A Winter’s Promise

book cover, A Winter's Promise

A Winter’s Promise (La Passe-Miroir #1) by Christelle Dabos with Hildegarde Serle (Translator)

September 13-22, 2021

Recommended by Deirdre a few years ago, downloaded at the time … finally getting around to it.

The world splintered long ago. Floating islands, each with it’s own customs, magics, and spirit guardians. Ophelia is a young woman from a sheltered background, a peaceful floating ark. Readers barely get a glimpse of her life before her family sends her off as betrothed to a an unknown man on a cold, treacherous ark.

This YA novel from first time author, Christelle Dabos is full of deep world building and well-rounded characters – some of them mysterious yet hinting at complicated motivations and desires. I wouldn’t go as far as to say this is a critique of patriarchy and capitalism, yet there is an awful lot to help readers think about the nature of power. Power, in this fictional setting, power is magic and manipulation. Who holds power, why, for how long, and how do they wield it? How this newcomer finds herself at such disadvantage, gives readers much to mull over.

Our heroine is smart and tenacious. Others underestimate her willingness to fight for herself. How will she gain control over her life?

Will need to read more of the series for those answers. This was a fun novel, a good start to a series that seems to ready to fill in the coming-of-age with magic gap. Stronger than most. The translation from the French is great, the original might be the way to go if you read French – but I read it in English. I’m lazy with my entertainment!

I would definitely recommend for pre-teens. It’s a fun read as an adult, but I do wonder if teens would find this as much fun. It’s dark(ish) while holding onto a real sense of innocence as part of it’s fish-out-of-water theme.

Rating: 4 out of 5.