[Story] The Calamity of a Reborn Witch

Title: The Calamity of a Reborn Witch (formerly, A maiden’s frozen heart)
Author: Vera Anne Wolf
Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Psychological, Tragedy
Tags: Female Lead, Grimdark, High Fantasy, Magic, Multiple Lead Characters, Portal Fantasy, Isekai, Reincarnation, Secret Identity, Strategy, Strong Lead (excluded a non-tag)
Audience:(contains Gore, Profanity, Sexual Content, Traumatizing content)
Main Lead: Female
Status: Ongoing, Completed First Book
AVB Assessment Score: PDE 2 CDD 2 SWB 3 || TQ 3 SV 3 || Overall: 13
Number of Chapters: 168
Chapter Length: Medium
Reading Level: High
Date of First Release: May 31, 2020
Date of Last Update: March 7, 2021
AVB Reviewed? No
Available on Platform(s): Royal Road
Number of Views: 764,343
Number of Reviews: 136
Synopsis:
{Book 1: A Den of Wolves}
What if you knew the future? But what if that future was not yours?
After a gruesome death, Carina was reborn in Lafeara as Lady Maura, the unwanted “half-blood” of an impoverished noble family. The previous Lady Maura was publicly executed as part of a conspiracy to conceal the murder of Queen Eleanora.
With Maura’s memories to guide her, Carina prepares to follow her predecessor’s path into the palace as part of the Selection to become Crown Princess Eleanora’s lady-in-waiting. Her meticulous years of planning and preparation to ensure her survival, fulfill Maura’s revenge, and avert the oncoming Calamity will require every ounce of courage, cunning, and intellect she can muster.
Because Carina has more than one secret which she can not reveal—her true identity among them—but even more treacherous is her frozen heart and the ice magic that comes with it.
After all, they still burn witches in Lafeara.

{Book 2: A Crown of Crows}
The problem with changing the past is that the future changes with it.
Although Carina survived the Selection and earned a place in the palace beside the Crown Princess, her battle to change the future and protect Lady Hana, the future Queen’s favored lady-in-waiting, is far from over.
As Carina becomes further entwined in the hidden witch covens of Lafeara, their history and magic unravel a dangerous secret long forgotten by most. It is not just Maura’s memories that threaten to shift the balance of Carina’s carefully laid plains but her own forgotten past as well.
And the more mysteries Carina uncovers, the fewer allies she finds standing on her side. Everyone wants something, but the most dangerous players in this game of mortals and witches are the gods themselves, who have their own sordid plans for Carina’s frozen heart.

Review(s)

Sii: So, I’ve had to force myself to stop reading so I can write this review. It is an excellent, compelling read that kept me pressing “Next Chapter” over and over again. I feel as if the author used some kinda magic to compel me to keep reading. 
The strongest point of the novel, for me, is the story and the authors excellent character work. Maura/Carina is an incredibly interesting and nuanced MC. I found myself rooting for her as soon as I began reading and I don’t even know who she is. She is smart, independent, caring, and all the other good descriptors you could think of. And you find out these things about her within the first few chapters. Her “family,” if they can be considered that, are delightfully villainous. I commented that I would fight them and I mean it. I will fight Carina’s whole family by myself because they’re a bunch of pompous jerks. And that’s a testament to the authors ability to create excellent characters. Maybe they’ll grow and get better, idk because I’ll have to read more and find out. But I hope they die, my little black heart loves me some good villain/antag deaths. Each and every character introduced slowly unfolds the wider world that the author has built and it is an absolute joy to follow along. I don’t even really care about an overarching plot but there are enough hints at something big getting ready to happen that I just wanna hurry up and find out. But I also don’t because I wanna learn more about Carina and her closest confidants. So yes, I’ll probably be binging this story as soon as I have the time to do so.
As far as style and grammar go, I found nothing that detracted from my reading experience. POV is masterfully used to keep each and every chapter feeling evenly paced. I don’t think I’ve come away from a chapter feeling like something took longer than it needed to. Everything flows well and is absolutely easy to read and binge. I like a clean, clear read and this definitely delivers with that .
In conclusion, I enjoyed this story way more than I’d expected to. While I was reading I kept forgetting that it was an isekai and that’s a testament to the authors skill. Most isekai will consistently remind the reader that the MC doesn’t belong. But this story does the opposite, the MC has blended in and knows how to survive in this foreign world. She is smart and tactful and definitely not a complete idiot like most isekai MC tend to be. I do feel like Lincoln being alive still is a tragedy but that’s a personal problem lol. If any prospective reader is reading this, I encourage you to give this one a read.  

