New Books Network

Sam Hooker

The Winter Riddle

Black Spot Books 2018

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in FantasyNew Books in LiteratureNew Books Network November 2, 2018 Gabrielle Mathieu

If you are a young moody woman who likes to wear black, you might well be a witch. Or aspire to be a witch....

If you are a young moody woman who likes to wear black, you might well be a witch. Or aspire to be a witch. If you needed a tongue-in-cheek guide on how to behave, you could benefit from picking up The Winter Riddle (Black Spot Books, 2018) by Sam Hooker. Quaint, and yet somehow very modern, this is the tale of Volgha the Winter Witch. Volgha, like Greta Garbo just “vants to be alone,” in her moldering, but cozy hut in the North Pole.  Unfortunately, not only is she royal by blood, her depraved, needy sister is the Queen. The Queen enjoys teasing and tormenting her introverted sister, almost as much as chopping peoples’ heads off or getting stimulated with the Royal Tickler. (A person in the employ of the palace who is always masked.) To add to Volgha’s woes, her mind is soon shared by her familiar, a red crow, and her old mentor, which leads to some lively discussions inside her head. And that handsome Santa, with a secret past as a warrior? Volgha tries to push him away, but he doesn’t allow her rebuffs to discomfort him.

There is a plot to all this farce as well. Volgha, who has spent years trying to get away from everything and everyone, is chosen by fate to become the Warden of the North Pole and mediate between nature spirits and the doings of man. With a motley crew of assistants, including the vain and talkative red crow, a terrified elf, and a practical scullery maid, she must set things to right.


Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the historical fantasy Falcon series (The Falcon Flies Alone, and the upcoming The Falcon Strikes.She blogs about travel and her books at http://gabriellemathieu.com/. You can also follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor.