Long ago, following a cataclysm called ‘The Rupture’, the world was shattered into floating celestial islands, known now as Arks. Ophelia lives on Anima, an Ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, Ophelia hides two powers: the ability to read the past of objects and their human owners, and the ability to travel through mirrors. When she is promised in marriage to Thorn, the young girl must leave her family and follow her fiancé to Citaceleste, the floating capital of a distant Ark. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity?
With a feisty, unforgettable heroine, a rich universe, romance and thrilling intrigue, A Winter’s Promise will appeal equally to readers of Cornelia Funke, Scott Westerfeld and Margaret Rogerson. Discover the first instalment in a grand saga, and a talented new fantasy author.
Christelle Dabos was born on the Côte d’Azur in 1980 and grew up in a home filled with classical music and games. Her love of fantasy began with the Harry Potter series and she is part of a new generation of young fantasy writers.
Her debut series, The Mirror Visitor, won the Gallimard Jeunesse-RTL-Télérama First Novel Competition, as well as the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire and is an international success. She now lives in Belgium.
‘The Mirror Visitor stands on the same shelf as Harry Potter.’ Elle
‘As mesmerising as a waking dream, A Winter’s Promise is certain to ensnare you in its unique, dizzyingly magical world of treachery, illusion, and intrigue.’ Margaret Rogerson, author of An Enchantment of Ravens
'A fantastic epic, definitely, but also a coming-of-age novel, this first volume makes a strong impression. A novelist is born.’ Le Firago
‘Christelle Dabos impresses in this first novel with the power of her imagination. The architect of a bewitching and complex world, she sustains it with a subtle sense of wonder and elegant, flowing language. From metaphor to metaphor, this addictive and charming novel is also a great coming-of-age story.’ Télérama
‘With surgical precision, Christelle Dabos has created a hybrid world between fantasy and the Belle Époque.’ MadmoiZelle
‘Highly original and intricately imagined, this is world-building on an epic scale.’ Bookseller UK
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 fianc . 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. \n
An enjoyable read!!
This book is a dizzying, addictive ride that reveals the darkness in all the Pole’s glamour in a subtle yet relishing manner, just like the Varnish over Filth phrase the book often repeats with great reason. Ophelia’s growth is amazing and this book and its world building is so mesmerising. Excited to read the sequel!