Book review of Wyntertide
This is a book review of Wyntertide by Andrew Caldecott. Wyntertide is the second book in the series about Rotherweird, a small, secret town in England with lots of secrets.
It’s been a while since I picked up Rotherweird, but now I’ve finally got my hands on Wyntertide and it’s time for the verdict!
Wyntertide by Andrew Caldecott
“For four hundred years, the town of Rotherweird has stood alone, made independent from the rest of England to protect a deadly secret. But someone is playing a very long game. An intricate plot, centuries in the making, is on the move.
Everything points to one objective – the resurrection of Rotherweird’s dark Elizabethan past – and to one date: the Winter Equinox.
Wynter is coming…”
The above text is kindly borrowed from the back of the book.
The difficult sequel
Admittedly, it has been a while since I read Rotherweird, which is the first book in the series. I recall liking it and enjoying the worldbuilding quite a lot, so I was excited to dive back into the story with Wyntertide. But for some reason, I just did not connect with it at all this time around.
I quickly lost my pace with half of the main characters (there are quite a few) and the jumps in time. When a story jumps in time, usually, it’s not so hard to follow as a reader, because you go from electric lights to candles or some such thing, but with Rotherweird, nothing much has really changed since the Elizabethan times. So it’s just not very evident at times, as you quickly forget the chapter headings. Especially because half the characters are present in several of these timezones.
Wyntertide is upon us
It was a difficult sequel for me to read, because I so badly wanted to get into a good reading flow, but was stumped everytime a new tradition og convoluted part of the plot was revealed and revelled in, in great detail. It was as if the pace never really picked up and all the characters just ran around. As if they were trying to fit different pieces of different puzzles together. The only one I could really follow, was Orelia Roc, a good character who sadly got caught up by a very boring romance in this one. When you compare to the other subplots in Rotherweird and Wyntertide, it was frankly dissappointing.
I really wanted to like Wyntertide, but the whole worldbuilding just fell apart in front of me. Like the author was sprinkling mysterious subplots on every other page and then jumping to explaining new Rotherweird traditions. Without any of it ever really connecting any dots or making much sense. Also, the original plot suddenly seemed to take a backseat, when political power was filling up most of the pages. So all the mixed creatures from the parallel world, seemed out of place in Wyntertide, which is a shame.
It’s not you it’s me
I mean it when I say I really wanted to like Wyntertide, because I thought Rotherweird was such a fun read. But I just did not catch on, and all the dramatic events, twists and turns just felt platonic, boring, uneventful or unecessary. Not very mysterious really, and the characters failed to uphold their interesting traits, as they all became better friends or worse enemies, without it really making a difference to what was going on.
Not a succesful read for me unfortunately, and I’m not even sure I’ll read the final book in the series. Maybe some day, if I want closure and to see where the author was going with all this.
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