By Julie Kagawa
Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey. Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat... (Synopsis from Goodreads)
Winter’s Passage is an e-book novella (short story? It’s hard to tell length on a kindle, but it was very short anyway) connecting the first and second books in the Iron Fey series. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, as I’ve never read one of these novellas that’s meant to connect two books in a series before. It certainly works as a fun filler between release dates, and a way to build anticipation for the book, but as an actual story it falls down a bit. It feels exactly like what it is: filler.
Ash takes Meghan to the Winter Court, encountering a terrifying hunter on the way. Why is it following them and will they be able to escape it? The parts with the hunter were interesting and as ever the faery world was well realised and described.
However, most of the time the story was concerned with re-establishing where we were at the end of the first book. Meghan has to go with Ash to the Winter Court, Fairyland is dangerous, Grimalkin is helping for mysterious reasons of his own, and Puck is still stuck in a tree. There are far too many words spent on explaining things from the first book, obviously just in case readers have skipped that one. I think that was a mistake. Surely the vast majority of this novella’s readers are not only familiar with the first book, but were big fans of the first book. The repetition of information soon became very frustrating.
Winter’s Passage probably worked best at its time of release, as a teaser and a gentle way to re-familiarise readers with the world before the release of the second book. If you have finished the first book recently, however, and just want to get on with the story, this probably won’t offer anything very vital or unexpected. It could certainly be skipped. Fun in parts, a little pointless in others, it’s not a necessary read but will please fans of the series who are hungry for a little bit more.