Vowron Prime: When you think Reincarnation, especially on RR, you think power fantasy, leveling, blue boxes, and monsters. This story replaces those tropes with medieval magic, political intrigue, secret identities, and thick, juicy plot, and the execution is masterful to boot!
We start with a car accident, but even there we have a shocking twist(that I won’t spoil), which sends us into our fantasy world where Carina’s memories meld with the downtrodden daughter of a down-on-their-luck noble family. The author does a phenomenal job at developing the protagonist while also crafting truly despicable, hateable antagonists. Dramatic emotions abound.
Story
At chapter 16, this story is already going places. The author does a great job of maintaining tension in every scene, making this story quite the binge-able read. Coupled with the rich universe and worldbuilding, the plot moves at a brisk pace. At this point, events are building up for what promises to be very exciting upcoming events.
Grammar
Excellent. I only caught occasional typos here and there, but this is among the best writing on this site. It is always a joy to read a story from someone with a mastery of the language.
Style
This is where I have the biggest issues, though admittedly they are still quite minor. Exposition abounds, and while exposition can be used to more-efficiently deliver information, I feel that the narration often falls into the “show don’t tell” trap. Dramatic tension that has been beautifully built up is then lost in several paragraphs of explanations of various histories and names that don’t have immediate relevance to the scene at hand. I feel like many of these passages could be dropped, postponed, or be shown via character actions, instead of told by narration. Still, there are times when the detailed exposition does pull it off, so this is more a matter of fine-tuning the existing prose rather than a major overhaul.
Character
Another strong point of this story – perhaps the strongest. Carina is an awesome protagonist. Not your usual lead, she shows a great capacity for strategic thinking, economic planning, investing, and knows how to play the game when it comes to medieval politics and nobility. And the antagonists? Wow. I want to see them all die horrible deaths, such is my hatred for them. To be able to elicit such a strong emotional response from a reader is truly an accomplishment. In fact, even the side characters have real depth, and not one feels two-dimensional in any way. Easily 5/5 stars here.
Coming into this, prior to reading the synopsis, I thought it would be some kind of romance by the title and cover.  What I got was a beautifully-written medieval fantasy story about political intrigue, magic powers, secret identities, and more. Well worth your time to read, this fiction crosses genres to create something truly special.

Kraze Kode: A survivor’s story of a girl reincarnated into another body with knowledge of future events that will happen with the original. For those familiar, you would notice that it is basically a reincarnated as [insert character type] in a novel. BUT in all honesty, I cannot sum it up in those words, God no I can’t. This story is SO MUCH MORE!
There is a great cast of characters that you would love and hate, sometimes both at the same time. The pacing is something I find is one of its strongest parts as the story just GRABS you by the Sleeve and drags you into its beautiful and complex world full of interesting characters. 
Lots of political intrigue mixed in with just enough mystery and drama and I found myself HOOKED by the end unable to put it down. If you like a standard genre done beautifully (Which I wonder how can you NOT love that) then you will LOVE this one. 
There are so many ways the story itself can turn out and there is a lot of connection to the past of the original which I love was not just combined into our character and that she did not just instantly abandon who she is. She is referred with her original name by the narrator and I love that the Original’s past affects her but is not considered as her own past. 
The story itself is quite complex and I cannot truly express its beauty without spoiling and even then there is a lot I would miss and I would feel ashamed to do such injustice to the author. So, in the end, I would Like to say; Just read it, give it a try till even if just the 1st chapter, I can positively bet that you will get Hooked and will not be able to put it down till the lastest chapter out. 
For the extremely stubborn here are some points (some people like points so here I go!) 

  • Fast Updates like very fast. 
  • Top 20 Best Rated on RR content level
  • Great Grammer and Editing 
  • Very Well Paced
  • Just Give it a Try, like come on man (or woman). 
  • I rarely give all 5 and the 4 and a half in style is because I could not find anything else to cut
    A Gem of a Story I wish I had found sooner.

CoCop: This is one of the best novels I’ve read on Royal Road in a while.  Without getting into spoilers, it’s an Isekai where the MC is stuck as a minor/discriminated against noble in a world where the laws and customs stymie her at every turn.  That said, her extreme competence (dare I call her socially/politically OP?) carry her through.
The pacing on this book is close to perfect.  It takes things slow while still raising enough questions to keep the reader guessing.  Only after I’d read about 50 or so chapters did I realize that not a a whole lot of time had passed, but I didn’t care in the slightest.  The plots/dilemmas in that short time kept me enthralled.
As a note, there are multiple POVS.  They work very well, don’t worry about it too much.  Every character gets devleoped.  The chapters are also fairly short, but there are a ton of them them and if you’re not careful you’ll fall into the trap I did.  Reading it until 4:30 a.m. when you need to get things done early the next day.
Style
The pacing and flow are top notch.  I’ve seen one or two meh turns of phrase in something like 350 pages.  This is borderline published quality.
Grammar
I don’t think I’ve seen any errors.  It looks like the author corrected some previously, but I didn’t notice anything.
Story Score
A perfect mix of world building, characterization, introducing mysteries and giving those mysteries payoff.  The early chapters leave plenty of breadcrumbs making you wonder WHY things happened.  The middle chapters answer those questions and then ask more questions, all while building the world.  The only slight quibble I have is that the world’s magic system has begun to feel a bit like an afterthought, but around the time I first thought that, the author introduced a new peril for the MC based off of it.
In short, it’s VERY good.
Character
The characterization is good.  The MC is competent and rational (without being a sociopath too!).  Each POV is well fleshed out and intriguing in its own way.  One thing I enjoy is that the ‘bad’ characters are SO bad.  Absolutely rotten people.  Watching them squirm as they earn and the suffer from their comeuppance is a VERY good time.
Summary:
If you don’t mind tension/stakes created from something other than leveling/combat, read this.  Like, immediately.

