A Prisoner to Spring (Brigid Collins)

A Prisoner to Spring is the first book in the Winter’s Consort series by Brigid Collins.
Finished on: 15.3.2022
[I won this book in a LibraryThing Early Reviewer give-away.]

After Chelsea got left at the altar, she swore that she would never put on a wedding dress ever again. But when her best friend Jennifer gets married and asks Chelsea to wear a wedding dress the night before – an old family tradition meant to confuse fairies who might be looking to steal the bride – Chelsea agrees to it. What could be the harm after all? Well, much to Chelsea’s surprise an actually fairy does show up and whisks her away to the Winter Queen’s court to get married. The Winter Queen is the most gorgeous person Chelsea has ever seen, but Chelsea still doesn’t want to get married. But dealing with a fairy is tricky business and Chelsea has to be very careful how to proceed.

A Prisoner to Spring is a nice, queer fairy tale (in the literal sense). It’s got a nice premise that it executes well. While I wouldn’t go so far to say that it is sensational, I really enjoyed it and I definitely want more queer/sapphic fairies in my life.

The book cover showing a woman with flowing black hair among ice-covered twigs and flowers.

I’m not deeply involved in fairy lore, so I can’t say much about the Winter Court, but I do get the feeling that usually, the winter court gets the villainous part. Not so here, and I rather liked that inversion. That doesn’t mean though that the Winter Court is made of cotton candy and roses – it is still a cruel place and the Winter Queen is definitely not unproblematic. Still fascinating.

I did like Chelsea in any case. As a character, she seems rather unimpressed by the usual tropes for fantasy protagonists. Not actively avoiding or subverting them, just doing her own thing that sometimes aligns with those tropes and sometimes doesn’t. I also loved that her best friend Jennifer is also queer, but that there is no question between the two of them that things are platonic and nothing more.

A Prisoner to Spring is a fast read. In fact, it’s simply a short book. Maybe it wouldn’t have been necessary to make this a series if this one had been just a little longer. But I don’t mind that at all. The story here is finished enough to justify that the book ends here and starts the series. There were a couple of phrases here and there that activated my inner editor and made me want to leave some notes on rewriting a couple of passages, but those moments mostly came down to questions of taste and not because the writing didn’t work at all.

In short, it’s enjoyable and sweet and a nice set-up for a story that I definitely don’t mind seeing continued. Especially since the romance part of it doesn’t quite get off the ground yet.

Summarizing: very nice.

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