“Traitor of Redwinter” by Ed McDonald: Unexpected Revelations

Traitor of Redwinter is the second in Ed McDonald’s Redwinter Chronicles, full of shady politics, militant monks, ancient powers… and a young woman navigating a world in which no one is quite what they seem.

The power of the Sixth Gate grows stronger within Raine each day—to control it, she needs lessons no living Draoihn can teach her. Her fledgling friendships are tested to a breaking point as she tries to face what she has become, and her master Ulovar is struck by a mysterious sickness that slowly saps the vitality from his body, leaving Raine to face her growing darkness alone. There’s only one chance to turn the tide of power surging within her—to learn the secrets the Draoihn themselves purged from the world.

The book can teach her. She doesn’t know where she found it, or when exactly, but its ever changing pages whisper power that has lain untouched for centuries.

As the king’s health fails and the north suffers in the grip of famine, rebellious lords hunger for the power of the Crown, backed by powers that would see the Crowns undone. Amidst this growing threat, Raine’s former friend Ovitus brings a powerful new alliance, raising his status and power of his own. He professes support for the heir to the throne even as others would see him take it for himself, and desperately craves Raine’s forgiveness—or her submission.

But the grandmaster has her own plans for Raine, and the deadly training she has been given has not been conducted carelessly. In Raine she seeks to craft a weapon to launch right into her enemy’s heart, as Redwinter seeks to hold onto power.

Amidst threats old and new, Raine must learn the secrets promised by the book, magic promised by a queen with a crown of feathers. A queen to whom Raine has promised more than she can afford to give…

“Traitor in Redwinter” by Ed McDonald is full of shady politics, ancient powers and unexpected revelations. As we enter book 2 of The Redwinter Chronicles, we quickly learn that Raine is swept up into the intrigues and political machinations of the people and powers around her. Even as an apprentice learning how to fit in but also desperately trying to learn how to deal with her newfound powers, Raine struggles with the consequences of her previous actions. She also firmly believes that her powers are dark and not to be trusted. Yet, she has made promises she cannot escape.

As the novel weaves the intrigue, so too is the magic woven into this novel as we learn that nothing is quite as expected. The story is far more powerful and emotional as Raine deals with conflicts, both personal and personal, and her relationships with Sauvant and Esher. I love how the novel explores her dynamic with both and provides a wonderful bisexual representation that isn’t false and stays authentic. Raine’s emotions are incredibly compelling. 

Once the story brings to light all the dark intrigues, the story ends with a poignant and powerful manner that also shows even more unexpected revelations and more change for Raine. If you liked the first book, I highly recommend the 2nd book in The Redwinter Chronicles, “Traior in Redwinter.” It is compelling, emotional and powerful. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 revelations.

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