Solstice Wood is a loose sequel to Winter Rose, set a few generations later in the same place. That gives it a really weird feel, because it’s very much rooted in place and time, while Winter Rose could be almost anywhere, anywhen. I don’t really remember the same concrete sense of place about Winter Rose at all; perhaps because half of it was spent in the other world, but still. That felt untethered in time, and this really isn’t — planes, phones, worrying about reception. It feels realistic, and that’s odd compared to the narrator of Winter Rose and her unconcern for the barriers between what’s real and what isn’t.
Oddly enough, although I understood it better, I think I liked it less than Winter Rose. Some of the beauty and mystery was missing — which in a way was part of the point, but still. And the main character’s grandmother is just stunningly unable to see what’s going on under her nose for someone who is meant to be stubborn and shrewd. Love blinds us all, I guess, but it still felt odd.
The fae stuff in this book is perhaps more attractive than in Winter Rose, though; we get to see the gentler side, the enticing side, and more nuance. Still, I’m not greatly enamoured.