A Winter’s Promise is detailed, rich, and complex. Ophelia is an instantly likeable even as she is submerged in this world of danger, magic, and politics.
Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides.
Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan.
Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
A Winter’s Promise was quirky. There was this great balance between world building, character growth, and politics. Ophelia was one of those characters who took a few chapters for me to like, but then once I did, I loved her. She has this quiet ferocity, this fighting spirit, and this magical power. I really empathized with her quiet words. Often we need heroines who yield swords, but Ophelia has this quiet strength. And I love her for it.
She is completely un-moored in this rich and detailed fantasy. And she has to struggle to swim. There’s a clever edge to her lurking beneath the surface. And as the book progresses there’s this slow building, a slow climb of intrigue and mystery. And then when it starts to surface, it has this quiet intensity. Things are not immediately how they seem.
You’re wondering where this roller coast leads and wondering if Ophelia can vanquish this new force and these enemies to survive. Some days are bleak, some days are thrilling, but all of them are dangerous. I think if you’re looking for a book that is full of surprises and what will grow into a great series, then this is for you.