Book InfoThe Howling Wind by Mila Sin
Series: The Enchantment Series #1
Rating: Book ratings explained
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
That’s the word I’d use.
As a young fae raised in a small village, my life had been idyllic. Me, my mom, my step-brother Dom, and his dads, Ashe and Curtis lived together above my mother’s healer’s den, all working together to cure the illnesses affecting the multiple species in our community. We’d lived a modest life, but we’d been happy.
Until one day, a summons arrived from Ravenshield Castle, calling healers of the realm to the castle. An illness was plaguing the royal family, and they offered a significant reward just for showing up. For a family of healers, the opportunity for money and prestige was too good to pass up.
So why did Mom lie about the scroll? Why did she hide the truth of its contents? And why had she never spoken about her past?
The pull of the adventure was too strong, so Dom and I concocted a plan to send us across the continent, headed east to Heartmount and the castle atop its hill.
But life on the road was an adventure for a female that grew up as cloistered as I did. And at Ravenshield Castle? Well, that’s when things got really interesting.
The Howling Wind is a full-length novel, and book one of The Enchantment Series. It is a high fantasy why-choose romance, meaning our leading lady will not need to choose between love interests. The Howling Wind features LGBTQIA+ characters and polyamory as a cultural norm. Content warning includes: attempted sexual assault, difficult childbirth, kidnapping, and homicide. Please check the content warnings at the start of the book.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a proper fantasy book. I’m not talking about paranormal books set in our world (or some altered version thereof). I’m talking about a different world entirely, where humans are almost an abstract notion and the fae and other creatures reign. It was Mila Sin’s book, The Howling Wind, that drew me to abandon my usual dark and contemporary romances for something a little different.
The book is the story of Elia, a female fae and soon to be apprentice healer. After her mother declines a summons to the royal palace, Elia decides to impersonate her mother and make the three-week trek to Heartmount, accompanied by her step-brother and best friend Dom. Life in Elia’s world is not simple. Despite being magical beings, most fae chooses not to use their magic as it will shorten their lifespans. Males heavily outnumber females, polyamorous relationships are the norm and Elia is placed in danger by the very nature of her gender.
Elia is a wonderful character. She’s 132 years old yet is still young, still discovering who she is in the world. Despite being a completely different species to us, she enjoys kinky romance novels (fae style BDSM, of course), but still gets caught up in a fictional notion of love. She is strong in her mind, knowing that she is capable of curing the mysterious fae illness plaguing the palace, able to fend for herself despite her clumsy nature and, above all, believing in doing the right thing. She says what she thinks, even if it’s not entirely appropriate for the situation, and challenges those around her.
His lips were headed right toward mine. His eyes bore into mine, which must have been screaming, “Yes! Kiss me, you idiot!” because he did.
But, Elia is not perfect. She does little to discourage Dom’s affections and possessiveness towards her, even though she believes they are not fated to be mates. There is something dark happening with her magic and she is keeping secrets about it and the events of their journey to Heartmount. Then there’s the small matter of her mysterious dreamtime visitor, the hidden person who stokes the fires in her body. Is he just a figment of her imagination or is there more to his appearance?
In terms of storyline, The Howling Wind has many threads which are cleverly woven together. At first, it’s not apparent why it’s necessary to see Elia’s treatment of Lord Connian’s pixie bite or why she and Dom encounter sprites in the forest. It’s only once you get further into the story that the link between these elements becomes clear. Unfortunately, I found that this made the first two-thirds of the story feel quite slow in pace. But slow didn’t mean I wanted to give up on it – there was more than enough happening to keep me curious.
Once Elia and Dom reach Heartmount all the threads come together and the real excitement begins. Once I got to that point nothing (bar falling asleep with my kindle in hand) was going to stop me from finding out what was going on. I was gripped. So naturally, Sin decided to end the book with dramatic revelations and a killer cliffhanger. Literally. (It’s called The Great Chasm.)
I think that The Howling Wind is the start of a series that’s only going to get better as it continues. The book draws you in and connects you to its main character and the events surrounding her. Before you know it you’re enmeshed in secrets and mysteries that are begging to be solved. There’s always more than meets the eye and you’ll never get the whole truth in the first instance. I only hope that Mila Sin doesn’t make us wait a whole year before she gives us book 2.