Review of Dead of Winter: Journeys, Pt 2, Penllyn by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

In Teagan’s second Journey, the story opens with the Watcher, a centuries old wise woman who sees a child of the lineage of Eriu– the surname of Emlyn and her dead mother Eirlys.  She also sees the White Wolf from Journey 1, identified as the Lost  White Brother who comes and goes across the Divide and the omen, Winter is Coming.

After this eerie prologue, the story re- focuses on Emlyn.  The author cleverly reveals each paper-thin layer allowing us to seep further into this complex twelve- year-old who can see the dead and talk to spirits.  For Emlyn, the veil between real life, visions, and dreams is permeable, causing her problems with her family, and the harsh world of the Brethren of Un’Naf who rule the Flowing Lands.

Because Emlyn is almost shunned by the community, with the aid of her thoughtless sister, Afanen Eriu and her odious brother-in-law, Dewydd,  she lives a lot in her own thoughts.  Her only friend is her teacher, Obsabide.  Obsabide’s niece,  is Zasha.  Zasha is a member of the “Deae Matres:  A society of women who travel the world, searching out and collecting knowledge.”

Emlyn’s father, Afon Faxon has made the unusual decision to take his daughter to  the neighboring village of Penllyn with him.  He needs to sell some of his well-regarded hard cider and pick up the wagon and ponies that he left on a previous visit.  He is supposedly taking Emlyn with him to learn how he sells his apple cider since she is being taught to keep his books.  However, Emlyn keeps wondering if this is the real reason she is going, rather than Afanen or Dewydd.

In addition to the fascinating characters like the Daea Matre’s equerries, Taijin from Bandahar who accompanies Zasha on her journey to catch up with the Daea Matres, and Gethin Gwilym “Equerry to the traveling group of Deae Matres, and horse whisperer”, there are  the horses themselves.  Each horse has a name and a personality that Teagan skillfully sketches out. Kiska, a sensitive white mare, is under the control of Zasha.  Firelance, Taijin’s, tall red gelding has an equine sense of humor She has hinted that Emlyn may get a horse of her own as the story progresses.

Penllyn is a market town and the influence of the Un’Naf is not as strong as it is in Llyn Combe.  It seems like many people are also interested in going to Penllyn including the Deae Matres.  What  draws them all there?  Is it because “Winter is coming?”

Universal Purchase Links for Journey 2, Penllyn




15 thoughts on “Review of Dead of Winter: Journeys, Pt 2, Penllyn by Teagan Riordain Geneviene”

  1. Good morning, Pat. Wow! Thanks so very much. I know it’s difficult to review a novelette-sized work without giving spoilers. So, I’ve got to say that you did a fantastic job. I love how you closed it! 😀 I’ll be sharing on my weekend post.

    I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this second installment. I like your onion analogy — peeling back layers. Happily, one benefit of publishing this huge novel in serial form is that it highlights that gradual insight into the characters.
    A happy whinny to you from Kiska and Firelance. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

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