Cover image for A winter's promise
Title:
A winter's promise
Uniform Title:
La passe-miroir ; livre 1. Les fiancés de l'hiver French
ISBN:
9781609454838
Physical Description:
491 pages ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Originally published in France as La passe-miroir ; livre 1. Les fiancés de l'hiver
Added Author:
Summary:
Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima and, what's more, she possesses the ability to travel through mirrors, a skill passed down to her from previous generations. Her idyllic life is disrupted, however, when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, a taciturn and influential member of a distant clan. Ophelia must leave all she knows behind and follow her fiancé to Citaceleste, the capital of a cold, icy ark known as the Pole, where danger lurks around every corner and nobody can be trusted. There, in the presence of her inscrutable future husband, Ophelia slowly realizes that she is a pawn in a political game that will have far-reaching ramifications not only for her but for her entire world.
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Summary

Summary

Amazon Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book of 2018

One of Entertainment Weekly 's 10 Best YA Books of 2018

One of Publishers Weekly 's Best YA Book of the Year

A National Indie Bestseller

Longlisted for Irish YA prize Great Reads Award

Lose yourself in the fantastic world of the arks and in the company of unforgettable characters in this French runaway hit, Christelle Dabos' The Mirror Visitor quartet.

Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima and, what's more, she possesses the ability to travel through mirrors, a skill passed down to her from previous generations. Her idyllic life is disrupted, however, when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, a taciturn and influential member of a distant clan. Ophelia must leave all she knows behind and follow her fiancé to Citaceleste, the capital of a cold, icy ark known as the Pole, where danger lurks around every corner and nobody can be trusted. There, in the presence of her inscrutable future husband, Ophelia slowly realizes that she is a pawn in a political game that will have far-reaching ramifications not only for her but for her entire world.

The World of the Arks

Long ago, following a cataclysm called the Rupture, the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands, now known as arks. Over each, the spirit of an omnipotent and immortal ancestor abides. The inhabitants of these arks each possess a unique power. Ophelia, with her ability to read the pasts of objects, must navigate this fantastic, disjointed, perilous world using her trademark tenacity and quiet strength.

An unforgettable heroine, a rich and bountiful universe, intrigue and suspense: A Winter's Promise is perfect for readers of Margaret Rogerson's An Enchantment of Ravens , Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood , V.E. Schwab's "Shades of Magic" series, Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone , Kenneth Oppel's "Airborne" series, and N.K. Jemisin "Broken Earth" series.

Extract:

I think we could have all lived happily, in a way, God, me and the others, if it weren't for that accursed book. It disgusted me. I knew what bound me to it in the most sickening of ways, but the horror of that particular knowledge came later, much later. I didn't understand straight away, I was too ignorant.


Author Notes

Christelle Dabos was born on the Côte d'Azur in 1980 and grew up in a home filled with classical music and historical games. She now lives in Belgium. The Mirror Visitor , her debut series, won the Gallimard Jeunesse-RTL-Télérama First Novel Competition.

Since graduating in French from Oxford University, Hildegarde Serle has worked in London as a newspaper subeditor, mainly on The Independent and The Sunday Telegraph . In 2011, she decided to combine her love of both English and French by doing the Chartered Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation. Although she still lives in London, her heart still lives on the Quai aux Fleurs in Paris.


