Sometimes it’s good to be king. . .
Long ago four alpha pairs held dominance over the seasons. They led an ancient people only heard of in legend who were both wolves and humans. The alphas were chosen by the gods to wield great powers and bring peace and balance to their people.
Everything changed when members of their race later known as the rogues were driven mad by the taste of human flesh. They sought to kill the great alphas.
Without them, the remaining wolves became weak and could no longer reproduce. Their race was slowly threatening to descend into nothing but a distant memory.
Over a century has passed before hope shines on the horizon for this ancient people. A new winter alpha pair is born and with them the promise of rebirth for the monarchy. Maxwell Wellington was crowned Head King on the Winter Solstice when he watched his aunt die giving birth to his mate, Queen Susan.
He was just three years old.
Max and Susie are born into a world where they are the youngest, but already the most powerful, yet they long for normalcy. With no other young werewolves around, they turn to human schooling hoping for playmates.
But the human culture forces them to question everything their people have raised them to believe. Cousins as well as mates, Max starts resisting his connection to Susie despite knowing they share a soul and were born to rule together. When the call to roam overtakes him at eighteen, Max finds himself fighting his nature as a deadly and powerful alpha wolf who will stop at nothing to claim Susie. Now he has just three years to build up a defense against her before time runs out and she goes into heat.
As winter dawns, Max and Susie come of age in a new era for werewolves. Their story is the first step in a long journey that explores the triumphs and tragedies of one powerful, royal family and those who serve them. The battles they wage against nature, each other and the forces that rise against them will change the dynamic of not just their world…but ours as well. (Goodreads)
This is one of the most original stories regarding werewolves I have read in a while. Ms. Moon creates a world were the dominate part of the werewolf is the wolf itself. It is different, engaging, emotional, and full of self-sacrifice. I found it interesting that the four pairs of alpha kings and queens coincide with the four seasons. In the beginning, I was not sure the premise of the pairs would work but Ms. Moon conveniences me in the end.
The story opens with the birth of a new alpha queen for the youngest king, Maxwell. Only 3 years of age, Max knew his mate, Susie, belong to him. Together, Max and Susie are Winter wolves destined to bring balance and peace to their people. Yet as they grow up the need for normalcy takes root in the pair. During their puppyhood (adolescence), Max and Susie attend human schools, have human friends, and try to assimilate among the humans. They enjoy the freedom until Max reaches maturity at age 18. Turmoil and inner struggles to keep his nature at bay begin to eat away at the bond with Susie. Max’s need to run during the full moon along with raging hormones puts him at odds with his soul mate. Max loves Susie, knows she will always be the one, but she is not ready for the “dominate” wolf he is becoming. He needs to run but he constantly struggles against his nature.Turning to alcohol and pills to relieve the stress, Max becomes everything he is against which affects his rule as king. When the day comes for Susie to force him to run, Max truly realizes for the first time what it means to be king.
After reading Winter’s Dawn, I found myself emotionally drained. The constant inner struggles of both protagonists were written so well, I felt every emotion Max and Susie felt. I wager many would not agree with Susie’s decision to have Max have sex with other females, however, it is part of pack mentality among wolves. Susie’s body is not mature enough to handle the demands of an adult alpha therefore watching Max suffer is not an option to her. I’ll admit there were times when I wanted to shake both of them for their selfishness and temper tantrums, but realized it was due to their maturity level. Two young people force into roles at such a young age are bound to rebel at some point.
Ms. Moon’s Winter’s Dawn will not be for everyone. It is completely different from her previous novel and some fans may be disappointed. With that being said, I found it an excellent start for a new series. It is original in concept, it is an emotional read, and it is tells the struggles of true relationships. I see hope for the young king and queen as well as hope for their peoples future.