A huge thank-you to PageStreet YA and the author for this arc of Wind Daughter (Echo North #2) by Joanna Ruth Meyer.
How do I begin to explain my excitement over sharing the review for my most anticipated read of the year? To say reading and reviewing Wind Daughter was exhilerating would be the understatement of the century!
The first time I ever picked up a book by Joanna Ruth Meyer, it was on a total whim. I had just begun to experiment with audiobooks and had absolutely no clue what I was getting into. I was looking for something new and different in the YA fantasy genre, and I happened upon Echo North. It was love at first listen! I immediately fell in love with Joanna’s writing style and the way she completely transported me into the story. It was one of those books that made me forget that I was reading.
Fast forward several years and I’ve not only read all of Joanna’s books, but her last release, Into the Heartless Wood, is the book that I consider my favorite of all time (high praise, coming from someone who reads over 100 books a year, I tell ya)! When I found out that there was going to be a sequel to Echo North, I let out the most ridiculous squeal of excitement! I knew that Wind Daughter was going to be a phenomenal companion novel and I truly couldn’t wait to get my hands on it – which happened sooner than I anticipated.
The publisher was kind enough to send over an advanced copy for me to read and review. After rereading Echo North in February, it was so much fun to dive straight into the sequel and fall in love with the magical world and characters all over again. Wind Daughter is released on July 12, 2022. Keep on reading to see what I thought about this book and how it lived up to my love for the first installment.
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My honest review of Wind Daughter by Joanna Ruth Meyer.
A hauntingly beautiful fairy tale about love and loss, this Echo North companion novel is perfect for fans of the Winternight Trilogy.
In the dark, cold reaches of the north lives a storyteller and his daughter. He told his daughter, Satu, many stories–romances like the girl who loved a star and changed herself into a nightingale so she could always see him shining–but the most important story he told her was his own. This storyteller was once the formidable North Wind, but he lost his power by trading it away in exchange for mortality–he loved her mother too much to live without her. The loss of his magic impacted more than just their family, however, and now the world is unraveling in the wake of this imbalance.
To save the North, Satu embarks on a perilous journey to reclaim her father’s magic, but she isn’t the only one searching for it. In the snow-laden mountains, she finds herself in a deadly race with the Winter Lord who wants the North Wind’s destructive powers for himself.
Satu has the chance to be the heroine of her own fairy tale, only this one has an ending she never could have imagined.
Content Warnings: (major) death/death of parent, (minor) suicidal thoughts, (additional) If you have any sort of opposition to bees, be aware that there are lots of them in this book. They aren’t wicked little stingers though – they’re beloved and kind and make delicious honey. I’m terrified of them, but this book never once had me cringing in fear.
This has been my most-anticipated release of 2022 – and it did not disappoint! In fact, while I may be writing this review in February, I can guarantee that it will make on my list of favorites for the entire year. Talk about an absolutely spectacular sequel to Echo North. It’s actually rare for me to be so pleased with a sequel, because they regularly don’t live up to how much I loved the first book. However, Wind Daughter certainly left me in awe.
I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that it didn’t try to be the first book. There was a lot about it that was very different. This particular book felt much more character-oriented to me, while Echo North was really focused on the plot and the magic – and really just the overall vibes. Wind Daughter started out with a much slower pace, allowing you to really grow attached to the characters and understand them in a much deeper way. By the halfway point, I truly felt as though Satu had become a close friend of mine and I was able to connect to her emotions even more.
And we really must touch on Satu’s emotions, of which there were plenty. This beautiful character is practically made of feelings and I loved her for it. She grows up thinking there is something wrong with her, and the entire time, I wanted to just yell at her that she was even more precious because of her empathy! While the plot is full of fantasy, Satu’s personal story is really a coming-of-age, and it was wonderfully done.
Since I had just done a reread of Echo North, it was especially fun to be reintroduced to beloved characters from the first book. I won’t go too in-depth about who we run into, so as not to spoil anything, but let’s just say that there are some familiar faces that will brighten your day (and you may learn even more about them, which makes the plot thicken phenomenally).
OH! And there’s a fun little Easter egg for anyone who has read Into the Heartless Wood as well. This part literally made me screech aloud and was followed by me taking a photo of the page and texting it to the author to confirm that it really was what I thought it was!
The second half of the book will blow.your.mind! Originally, I planned to read the book in three sittings. Instead, I read it in two – with the second sitting being the last two-thirds of the book – because I literally couldn’t put it down. I actually tried. It was before bed and I set down the book and turned off the light… only to undo those moves because I absolutely had to know what happened next. It’s been a very, very long time since I read past my bedtime, but this story had me coming back for more. It was riveting!
Read this book if you enjoy the idea of:
– bee magic (I’m terrified of bees and this book made me love them… from a distance… but still love them nonetheless)
– a girl with “too many” feelings
– winter demons
– stories that feel both ancient and new
– time-bending and elemental magic
– love that defies all odds