"What is this place?"
"This is Rose Castle, on the Isle of Winter in the Sea of Ice."
Winter Rose by Nora Roberts is one of two short stories published together as In Dreams & Winter Rose. It is a romantic fairytale and tells the story of the battle wounded Prince Kylar who finds himself at the point of death, in a land of ice and snow which is ruled by a beautiful Queen, an ice maiden called Deirdre.
Deirdre has a powerful gift - she is a magical healer and she uses her enchantments to heal the Prince of his wounds. In doing so, some part of her melts towards him and she begins to fall in love. However, a tragic past means that she has no trust of men and she believes that her own heart is forever frozen and therefore unable to love. Mistrusting of her feelings she sends Kylar away, even though she thinks he might possibly be the one who can break the bitter spell cast over her land to make it forever winter. All she can do is wait and hope that one day, he will find her again.Will Prince Kylar ever return, and could he find his way back to the enchanted island of the Queen of Ice, even if he wanted to? Or is Deirdre lost to him forever?
Winter Rose is a charming tale and the perfect fireside read for a cold December night. It has echoes of Narnia, but it is essentially a love story and a fairytale of an errant knight and a lonely young Queen, trapped in her palace of ice...
With all the classic hallmarks of a traditional fairytale, it is well written by a respected author. I downloaded this book on my Kindle but it is available in print form too on Amazon. It is a wonderful tale of chivalry and romance and a heart-warming festive read.