Thursday, March 8, 2012

Winterling by Sarah Prineas

There’s nothing like a nasty villian. A witch queen? A crow lady? Mor, the villian in this story, is all of those things, murdering the true heir to the land and stealing her magic thus causing the seasons to stop. Winter is constant and the only way to bring spring is to sacrifice an animal or human in a ritual known as The Hunt that renews Mor’s power. Don’t be fooled by the constant winter and thinking this is another Snow Queen. Mor is more closely linked to Morrigan from Celtic mythology, the battle Goddess who appears on the battlefield in the form of a crow and returns later to feed on the dead. This story is a potluck of myths and folklores that might have you thinking of the White Queen in Narnia, or Puck from a Midsummer Night’s Dream or Sisters Grimm, or Odin’s Hunt in Norse mythology, or Artemis from Greek mythology, or the Mother Goddess from ancient myths, to name a few.

The heroine, Fer, goes to Mor’s land when she accidentally opens The Way pulling wolves who are chasing the shape-shifter Rook, (or Puck), into her world on Earth. Fer has never felt that she belongs on Earth and when The Way opens she is determined to visit it. She is living with her Grandma and knows that her parents went through The Way only to never return back to Earth. After traveling through The Way with Rook she meets Mor and discovers Mor not only knew her parents but was an ally.

Mor is covered in glamorie, a magic that hides her true self, and allows her to manipulate people or animals by using crow feathers, touching skin, or binding promises. Fer can feel that something is wrong with the land but cannot figure out what it is. When people start to seek Fer’s healing powers, she sees that they are turning into wildlings and losing their human-side completely. She knows something is wrong with the land and she is determined to find out what it is as well as what has happened to her parents.

Girl power abounds in this story with female characters of Fer, Fer’s mom, Grand-Jane, Leaf woman, and Mor. The female-dominated roles made me think of myths of the Mother Goddess. Fer, the spunky, strong female heroine,
is willing to stand up for what is right. She also insists that Rook has a choice even though he keeps telling her to not trust him because of his bondage to the Mor.

Rook is an interesting character who struggles internally because he’s under the power of Mor. We find out that he’s with the Mor because of Phouka but I never completely understood why except that Phouka helped Fer’s father
escape with Fer to Earth when she was a baby. I wanted to know more. I did want more answers to my questions such as how did her grandma become a healer? How did her mom become a healer? What really happened between her mom and dad? It would seem that the book is the first in a series.
This is a quick read at 260 pages.

Reading Level 5.0
:-):-):-) 3 out of 5 Smileys

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