YAK Edge: A maiden’s frozen heart is an Isekai set in a fantasy world that seems to parallel Victorian England. That alone sets it apart from every other Isekai.
Story: 4/5
Most Isekai protagonists get reincarnated after a truck hits them. Not Carina. She dies because the scumbag ex-boyfriend of her pregnant best friend sells her and Carina to organ harvesters. This sets the tone for the story pretty well. As mentioned earlier, the world of Lafeara is set in a world similar to Victorian England. And it really brings across just how horrible this period was the average human being. Slavery, abuse, chauvinism, sexism: these are just the tip of the iceberg.
But beyond that, A maiden’s frozen heart tells the story of Carina. Reincarnated in the body of a half-blooded noble Maura, she not only has to survive her abusive family, but she also lives on borrowed time. Because once she is 17 she knows that she will be executed. When Carina reincarnated she also got to see the future of Maura and tries her best to avert said fate. But like with any story that involves the future, elements that had not appeared before, start to slowly but surely to pile up.
There is a lot of mystery and mystique that picks the reader’s interest and one starts to wonder just what is going on. The only real gripe is that the story is a slow burn. After seven chapters, not much has happened. It’s all set up so far. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable.
Characters: 4/5
The “weakest” aspect of the web story and even then it is only in comparison to the other aspects. The main character Maura/Carina is really well developed. We see her strengths, her ambitions, her plight, and of course her flaws. Of course, it is still the beginning, so she obviously has more room to grow. 
But outside of Maura, not many characters are developed. We learn a few things about Ivy, and I really liked Alex, but it is a bit problematic when the second most developed character is Maura’s half brother Lincoln. To be brief: He is an utter scumbag, and the rest of the family not much better. Some might enjoy an antagonist that they can hate and watch getting what they deserve. I hope that Lincoln either develops into a more three-dimensional character or that we get an antagonist we are not supposed to hate. But again, it’s the beginning of the story, so the characters could develop in multiple ways.
Style: 4/5
The scenes are well described. One can easily read the passages and there is really nothing that creates issues. When the style is great, then there is not much to say. It is simply good. The one thing that could be improved is that fewer adverbs and dialogue tags that are not “said” or “asked” could be used.
Grammar: 5/5
Really nothing to complain here. The author even adhered to writing rules, that I didn’t know exist. Reading the story, I actually learned a few things.
Final Verdict
A maiden’s frozen heart is a great story and deserves more views. It’s a slow pacing for sure, and the antagonists could be more nuanced, but it is worth it. I’m expecting great things here.

