The Wolf of Winter
Prince Varis has always been the outcast of his family. Pale and dark haired, only one other member of the royal house of Rhazaulle has his coloring- Shalindra, his niece, and she is twelve years his junior. The outcast of his family, Varis is nevertheless gifted with a sharp mind and, slowly, he begins to plot the overthrow of his brother.
I checked this book out of the library expecting it to be entertaining but, in the end, nothing but another generic fantasy adventure. When the gore started in chapter one, though, I knew that this was something special. I found the characters to be gripping and the magical trapping of Rhazaulle to be so drenched in violent realism that they were barely noticable.
As a result, this is not a book for those who find blood unsettling.