I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
His heart stolen by a powerful pari’s magic, a young prince’s veins slowly fill with ice. That is what the stories say. Three years have passed since, and all efforts to save Kişin have failed. He won’t survive another winter. To save the prince’s life, Razin, the court wizard and Kişin’s childhood friend, plans to seek out the pari. But unbeknownst to Razin, Kişin’s heart was never stolen; he gave it freely to escape the pain of impossible love—his love for Razin.
Razin won’t accept Kişin’s fate, for reasons obvious to anyone who knows anything of love. Kişin agrees to the desperate quest, out of duty and a need to protect Razin. But it isn’t long before Razin realizes saving his prince will require more than simply retrieving his heart. Razin will have to convince him to want it.
This would be his third winter without a heart. He hoped it might be his last.
I am a sucker for a friends to lovers story but when you toss in a double unrequited love… *swoon* We have a ginger down! I repeat, we have a ginger down.
We meet Kişin as he is waiting to meet his newest suitor, the latest to come and attempt to win the hand, but never the heart, of the Winter Prince. But Kişin, he is beyond apathetic about the whole deal, unsure of why they find him so attractive when he lacks the ability to love them. Sure, he’ll do his duty as the prince, if he survives the next winter or if he is forced to move to a warmer climate, further away from the love he wants.
From the blurb, we know Kişin has given his heart away freely to the pari of The Black Mountains because he is not allowed to love whom he wants, his best friend Razin. But when Razin finds out that his “dull Arrow” had given his heart away and it wasn’t stolen and that his friend is dying as the ice slowly fills his veins, he suggests that Kişin and he journey together to find the pari and get his heart back.
The fact that Kişin is in love with Razin and Razin has no clue killed me. It’s always that way for me with unrequited love and I held my breath throughout their journey.
I loved being with the men as they traveled together. As Razin tried to figure out WTF was up with Kişin and why he would do something like willingly give his heart away. All the things Kişin did as Kasan to save himself from not being able to love his friend, it just hurt my heart and when they encounter a winged creature in the wild, thing became even more involved. The addition of Lana and Dorrie to the fold was lovely and good lord, my heart hurts but is so happy with this story.
I have said this before, I am a pretty lazy reader when it comes to books with world building but for me, this was so easily laid out and effortless to fall into. I got this world where suitors to a prince could be of any gender and where magic is the norm. I enjoyed this world the author created with its rich metaphors and layered meanings that I never wanted it to end. But, I needed Kişin to stop being the Winter Prince and tell Razin his true feelings.
He was always my friend, and to my shame I forgot that. I should have trusted him with my heart, not a pari.
It was blissful torture to have this slowly unfold and I swear I held my breath numerous times they laid together to keep Kişin warm or the times Razin asks questions and comes so close to figuring out the real reason his prince gave his heart away. I wanted and I needed right along with Kişin and Razin and… *sigh* Have I mentioned that I really love this story. R. Cooper has this way of turning me into a big puddle of ginger goo regardless of the genre and goo, I am. I am goo and goo, it’s so damn good.
The Winter Prince was an amazing fairy tale sort of story that shows you hiding your heart isn’t always the best thing for your health. That trusting your friends will bring you wealth and immeasurable love and that love, really is the best thing… ever.