Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher/Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
Slavery of a different kind, beyond physical chains, leads to a different type of escape . . .
Marissa Kristofferson can taste freedom. Her long years of suffering at the hands of her sadistic husband, Lance, are coming to an end as he lies dying. But she is stunned when he reveals the contents of his will and what she must do to keep Kristofferson Plantation, and how he plans to keep her bound to him even beyond the grave.
The beautiful slave Lolley has always envied Marissa’s life, and after learning that the master has also ordered her freed after his death, she is determined to reach for the life she wants by becoming the mistress of Marissa’s son, Shane, though she does not realize the lengths Marissa will go to to prevent the match, or the far-reaching consequences that will follow.
And Shelby, the plain and dutiful slave of free blacks, is unwittingly caught in the shocking drama that unfolds as a family is torn apart. Used as a pawn in a game of rivalry, deception, and betrayal, hers is a fight for survival while attempting to remain true to herself.
Three women—so very different but each carrying dark secrets that are closely intertwined, caught in a world between slave and free, a world which is becoming more fragile and precarious as war threatens and alliances shift, and each harboring seemingly impossible dreams of a better future.
In this first book of a dark historical saga, K. Willow paints a lush, emotional portrait of scandal, murder, injustice, and the ties that bind in the antebellum South.
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO
PRAISE“K. Willow’s historical novel, Ice Whispers, book one of The Hidden Hills Saga, is breathtaking beautiful and stunningly sad all at the same time. It’s really the story of two women, Agatha and Shelby, who are slaves in the Kristofferson and Franklin households respectively. They’re both amazingly strong, selfless and wise women who come from two succeeding generations of slaves. While all the drama and action in the tale revolves around the Kristoffersons and the Franklins, it was the story of those two larger-than-life women that kept me enthralled. Willow adroitly uses them as a lens for the reader to view the affairs in Hidden Hills, and it works magnificently. I just finished reading Ice Whispers, and I’m totally floored by this work. It’s marvelous and is very highly recommended.” -Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
“Part historical romance, part mystery, K. Willow’s book Ice Whispers is an entertaining and immersive read. Readers get to take the role of the voyeur as they explore the inner workings of the Hidden Hills society. Every member of the town has a role that they play, but each has their own secrets that they are trying to keep hidden. Willow’s novel is a quick and fun read that is full of vibrant characters. It is the perfect book for those who like to be in the know of the juiciest gossip or those who enjoy the drama of the workings of high society in mid-1800s America. I thoroughly enjoyed Ice Whispers, and I hope I get the opportunity to read more of Willow’s Hidden Hills novels.” -Tania Staley for Readers’ Favorite
My Take:I wasn't sure what to expect from Ice Whispers, but from the beginning this novel had a different tone from most historical fiction that I have read taking place in the antebellum South. The main characters are female - Marissa, the wife to a large plantation owner, Lolley, a beautiful and somewhat sheltered house slave and Shelby, the plain, obedient and pragmatic slave of a free black family. While two of the women are actual slaves, Marissa endures her own kind of prison as her dying husband continues to dictate her life even from beyond the grave.
I have to give K. Willow credit for intriguing me from the start. It was quite evident that there were secrets, plans, and deceptions that hadn't been revealed yet, but the anticipation was there. Marissa is an interesting character and since this is the only the first book in the series, I am guessing there is much more to find out about her past and her plans for the future.
Lolley is a difficult woman to figure out. She is a beautiful slave who feels that she has a chance at something better and won't stop until she attains it. She is also quite capable in dealing with people even if she isn't all that adept at her work. Lolley is definitely a schemer and I anticipate that she has some pretty interesting plans.
Poor Shelby just tries to be a good slave. She appreciates that her situation with the Franklins is pretty good considering what some of the alternatives are. She is even proud to be a slave of free blacks who are making a fine living for themselves in the South. Unfortunately for her she hasn't thought about striving for something different or for more and is taken by surprise when events seem to spiral out of control and she is stuck right in the middle.
I confess that I was a bit put out when I got to the end of the book -- because I didn't have the next book! I am interested and a little anxious to see what happens next. Ice Whispers is a fast, easy and very interesting read and I look forward to reading more in the series.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K. Willow is a novelist and award-winning writer with a background in television, film, theatre, and soap operas. She writes dark historical and urban fantasy and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband.
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