FIEND: Author has a talent for writing. She clearly plans ahead, as there are times where you wonder if her decision for the charecters was correct only to find that every bit of her writing has purpose else where in the novel. There is foreshadowing, more showing than telling and the romance is perfect. Its slow burn, it isnt rushed, there isnt anything cringey, or forced. The plotical aspect was done well, though I wish to see more. There isnt any slapback Young Master How Dare bs for filler drama and just to forward the plot.  When mc gets served, she often finds her hands tied behind her back, however she carefully lays her plans thick like a chess move 30 steps in advance, and with a little bit of luck she is able to suceed.
Style: This is a third person novel, where we mainly see the perspective of mc, but also we get the view of other charecters, as well as what they are thinking. When I first started reading this novel, it was the style that captured me. Author writes in a way where the dialogue is interactive, and not amateur. Many times, writers will fall for the trap of basic dialogue that takes away the juice of high potential stories. In this novel, the dialouge serves to propel the plot as it should and isnt used for inane word count. Lastly, the style gives the atmosphere of a mideval genre, as it should. In amateur novels, we often find mistakes such as modern lingo, and the author does her best to avoid this allowing a fully immersive experience in her story.
Story: Like I mentioned before, this is a novel where there is equal parts of political intrigue, a slow burn but spicy romance, magic, witch hunts and a tension that makes you wonder why all the bad things happen to good people. There is so much world building. Unlike amateur writers, author is an expert at world building, releasing just the right amount of snippets as to how the world around mc works, how the plotics and religion work at a grand scale and how individuals not only make up the parts but play a large role in the whole. For a quick summary, its about mc whos a half witch with ice powers, escapes an abusive family not through god forsaken isekai plot armor and such, but with careful meticulous planning. We all read xiaxia, where reincarnated mc comes back as this brand new bad bitch, slaps back the step mother and sis, and somehow convinces the abusive father to give the property ownership or some cop out. This novel is realisitic. When you transmigrate, modern women or not, circumstances will force your hand. And force her hand it did. She had to use external help, forge a fake identity, use what knowledge she had of the future to set up secret finances. All in the meantime, we the readers feel the tension of the ever glorius religion sneaking up behind mc, in their hunt to eradicate witches. And lastly for those who are here for the romance, you are in for a treat. Mc isnt one of those women who capture the ML interest by being the mc by virtue. And my god, nothing frustrates me more than seeing a paradoy of a “dominant yasss queen” FL snatching away the ML with her “magical skills” and glorius mc pussy. She is NOT a damsel, she does NOT rely on male lead or his friends. She instead, crafts plots within plots to save her ass , and appropriately uses her knowledge of the future when she can. 
Charecter– strong powerful female lead, doesnt rely on ML for anything, not even his friends like some other “strong” wannabe female leads of other novels would. The side charecters are fleshed out, and the writing allows the reader to visualize and understand what true toxic patriarchy would have looked like back in the day, and no its not flowery, and no its not exaggerated sjw stuff. Yes it is brutal just like reality
grammar- easy to read, im no grammar expert, but its solid
With equal aspects of suspense, mystery and thriller this is a reincarnation novel done right.  Highly reccomend, praise the ice witch

msng: In this story, a young woman is reborn on a new world where magic exists and she is an untrained witch. She has some foreknowledge of future events in this new world that do not turn out well for her current identity. Using this foreknowledge, the young witch tries to bring about a different future while contending with the fact that she is the unwanted bastard child of a noble family, living in a misogynistic and monarchical society where she is not quite at the bottom strata, but very far from the top. And in a country where they burn people for being witches.
I really, really like this story. But it is not for everyone, as there are some polarising aspects to it. Besides the warnings about possibly traumatising elements (e.g. murder, sexual violence, mutilation, etc.) and a minimal amount of LGBT content in the story tags and the summary, I shall start with a few of my own:
If you want a straightforward story where the reader has an almost omniscient view of what is going on and for it to be clearly spelled out what each characters’ goals are and where they stand, this story is not for you. If you want an action-packed story with explosions and adrenaline-pumping set pieces every chapter (or at least every other chapter), this story is not for you. If you want a story where the Main Character (MC) is infallible or at least never does anything that ends up causing problems for themselves, this story is not for you.
Which brings me to the characters in the story. Carina is a smart and capable MC. However, she is not infallible or OP. She is proactive and plans ahead, but she sometimes makes mistakes and is not all-knowing. In fact, because of the writing style, the readers sometimes learns critical information that she does not know and may only find out much later, if at all. This makes her a rounded and more realistic character who is competent, but not perfect. Much like how no one in real life is perfect. And this is not just the story of Carina/Maura. She is definitely the main character, but the other named characters are not bit players that solely exist to populate her world. They are characters in their own stories (with their own goals and desires that they work towards achieving or defending) that just happen to reside in the same world and interact and affect one another. Like the real world, and completely different than a Gary/Mary-Sue story where the world and characters only revolve around the main character and do nothing else but help or hamper them.
The writing style helps maintain and emphasise the sense of mystery and intrigue that runs throughout the story. It follows the mystery novel style of writing which encourages you to continuously speculate, and revise your hypothesis regularly. It very much operates on show not tell. The writing states what is said and how people act, leaving their own goals and motivations mostly a mystery and up to your own guesswork or what other characters claim those people are trying to do. And whether those characters’ claims are true, somewhat misleading or outright lies is itself rarely ever fully spelled out in the moment that they occur. You will need to read on to find that out, though the especially observant might pick up on some hints and tells beforehand. This level of ambiguity will not be to everyone’s tastes. However, if you like a story where new chapters tend to bring just as many (if not more) questions than answers and where things are not spelled out for you, then you are in luck.  
The spelling and grammar are generally good. There are a few minor errors, but most of them seem to have been found and mentioned in the comments and corrected by the author.
In conclusion: If you enjoy mystery novels/political thrillers and are fine with the type of content warned about near the start of this review, this is a very entertaining story and you should at least try it out. Hope this helps.

[omitted other reviews due to length and enough content shown above]

Story Post Last Updated: March 9, 2021

One thought on “[Story] The Calamity of a Reborn Witch

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