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A nominee for the prestigious Locus Award and a Bookwatch Reviewers' Choice
Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Mary Doria Russell and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Winter Boyexplores important political and social issues within a dynamic, character-driven otherworld, wrapped up in masterful storytelling.
The Valley of the Alleshi is the center of all civilization, the core and foundation of centuries of peace. A cloistered society of widows, the Alleshi, has forged peace by mentoring young men who will one day become the leaders of the land. Each boy is paired with a single Allesha for a season of intimacy and learning, using time-honored methods that include storytelling, reason and sex. However, unknown to all but a hidden few, the peace is fracturing from pressures within and beyond, hacking at the very essence of their civilization.
Amidst this gathering political maelstrom, Rishana, a young new idealistic Allesha, takes her First Boy, Ryl, for a winter season of training. But Ryl is a “problem boy,” who fights Rishana every step of the way. At the same time, Rishana uncovers a web of conspiracies that could not only destroy Ryl, but threaten to tear their entire society apart. And a winter that should have been a gentle, quiet season becomes one of conflict, anger and danger.
"...a great book... in the 'must read' category for anyone who enjoys a cultural fantasy...” –Charline Ratcliff, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“…A literary triumph” – Dr. Babus Ahmed
"...with the kind of mysterious tone and a sense of a complete world apart that is the hallmark of the best.... The Winter Boy... exists in... a mythic, spiritual realm. Even ordinary lines resonate with this sense of the unseen." – Peter Damien Bellis, author of "The Conjure Man"“
“An amazing, tour-de-force literary work completely unlike anything I have ever read.... People will be studying and talking about The Winter Boy for years to come."– Wendy Delmater Thies, Abyss and Apex Magazine
A free Study Guide for The Winter Boy, for book clubs, teachers and other book discussion groups is available from the publisher Pixel Hall Press.