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Blog Tour: The Hidden Hills Saga: Ice Whispers (Book 1) by K. Willow: A Book Review

02_Ice WhispersThe Hidden Hills Saga: Ice Whispers (Book I) by K. Willow

Print Pub Date: November 21, 2014 | CreateSpace
eBook Pub Date: December 19, 2014 | Book Baby
Genre: Historical Fiction 
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Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
 Synopsis: Slavery of a different kind, beyond physical chains, leads to a different type of escape . . .

     Marissa Kristofferson can taste freedom. Her long years of suffering at the hands of her sadistic husband, Lance, are coming to an end as he lies dying. But she is stunned when he reveals the contents of his will and what she must do to keep Kristofferson Plantation, and how he plans to keep her bound to him even beyond the grave.

     The beautiful slave Lolley has always envied Marissa’s life, and after learning that the master has also ordered her freed after his death, she is determined to reach for the life she wants by becoming the mistress of Marissa’s son, Shane, though she does not realize the lengths Marissa will go to to prevent the match, or the far-reaching consequences that will follow.

     And Shelby, the plain and dutiful slave of free blacks, is unwittingly caught in the shocking drama that unfolds as a family is torn apart. Used as a pawn in a game of rivalry, deception, and betrayal, hers is a fight for survival while attempting to remain true to herself.

     Three women—so very different but each carrying dark secrets that are closely intertwined, caught in a world between slave and free, a world which is becoming more fragile and precarious as war threatens and alliances shift, and each harboring seemingly impossible dreams of a better future.

     In this first book of a dark historical saga, K. Willow paints a lush, emotional portrait of scandal, murder, injustice, and the ties that bind in the antebellum South.

     My Review: Marissa's cruel husband is about to die, but before she can get her taste of freedom, her husband leaves in his will that she must marry again in order to keep the plantation. Another problem also arises. Her son, Shane,  has become interested in a beautiful slave, Lolley. She decides to prevent this match by sending Lolley off to become a slave to the Franklin’s, a  prominent free black family. There, Lolley’s ambitious dreams does  not give up. She strives to continue her romance with Shane, thereby striking up an enemy in Shelby, another slave to the Franklins, who knows that Lolley is up to no good.

     While Marissa and Shelby are also main characters, The central character is Lolley. She dreams of a life of luxury, and she is determined to do whatever it takes to get it. I found Lolley to be an unlikable character. She is selfish and does not think about the consequences. She is also a cruel character because she manipulates those around her. I also did not like Marissa. While she is not as prominent in the story as Lolley or Shelby, she also is selfish and does not care about others. The person I did like was Shelby. Shelby is a loyal slave to the Franklins because they are kind to her. She is also practical and intelligent. She is observant of those around her and understands that Lolley is trying to cause trouble. Because of this, she is determined to find out what Lolley is up to.

     Overall, this story is a dark historical novel about slavery in the pre-Civil War South. While Marissa and Shelby do not have much power over the situation, Lolley does. Even though Lolley is slave, she controls those around her. This story is fast-paced and it unravels the web of secrets, lies, and treachery that surrounds these three women. This novel reads like a soap opera for it is filled with drama as these women fight for their freedom. I recommend this book to those interested in historical fiction and pre-Civil War South, and also to fans of Gone With The Wind.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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PRAISE


“K. Willow’s historical novel, Ice Whispers, book one of The Hidden Hills Saga, is breathtaking beautiful and stunningly sad all at the same time. It’s really the story of two women, Agatha and Shelby, who are slaves in the Kristofferson and Franklin households respectively. They’re both amazingly strong, selfless and wise women who come from two succeeding generations of slaves. While all the drama and action in the tale revolves around the Kristoffersons and the Franklins, it was the story of those two larger-than-life women that kept me enthralled. Willow adroitly uses them as a lens for the reader to view the affairs in Hidden Hills, and it works magnificently. I just finished reading Ice Whispers, and I’m totally floored by this work. It’s marvelous and is very highly recommended.” -Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

“Part historical romance, part mystery, K. Willow’s book Ice Whispers is an entertaining and immersive read. Readers get to take the role of the voyeur as they explore the inner workings of the Hidden Hills society. Every member of the town has a role that they play, but each has their own secrets that they are trying to keep hidden. Willow’s novel is a quick and fun read that is full of vibrant characters. It is the perfect book for those who like to be in the know of the juiciest gossip or those who enjoy the drama of the workings of high society in mid-1800s America. I thoroughly enjoyed Ice Whispers, and I hope I get the opportunity to read more of Willow’s Hidden Hills novels.” -Tania Staley for Readers’ Favorite


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


03_K Willow

K. Willow is a novelist and award-winning writer with a background in television, film, theatre, and soap operas. She writes dark historical and urban fantasy and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband.


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