FICTION

A Winter's Promise

tr. from French by Hildegarde Serle. 468p. (Mirror Visitor Quartet: Bk. 1). Europa. Oct. 2018. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781609454838.
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OrangeReviewStarGr 9 Up—This series opener introduces the floating celestial islands known as arks, the result of a cataclysmic event called the Rupture. The residents of each of these arks possess unique and magical powers, and over each ark an omnipotent and immortal ancestor abides, helping to direct the fate of the inhabitants. Ophelia lives on Anima and runs the Museum of Primitive History. Her skill, greater than those of other residents of Anima, allows her to read an object's history by touching it. Despite her talent, she is also awkward, unkempt, stubborn, headstrong, and often in trouble because of her tendency to speak her mind. Now unhappily engaged to a stranger from the Pole who also has no enthusiasm for the union, she and her aunt travel to her fiancé Thorne's ark in secret. As Thorne is the illegitimate son of one of the leaders of a major faction fighting for control of the ark and to keep her safe, her true identity must be hidden. Left in the care of Thorne's aunt and told not to trust anyone besides her, Ophelia must learn to curtail her faults—but even more challenging, try to determine whom she can trust, and why she was chosen as Thorne's fiancée. Translated from French, this international best-seller is world-building at its best. The unusual settings, original characters, dark intrigue, originality, and fast-moving plot result in a book that leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next volume. It has great adult crossover as the characters and situations cross age levels.
VERDICT A worthwhile purchase for all fantasy collections.

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