Book Reviews

Review: Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire

After finishing, and adoring Middlegame, I’ve been looking forward to this sequel. I’m a huge fan of McGuire’s works and so since Along the Saltwise Sea, I have been waiting. And Seasonal Fears is as fantastic as I expected. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Melanie has a destiny, though it isn’t the one everyone assumes it to be. She’s delicate; she’s fragile; she’s dying. Now, truly, is the winter of her soul.

Harry doesn’t want to believe in destiny, because that means accepting the loss of the one person who gives his life meaning, who brings summer to his world.

So, when a new road is laid out in front of them—a road that will lead through untold dangers toward a possible lifetime together—walking down it seems to be the only option.

But others are following behind, with violence in their hearts.

It looks like Destiny has a plan for them, after all….


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: suicidal ideation, murder, violence, suicide

Seasonal Fears is this perfect mash up of a rich and complex fantasy world, a love that might be doomed – jury’s still out – and a fight that just might change everything they ever knew. While it took me a bit of time to get used to the world, and honestly I could very well be missing things, I ended up adoring every moment. McGuire is able to balance a world we think we know, from Middlegame, and introduce another dimension (I loved the interactions from the first one here). Overall it feels multi-dimensional and a bit otherworldly.

Seasonal Fears encapsulates that subtle wrongness on the back of your neck. All the way to the terror of looking into someone’s eyes without mercy. If you love those stories of us-against-the-world, then you will love Seasonal Fears. It’s kind of like if you mashed lovers riding off into the sunset with a murderous quest for their lives or they die kind of thing. There’s a distinct almost fairy tale feeling to the book which creates a fascinating juxtaposition with the violence.


But then again, weren’t those stories the originators of cruel violence in fancy words? In Seasonal Fears it’s easy to get caught up in the world. There’s a distinct sense of unraveling as you figure out how this topsy turvy world works. At the same time it’s easy to get lost in the action. The murder attempts and skidding tires. But what I loved was how McGuire questions how much of us – who we are – can remain. If we do what we need to survive, will we fundamentally change into a different person? And if not, what keeps us from tipping over the edge? How do we hold on to our humanity, the memories of ourselves?

If you read Middlegame and want more, this is a must read. Or if you love high concept fantasy worlds of deadly competitions. This was a roller coaster, but I loved every moment and I’d ride it again. Find Seasonal Fears on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite high fantasy magic in a contemporary setting?

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