Reading level: Middle Grade
Size: 256 pages
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: First in the Winterling series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book for review through the Amazon Vine program. It was a wonderful and magical middle grade fantasy full of adventure and magic. Something that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves fantasy and adventure.
Fer has always felt like she doesn’t quite belong in this world. In the woods one night she rescues a boy, except the boy isn’t exactly human. The boy invites Fer into the Way and into a dangerous fairyland. Fer feels strangely at home in this other place but senses that something is out of balance with the land and the huntress, Mor, who rules the land. Now Fer must unravel the mystery behind her past if she is to help prevent eternal winter from gripping both sides of the Way.
I loved this book. Fer is such a wonderful character, with her wandering in the woods she seems a bit fanciful at first…then she finds out this strange quirk is exactly what is needed on the other side of the Way. I loved the quirky elements like Fer’s strange patchwork coat and her strange type of magic. I also enjoyed the fact that Fer is a strong heroine but different in her strengths than many heroines you see in fantasy literature.
Many of the other characters are a lot of fun too. Puck is a fun and complex male lead and some of the side characters (especially the Wolves) added a lot of fun to the story. I enjoyed that all of the characters were a little quirky and different.
I also loved the description in the story. Prineas writes in a way that really brings the mysterious wood alive. The plot was a bit predictable, but it was fun to read all the same. The story has such a dark fairy tale vibe to it. I love it when authors can imbue a traditional fairy tale feel to a book, but it comes off as something new and exciting.
Although the main part of the story is nicely tied up at the end, there are still a number of questions for Fer and Puck to answer. I look forward to seeing more of their tales in future installments of this series.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It is a quick, fun, and magical read. Fer is a fun heroine, that is strong but in a quirky way. I loved the fun characters, the way magic was blended with nature, and how the story had such a wonderful fairy tale feel to it. Fans of fantasy adventures with a fairy tale feel to them and a strong quirky heroine will find a lot to love in this story. For some reason this book reminded me a bit of Plain Kate by Erin Bow in tone and feel. This is an appropriate read for anyone middle grade or older.