The story takes a while to get going. Half of the book is spent showing where our main characters, Alana and Deryn, come from. It isn’t a bad way to go, as their individual stories are pretty interesting by themselves. Deryn is an Iron Wolf scout, a mercenary. Alana is a noble with the powers of an empath. Both, through their own circumstances, land in the same out-of-the-way settlement for the winter. Despite their best efforts, they start to fall in love, but of course, there’s obstacles in the way of their being together.
The plot is fairly basic, and much of the story focuses on Deryn and Alana’s blossoming relationship. There’s a basic plot going on that isn’t really anything to write home about, but serves as a nice framework for the romance. Jane Fletcher does a nice job writing a story with lesbian protagonists. Often times, you’ll get stories that focus on their sexual preference as a conflict–meaning it’s either a coming-out story, or it’s a woe-is-me-I’m-homosexual tale. In this case, the characters just so happen to be gay. Fletcher establishes that without a lot of hemming-and-hawing and moves on. It’s really refreshing.
The story stands well on its own, but I wouldn’t mind reading of more adventures from these characters. Overall, Wolfsbane Winter is a great romance fantasy.