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ophelia's entire family inhabits Anima, one of 207 planetary shards (or "arks") that orbit Earth's remains. Her clan traditionally intermarries, so it's shocking when Anima's ruling matriarchs order the awkward young woman, a museum curator who can read objects' histories via touch, to wed Thorn, the chief treasurer of a distant ark dubbed the Pole. Banishment is the punishment for refusal, so Ophelia moves in with Thorn's Aunt Berenilde and hopes to become acquainted with her fiancé. The hostile Thorn rarely visits, however, and Berenilde forbids Ophelia from leaving the estate, allegedly to protect her from assassination. Ophelia can't fathom what either ark stands to gain from the betrothal, but she intends to find out-provided she can survive the Pole's cutthroat politics and Thorn's poisonous family tree. Author Dabos's darkly enchanting debut, a French bestseller, employs vibrant characters, inventive worldbuilding, and a sophisticated plot that will dazzle readers despite its methodical pace. Ophelia's galvanizing journey toward self-determination culminates in a dramatic cliffhanger that teases book two. Ages 15-up. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Promised in marriage to Thorn, Ophelia and her maiden aunt Rosaline travel to Citaceleste, capital city of the Pole Ark, one of the postcataclysmic, self-governing floating worlds (arks) where this story is set. There she encounters threats, intrigue, and abuse at the hands of her puzzling fiancé, his violent family, and a society seemingly based on illusions and deceit. Families residing on arks are under the control of a godlike ancestor and have shared skills; for instance, the Dragons are capable of inflicting bodily harm with their minds, Mirages can create and sustain illusions so strong you can live in them, and Readers, like Ophelia, can glean the history of certain things by touching them. Ophelia's story is initially compelling, but her quiet acceptance of her mistreatment may wear on some readers. She is, nevertheless, a clever heroine who begins emerging from her shell toward the novel's hopeful end. This French best-seller, the first in Dabos' immersive Mirror Visitor quartet, holds as much appeal for adult fantasy readers as for teens.--Cindy Welch Copyright 2018 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

A best seller in France, Dabos's debut novel evokes both the whimsy and the deep-seated sense of justice of the Harry Potter series. The unassuming Ophelia simply wants to live her life undisturbed on her celestial island, an "ark" named Anima, where she works as an archivist in a museum and employs her singular talent, reading the histories of objects - and sometimes their owners - with her hands. Without much explanation, the matriarchal leaders of her society promise her in marriage to a man from another ark, the Pole, which is as cold and foreboding as it sounds. So is her betrothed, a guy with the unpromising name of Thorn. With her Aunt Rosaline as chaperone, Ophelia must leave the only home she's known and take up residence with Thorn's family - a scheming, largely unfriendly lot - in the Pole's capital, Citaceleste. There, nothing is as it seems, and a whirlwind of drama, intrigue and cruelty both casual and irreparable emerges. But Ophelia is stronger than she looks. Along with her ability as a reader, she can travel through mirrors - a supercool trick, not to mention a metaphor about knowing yourself. She's got a firm grasp on her morals, and a devoted scarf that acts, marvelously, like a pet snake. She's the tiny-voiced powerhouse you can't take your eyes off, the any-of-us among more powerful sorts who wish to use her for their gain. By the end of the novel, the first of a quartet, there are still more questions than answers, but you're happily along for the ride. JEN DOLL IS the author of the young adult novel "Unclaimed Baggage" and the memoir "Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest."


School Library Journal Review

Gr 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.-Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

A reserved young woman's betrothal throws her into a world of intrigue and treachery in the first volume of Dabos' (La mmoire de Babel, 2017, etc.) fantasy quartet.When the world shattered, floating splinters of land called arks came under the control of powerful immortalsthe family spirits for each ark. Small, quiet Ophelia wants nothing more than to look after the family museum on the Anima ark, where her power to "read" the pasts of objects and to travel through mirrors is unsurpassed. Ophelia's life is flipped suddenly upside down when she is thrust into a diplomatic arranged marriage, and the unassuming but willful Animist must travel to the snow-covered Pole ark with an equally frigid and foreboding fiance, Thorn. No sooner does she arrive than Ophelia finds herself in the middle of a treacherous game of politics and power in which the stakes are the very highesther life. Dabos has managed the rarely seen triad of complex worldbuilding, nuanced character development, and enthralling plot, even making it look easy. Not a seam shows in this intricate narrative weave that centers on and empowers an endearingly bookish and clumsy antiheroine without insisting she change. Racial diversity is absent; Ophelia more than once comments that she has never had romantic or sexual feelings for a man.Not a drop of mastery is lost in translation. (Fantasy. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Never in her life had Ophelia handled something even approaching such a phenomenon. Was it just a book, after all? It had the texture neither of vellum nor of rag paper. Awful to admit, but it resembled human skin, drained of its blood...What story was this strange document telling...And what was that message engraved on the base of the Reliquary--Never, on any account, attempt to destroy this Book--all about? Excerpted from A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.