew accustomed to the colloquialisms and terms used by awesome main character Teyr Amondsen, I was hooked. A former soldier, Teyr is adept at dealing o Not the easiest book to get into, but once I grew accustomed to the colloquialisms and terms used by awesome main character Teyr Amondsen, I was hooked.

A former soldier, Teyr is adept at dealing out violence and accustomed to receiving it. She's strong, both physically and mentally, and this strength is deeply tested on her road building journey with several other merchants and their families. After a terrible encounter, Teyr is broken terribly, and the rest of the novel is spent describing how she takes on Khiese, and the aftermath of the conflict. And it's the aftermath that really made the book for me. The years after are described in letters between Teyr and Aude, her keep husband , and I found them heartbreaking.

I teared up repeatedly reading of Teyr's and Aude's feelings, and how their time during that pivotal year changed them, and of Teyr's relationship with the children she more or less adopted from a village destroyed by Khiese. The aftermath also charts the big changes societally by Teyr's road-building project, and the positive effects of Teyr's grand vision taking place. She's a fabulous character, unbelievably tough and compassionate and determined.

I'm really glad I got a chance to spend time with her. Nov 25, Chris Berko rated it it was amazing. The more things change the more they stay the same. This book reminded me that things happen to us all the time, terrible or joyous, happy or sad, and we get through them because on a long enough timeline we are who we are. The writing took me a minute to get used to, and I had to reread certain sentences in the beginning but once it clicked I was hooked.

Overall I think it led to the story as it felt like I was sitting there listening to someone I didn't know from somewhere I have never been te The more things change the more they stay the same. Overall I think it led to the story as it felt like I was sitting there listening to someone I didn't know from somewhere I have never been tell me their tale. The whole idea of fightbrews is amazing and cool AF and there was just enough time spent developing the characters that I actually cared about them when the shit started hitting the fan.

I did not read this guy's first book but I may need to rethink that after loving this one so much. View 1 comment. Mar 16, Sean Smart rated it did not like it. I wanted to like this book but after a week and pages or so I just could not get in to this one and found it disappointing. Nov 14, Hiu Gregg rated it it was amazing. The Winter Road is a book which ticks a lot of boxes. It has a main character who is both sympathetic and pretty badass.

It has a unique world with its own troubles, societies, and magic. And it has a plot which, although pretty simple on the face of it, is engaging and gives our main character plenty of room to shine. Teyr Amondsen is a mercenary-turned-merchant who wishes to construct a road to link together the clans who live in t The Winter Road is a book which ticks a lot of boxes. Teyr Amondsen is a mercenary-turned-merchant who wishes to construct a road to link together the clans who live in the Circle.

While most of the land is forested, hilly, or mountainous, there is a ring of roughly flat land surrounding a forest known as the Almet. It will provide a quicker and safer way to travel and will encourage trade between the clans, which will in turn discourage conflict between them.

Unfortunately for Teyr, a warlord known as Khiese has risen in the Circle. Teyr herself is a wonderful character to read about. On the contrary, she loves fiercely and publicly. She loves her adopted son, and she loves his father. The book has two interwoven timelines: the present, and the past. The present shows Teyr broken and alone, having been nursed back to something vaguely resembling health by a mysterious people known as the Oskoro. The past shows Teyr setting off with a merchant caravan and her family to build her road. The writing style is something which I feel may be a little divisive.

The story is told in the first-person, with quite a bit of real-world and in-world slang. Some readers may find that this helps with their immersion, but it took me a few chapters to become fully engaged, and so my emotional response to the opening few chapters was a little muted as a result.

There was a lot of action right from the start, but the character work took a little while to come to the forefront. To put it simply, The Winter Road is grimdark with a heart.

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More reviews at The Fantasy Inn Nov 13, The Captain rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy. Ahoy there me mateys! So here be me honest musings. Damn, what a good book! The blurb does not do this one justice at all. She be awesome! Her goal is to build a trade road that will bring the communities of the Circle together through commerce and thus allow more people to prosper.

While a lofty goal, her plans are threatened when a selfi Ahoy there me mateys! While a lofty goal, her plans are threatened when a selfish warlord begins conscripting the Circle communities for his army to help take over the Circle. Teyr had put her battles behind her but she blatantly refuses to give in to the warlord's plotting. She fights back. The highlight of this for me was Teyr's character.

I admire her tenacity, grit, fortitude, and intelligence. Talk about suffering! This book is one long slog for Teyr and I was both horrified at how bad her luck was and was boldly cheering on her pure stubbornness. For all that she is a hardened fighter, her life as a merchant and relationship with her partner and his son shows her softer side.

She cares for those she works with and has her own version of integrity. She is complicated and interesting. Life around her is certainly never boring. The secondary highlight was the world building. In particular, I loved the use of plants as a major resource. Plants are a type of currency and have many uses.

One is for battle brews that enrich a warrior's sight, strength, and other attributes based on what is in them. Each war band has it's own secret recipes and fiercely guard them. What was awesome is that ye have to "pay the colour" for their use. Besides causing the user to be violently ill and face potential death, the mixes also ruin the user's skin and cause a period of complete defenselessness. I just loved everything about the plant use in both war and in daily life.

Add in the clan of plant users with mystical abilities and it be just plan awesome. But besides the cool plants, I also very much enjoyed the clan structures and family bonds. I thought the world was very believable and loved that women have strong roles in many places. I loved the dual narratives of Teyr's past and present that really did set the correct tone and allowed for the reader to experience excellent character growth.

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And then once the timelines merge, the pace picks up and the tension increases. The epistolary nature of the ending of the book was different and perfect. Apparently this is one of three planned companion books set in Sarun. There is another book called, snakewood, that takes place years after this one. In order to do the most efficient job that will impact the most drivers, MoDOT has established a plowing order, setting priorities for which roads are cleared first.

The objective is to have all lanes on these "snow" routes restored to near normal conditions as soon as possible after the end of the storm. These routes will be prioritized by traffic volume with interstates routes being plowed and treated first. These routes will be prioritized by traffic volume. After the storm, if necessary, workers will clean up accumulation on shoulders, bridge edges and interchanges during normal working hours. Louis Southwest Southeast. Louis Projects St. Instagram Flickr Twitter Youtube Facebook.

Main navigation Local. It was such a beautifully brutal story. I was both emotionally exhausted and physically drained when I was done, as though I were knifed and had my guts spilled all over the floor. The Winter Road was the exact-right book at the exact-right moment for me. I was left completely and utterly smitten! The story takes place primarily set against the backdrop of a savage forest, known as The Circle, which spans a thousand miles. It focuses on the irrepressible clan wars that take part throughout this wilderness, which one woman wants to overcome.

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Teyr Amondsen, a former mercenary, is on a mission to lead a rag-tag crew of mercenaries in a merchant caravan across these dense forests. She wants to build roads and other outposts, which will aid in uniting them all and producing a more prosperous land. The Winter Road was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I have to say that I was astonished by this story. It falls on the trees above me. Within a few pages into the narrative, I knew that she was going to become one of my favourite characters ever!

Well-rounded, passionate, intelligent, ambitious, broken, hopeful. She has faced incredible obstacles throughout her life and she has made mistakes. I love her so freaking much! The Winter Road is a luminous tale. Vivid and powerful, gritty and emotional. The world he has created within a thousand miles of claustrophobic forest is vast and immersive.

Holly Grimdragon, 9. We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.

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