The Winter Oak
by James A. Hetley
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
304 pages; ISBN: 0441012019
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Winter Oak
James A. Hetley
Ace, Nov 2004, $14.00, 304 pp.
When the creatures of myth and legends were kicked off the human world they went to the Summer Country in another dimension that has portals allowing travel between the worlds. Sisters Maureen and Jo Pierce accidentally traveled into the Summer Country and learned that the blood of the Old Ones run through their veins giving them power to cast spells. Maureen fought against Fiona, the witch and her brother who she killed and a female dragon was killed with its mate vowing revenge.
Jo returns home with David to Naskaag Falls, Maine and troubles. Her mother is dying, they lost their jobs and the police don’t believe her story insisting they produce Maureen and her lover Brian who stayed behind in the Summer Country. Fiona plots with the dragon to have their revenge on Maureen who has power but is drinking herself into oblivion to blot out the awful memories. Brian disappears and has to outwit the Pendragons in order to return to Maureen while Jo must come to terms with her power if she wants to find a place for herself in the Summer Country. She must also find a way for David to live there since humans are hated, unwelcome and many become slaves to the magical beings.
THE WINTER OAK, the sequel to THE SUMMER COUNTRY, is a magnificent and powerful work of high fantasy in which alliances change with the wind and nobody can be trusted because the bonds of fellowship are weak. Maureen accepts the power more readily than Jo does while Fiona proves a worthy adversary who underestimates her enemies; she is so evil that readers will hope she gets what she deserves.
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