A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos is a dystopian fiction novel that was translated from French by Hildegarde Serle. This book is from the point of view of Ophelia, the main character. She lives on an ark called Anima, and these arks were created after the Earth had exploded and broken into these floating islands called arks. Ophelia has special powers, which are travelling through mirrors and reading objects. Due to political reasons, Ophelia got declared to marry Thorn, who is from an ark called The Pole. Ophelia and Thorn are opposites as Ophelia is tiny and shy, and Thorn is rude and keeps to himself. Ophelia has been accompanied by her aunt, Rosaline and lives at The Pole with Thorn’s grandmother and aunt, Berenilde. At The Pole, no one should find out that Ophelia is Thorn’s fiancé, and a lot of planning had been done to keep her identity hidden even when the ladies move into their enemy’s house to live. This book revolves greatly around a fantasy world and how Ophelia is surviving in it.
Until now, this summer, A Winter’s Promise was probably the book I had the most time finishing, and as I progressed, my interest in it slightly started to become less and less. This book disappointed me greatly as BookTok hyped it up so much for me. I pushed myself so much to read this book, which sucked because this was one of the few fantasy books I had read, and it has pretty much scared me away from fantasy and dystopian fiction. I expected a bit more romance in it and just hoped the plot to flow more smoothly than it was. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters except for Ophelia. I feel like too many things were happening at once, and not explained adequately, or it took a long time to figure out what was happening. The plot, in general, was plodding, and a few things were pretty annoying and repetitive. As much as I wanted to love this book, I had to force myself to finish it and had a hard time even looking at the second book I still haven’t started. On a more positive note, many readers did not like the first book but liked the series because things started progressing after the first book. Hopefully reading the second book might make me change my mind but for now I’m not too impressed.
One thing that did satisfy me about this book was the writing style was really unique which is one thing that really kept me on track to finish it. I also think towards the ending of the book it made a bit more sense and in a way started to tie things up. Hopefully in the second book there’s a bit more romance and affection shown between Ophelia and Thorn and maybe that is why readers enjoyed the second book more and really got hooked. Oh also the covers of this book is so pretty and even the rest of the book covers in the series look so gorgeous.
Rating: 5/10 (Ophelia’s scarf and Ophelia herself really deserve at least five stars).