Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle

Romance - Historical
198 Pages
Reviewed on 10/19/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

I am a former high school teacher and college professor of French, and I have always loved medieval legends such as Tristan et Yseult, which inspired my trilogy, The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven.

This novel, Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle, is a stand alone novel that is a spin off of The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven trilogy, with many of the same characters and also introducing new ones.

I love the northwestern region of France called La Bretagne (Brittany in English) and the medieval Celtic legends from the enchanted Forest of Brocéliande, birthplace of Merlin, the Lady of the Lake Viviane, and Lancelot. Many of these same characters are in my trilogy and Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

King Guillemin of Finistere has fallen ill and fears that, despite the best efforts of his healers, he may not last long. He sets about putting his affairs in order, which includes his succession. As his daughter cannot inherit the throne, he must choose a suitor for her. His heart is not settled on the convenient option whose intentions seem anything but noble. Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, the king decides to gamble on fate by arranging a tourney for his daughter's hand. Little does he know that the young princess Gabrielle has her heart set on a particular individual. Will fortune favor the princess or will tradition have its way? Only time will tell in Jennifer Ivy Walker's Winter Solstice In The Crystal Castle.

Forbidden love takes centerstage in Jennifer Ivy Walker's romantic novel. A king tries to find the best person suited to replace him and take care of his daughter. It is not common to see politics take the forefront in a romance novel which makes it all the more interesting observing how Walker pulls off this balancing act. The characters are appropriately fleshed out as they fit into the timeline quite naturally both in their back stories and their motivations. The masterstroke here is not only the inclusion of the famous knight of The Round Table, Lancelot du Lac, but the extent of his involvement in this story. He takes a back seat to the principal characters as they engage in beautiful banter and elaborate fighting sequences to great effect. The romantic episodes are steamy and detailed to a point that leaves little to the imagination, as I have come to expect from Walker's books. All these features combined with some interesting subplots put Winter Solstice In The Crystal Castle in a class of its own.

K.C. Finn

Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle is a work of fiction in the historical fiction, romance, and suspense subgenres. It is best suited to mature adult readers owing to scenes of a sexual nature and strong language throughout. Penned by author Jennifer Ivy Walker, readers are invited into a captivating tale of love, duty, and dreams set against the backdrop of a medieval French kingdom. The story follows Gabrielle, a spirited French princess with a fiery spirit and dreams of becoming a Valkyrie warrior queen like her Viking ancestors. However, her dreams are put on hold as she's sent to Paris to learn proper etiquette for her future role as a queen. Sir Bastien de Landuc, a chivalrous and solitary knight, secretly loves Gabrielle but lacks the noble title needed to compete for her hand in marriage.

Author Jennifer Ivy Walker has crafted a compelling tale of love, honor, and destiny set against an immersive festive backdrop that brings history and the holidays to life. As Yuletide approaches and the characters gather in the Crystal Castle, the narrative takes on a touch of magic in its whimsical and engaging delivery style, making it an enchanting read that truly transports you out of the humdrum. The theming of the work and its emotional energy are also a major highlight, offering a tale of hope and the possibility that true love can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Walker's rich and visually satisfying storytelling keeps you engaged, and the historical and romantic elements create a memorable reading experience that is suitably passionate for the genre. Overall, Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle is a fantastic read that I would not hesitate to recommend for steamy historical romance fans everywhere.

Stephanie Chapman

In Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle, Jennifer Ivy Walker writes about Princess Gabrielle's upcoming wedding. King Gulliemin needed Gabrielle married before he died. The Master of Horses, Bastien, was assigned as her personal guard. Bastien and Gabrielle loved each other, but since he was not a noble, he was ineligible to compete in the jousting competition for the princess’s hand. Meanwhile, Ugolin planned to kidnap Gabrielle and get her pregnant to force the marriage. Isnard aided Ugolin’s nefarious plan to end a treaty to open the waterways for his pirate associates. As the king’s healer, he was slowly poisoning the king. Ugolin becomes enraged when his plans go awry, and they award Bastien a title. Ugolin had to prevent Bastien from winning Gabrielle’s hand.

Jennifer Ivy Walker’s enchanting depiction of Bastien and Gabrielle’s love allowed me to easily understand their devotion. The risks they took to meet in secret reinforced the strength of their love. Ugolin was the epitome of a psychopath with his cruelty toward people. He even disparaged his own defenders. The vivid details used to describe the various places made it easy to envision every event. I was delighted to see the Lady of the Lake and Gaston being brought into the plot. There are no dull moments to be found, as every page holds a key piece leading up to the jousting tournament. Bastien's fighting skills complemented his training with Sir Lancelot and gave me hope he could win against his competitors. The fear that one of Ugolin’s multiple schemes might prevail added suspense to the novel. Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle will appeal to readers of fantasy stories that show how love can blossom outside entitlement.