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Winter Rose Paperback – June 4, 2002

85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Winter Rose begins as the seemingly simple story of Rois and Laurel Melior and their understandable fascination with young Corbet Lynn, returned to rebuild his abandoned ancestral home, Lynn Hall. Laurel is drawn to Corbet's beauty, Rois to the mystery of his past. But the past holds more than one mystery, and as Rois fights her way into the wood around Lynn Hall, seeking answers for herself, Laurel, and Corbet, she risks losing everything, for all of them, forever.

Traces of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market, of Tam Lin, and of a dozen other legends and tales color Rois's story. Patricia McKillip's consummate mastery of language means that every word counts in a complex, sweetly painful story of human love and timeless, indifferent power. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Woods-wise and free-spirited, Rois Melior is the opposite of her sensible sister, Laurel. But both Rois, who narrates, and Laurel fall under the spell of the stranger who enters their world. Decades ago, according to village gossip, Tearle Lynn murdered his father and mysteriously disappeared. Now Tearle's son, Corbet, has come home to rebuild crumbling Lynn Hall. Despite her attraction to Corbet, Rois is warned by her otherworldly senses that he is not what he seems. As Laurel falls hard for Corbet, Rois searches for the truth about the Lynns, but the answers she finds lead only to more questions. When Corbet disappears, Laurel begins to sicken and fade. To save her sister as well as Corbet, Rois will have to come to terms with the secret of her own changeling identity. The pace here is deliberate and sure, with no false steps; the writing is richly textured and evocative. McKillip (The Book of Atrix Wolf, and winner in 1975 of a World Fantasy Award for her novel The Forgotten Beasts of Eld) weaves a dense web of desire and longing, human love and inhuman need.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (June 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441009344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441009343
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. McKillip has woven magic into this book. A tale of falling sunlight, drowning roses, shadowy green eyes, sweet perfumed water, cold winter days, half-seen images: of fey and the ordinary, of a hidden secret, a hidden sorrow in the Lynn legends. This is the story of Rois, the untamed, witch-like daughter of a farmer, and how, by loving the fey Corbet Lynn and ferreting out his secrets, following him through dreams and reality, she finally becomes human. A poignant tale, I cried at times, swept away by the emotional power of Ms. McKillip's poetic prose. I have never read anything so beautiful. So sad. I love this book very much. Not only was it amazing trying to follow Rois and Corbet through realms beyond, but trying to distinguish what was dream and what was reality. The imagery used, the symbolism, was so otherworldly in its significance, in its beauty, that I was awed as well as moved much of the time. I wish Patricia McKillip's other books were as this one. By making it a first-person-narrative you never lose focus of the character while becoming adrift in the world. Again, this really was very beautiful (there is no other word; it's like a melody that stirs the soul) and I was spell-bound.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Brittney Reed on February 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
How can two sisters be so different? Laurel is beautiful, proper, thoughtful, and utterly sensible. She calmly cares for her widowed father and plans her wedding to her childhood sweetheart. Rois is a wild freespirit who roams the woods by day and sometimes by night searching for something even she could not name. But they soon discover that they have one thing in common...his name is Corbet Lynn...
Corbet returns to his father's childhood home and begins restoration work amid a storm of rumors and gossip. Corbet's grandfather was murdered in that house and most believe that Corbet's father was the guilty party. But all know, whether his son murdered him or not, that the old man used his last breath to place a dreadful curse on his son...and his son's descendents.
Almost as soon as Rois sets eyes upon the young man, she is determined to unravel the mysteries of his past. But her fascination with his unusual history is soon replaced by feelings that are much stronger. She never expected that she would give her heart so easily...or that her feelings would not be returned when she did. It would seem that Corbet has taken a fancy to Laurel...who returns his feelings whole heartedly, fiancee or no.
But Rois can not back out of the picture as easily as she got into it. As the curse begins to bear fruit, Rois finds herself tangled in its web. She realizes that it is up to her to save the man she loves...even if she saves him so that he can freely love another...her own sister. What Rois didn't count on was the truths she would learn about her own past...and her surprising destiny...
Reading this book was like looking at a beautiful painting. The word pictures are marvelous and the emotions are almost too real. Readers are swept away in a tide of romance, jealousy, hatred, and mystery. Fantasy readers will love it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eventide on August 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Rois Melior is a wild child. A disconnect exists between her and the human world, not only because she walks barefoot or forgets the time while wandering in the woods (forever causing those who love her to worry), but also because she is *aware* of what she does, knows it's not normal, yet she doesn't care. Rois has always been a little strange, a little other, and this suits her fine.

Rois's elder sister Laurel is beautiful, sensible, and proper--the epitome of normal, even being engaged to her childhood sweetheart Perrin, a thoroughly respectable farmer.

Then one summer Corbet Lynn returns to his ancestral home, a crumbling hall being reclaimed by the woods, bringing with him a family curse and questions of if his father really murdered his grandfather. Rois knows something is different about Corbet and becomes obsessed with discovering why he has come back.

McKillip's skill with language is evident on every page. Her ability to create atmosphere, striking characters, and explore the complex nature of family and love in a succinct amount of words is magical.

(Spoilers below)

Rois falls for Corbet, yet is it Corbet or the mystery of him--that he is as strange and other as she if not more so--that really draws her to him. Rois must watch her sister catch the eye of the only man who has ever intrigued her, knowing disaster approaches for them all.

Corbet remains an elusive figure. There are moments when you feel Rois is his desire (he calls to her in dreams, entices her to seek out his secrets), yet he begins a romance with Laurel. We learn Corbet's family is intertwined with the faerie; he has returned to Lynn Hall to escape the Otherworld in the woods to become human.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Emily Snyder on May 8, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There's a certain sound to the speech of faerie that makes each gesture or change of light significant, and spills into the recesses of the mind to be carried throughout the day. McKillip is a master of such a speech, thoroughly evidenced through her novel, "Winter Rose."
The story is a common one at heart: a coming-of-age story with romance at its core and a generational mystery beneath that. The plot moves quickly and beautifully along, although Rois' frequent stops to press the elderly for stories pertaining to the mysterious curse at times seem a tad too convenient - but regardless, the book is one that enchants the reader...firmly to his seat.
Indeed, "Winter Rose" is so well written, with characters that say so much, though many do nothing extraordinary, that the sheer pleasure of reading it overwhelms the rather unsatisfactory ending (what is it about modern fantastist that they must make love stories ambiguous at their close?), and earns it a more than hearty recommendation for those who long to catch at wonder.
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