The fantasy novel Winterling, by Sarah Prineas, is a delightful excursion into a parallel world where winter has a tight grasp. Jennifer, known as Fer, has been raised by her grandmother and taught the simple magic of herbs and bees. When a strange boy crosses her path, Fer follows him to learn more about the parents she never knew and about her own powers.
In the beginning of this book, Fer is innocent and sweet. She thinks she knows who she is, but once she falls through the Way into another world, she has more questions than answers. Fer has to keep her head and figure out what to do with very little help from anyone. She learns to be true to herself and what she knows is right, which is excellent advice for all of us. Fer must find the key to unlock winter’s hold on her land as well as the parallel world, and in order to do so she must defeat the evil huntress, the Mor.
The characters, imagery, and action in this book are beautiful. Whether you are riding on the back of the beautiful fast shape-shifting horse, visiting the hidden springime lair of the Leaf Woman, or trembling in front of the Mor without her glamorie mask, this novel creates scenes that involve the reader. This was a pleasurable read from page one through to the end.