Sierra has a despised and forbidden gift - she raises power from the suffering of others.
Enslaved by the king's torturer, Sierra escapes, barely keeping ahead of Rasten, the man sent to hunt her down. Then she falls in with dangerous company: the fugitive Prince Cammarian and his crippled foster-brother, Isidro.
But Rasten is not the only enemy hunting them in the frozen north and as Sierra's new allies struggle to identify friend from foe, Rasten approaches her with a plan to kill the master they both abhor. Sierra is forced to decide what price she is willing to pay for her freedom and her life ...
Original, dramatic and unputdownable, Winter Be My Shield is the first in an epic fantasy trilogy from brilliant new Australian talent Jo Spurrier.
'Unlikely heroes, villains you will cheer for, and cold that eats your bones. Winter Be My Shield will take you to an unforgiving place, but you won't want to leave it.' Robin Hobb
Some things are broken beyond mending...
Grievously wounded in battle, Isidro's life hangs in the balance - but the only person who can help him is the man he can never trust. Sierra is desperate to rebuild shattered bonds with her old friends, but with Isidro incontrovertibly changed and her own wounds still fresh, things can never be as they once were.
Burdened by all he's done at Kell's command, Rasten knows he cannot atone for the horrors of his past. But when their enemies in Akhara follow Cam's small clan back to Ricalan, carrying a thirst for vengeance, the skills Rasten swore he'd renounce may be their only hope for victory...
'If they didn't want to get turned into beasts and used to fuel a ritual, they shouldn't have attacked a witch. That's all there is to it.'
There's something strange brewing in this tinder-dry forest -- a girl with a sword and a secret, a troupe of vicious bandits vanished without a trace, beasts that don't belong and a witch with a macabre plan.
Elodie hasn't been learning witchcraft for long, but she knows enough to be worried, and the fact that her mentor Aleida wants to pack up and leave in short order isn't helping to settle her nerves.
Elodie just hopes to get everyone out of this mess unharmed, but it's looking more unlikely with every passing hour. And when the strange witch's ire falls on her, Aleida's wrath sparks a fire that threatens to scorch the earth itself ...
Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.
But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it's Elodie's job to clean up the mess.
When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she'd find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.
Gyssha's final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie's help, whether she likes it or not.
And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it's still better than going back home.
Praise for Winter Be My Shield:
'Unlikely heroes, villains you will cheer for, and cold that eats your bones. "Winter Be My Shield" will take you to an unforgiving place, but you won't want to leave it.' Robin Hobb
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