Monday, December 12, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday -- Winterling by Sarah Prineas

If you've ever read The Magic Thief trilogy by Sarah Prineas (my blogging friend Myrna Foster reviewed them in October -- at this post), you might be familiar with the story of the changeling girl.  A chance comment by a bookseller in Ohio inspired Sarah Prineas to turn that story into Winterling.  A bookseller!  How cool is that?

Winterling by Sarah Prineas (HarperCollins, January 3, 2012, hardcover, 9780061921049, $16.99, for ages 10 and up).

Source: advanced reading copy from publisher

Synopsis (from the publisher):  With her boundless curiosity and spirit, Fer has always felt that she doesn't belong.  She hears the call of the wild wood, of the secrets it whispers to her.  But when her grandmother reveals clues about the disappearance of her father and his mystical bond to her mother, Fer begins to unlock secrets about the the parents she never knew.  Led to a reflecting pool that uncovers the Way, Fer finds an enchanting, dangerous land.

In this place cloaked in wonder, where pucks transform from boys to horses, Fer feels a strange magical attachment.  But with her mother gone, everything has spun out of order and evil has imprisoned the place in ice. Now it is up to Fer to face down the powerful Mor, who has cruelly overtaken this world and its people, and discover the legacy she carries within.

Why I liked it:  Gorgeous writing and sure-handed worldbuilding.  The author has a fertile imagination and it shines through.  And though the summary sounds a bit like The Snow Queen, this is very much an original fairy tale.  And amazingly, nearly all the characters are female.  In fact, Fer (short for Jennifer) has to save the puck boy from a nasty fate.  Yay for powerful heroines!

What most impressed me, though, was the lushness of the sensory details.  Nature, both beautiful and terrible, is all important here. Except for a few scenes, this book takes place outside, and you can really feel the icy cold and picture the leaves, the moss, and the pond.  

Have you read any original fairy tales that impressed you?

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Whitney Messenger. Other regulars include (but are not limited to):

Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at The Night Writer
Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Deb Marshall at Just Deb
Barbara Watson at her blog
Anita Laydon Miller at her middle grade blog
Michael G-G at Middle Grade Mafioso
Pam Torres at So I'm Fifty
Ms. Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads
Danika Dinsmore at The Accidental Novelist
Jennifer Rumberger at her blog
Akoss at Nye Louwon--My Spirit
Gabrielle Prendergast at angelhorn

Sheri Larsen at her blog

I'm working extra hours as we zoom toward Christmas, and I still have some shopping, baking, and decorating to do. So I'll be back on January 2nd with the first of several interviews with some of the debut authors of the Class of 2K12!  Enjoy your holiday! And Happy New Year!


  1. The Magic Thief books are popular in my library, so I'll have to take a look at this even though the cover makes me even colder than I am already!

  2. I am so jealous that you have a copy of this one already. :o)

    I hope your break is wonderful, and thanks for the review!

  3. I'm jealous too. I love The Magic Thief series. I'll have to check this out when it comes out.

  4. Hi Ms. Yingling! Yep -- it's a winter story, through and through.

    Thanks, Myrna. That's the perk of being a bookseller.

    Natalie, I love The Magic Thief series too.

  5. I REALLY want to read this one!! Big-time.Isn't that cover gorgeous? Great review. :-)

  6. Yay indeed for powerful heroines.

    I haven't read the Magic Thief series, but all of these sound right up my alley. You had me at "gorgeous writing and sure-handed worldbuilding." I am a sucker for good world-building - for authors who really take the time to create something unique.

  7. Thanks, Shannon! Yep, I love the cover.

    Yes, Danika! There aren't enough books with powerful heroines. And the worldbuilding is most impressive.

  8. Great review! And the cover is wonderful!

  9. Hi Jennifer! Thanks. I love the cover too.

  10. Sounds great-- will have to get it to read with my boys!

  11. I have a copy waiting for me as a Christmas vacation treat--I'm looking forward to it tons!

  12. Hi Kat. Hope your boys like it.

    Charlotte, good for you. It would be a perfect Christmas vacation read.

  13. Happy New Year to you, too! Thanks for sharing this book. LOVE the Magic Thief series, so will be for sure getting this, too.

  14. Oh, that's a wonderful trailer! Thanks, Michelle, for letting us know!


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