A Winter's Promise (The Mirror Visitor #1)
|Series:||The Mirror Visitor|
Step through the mirror into a world of Animists, Dragons, Mirages and Nihilists. These are just some of the clans in the world of Arks. The Arks are celestial states floating above the old earth. On Anima, Ophelia is happily ‘reading’ objects in her museum, unaware of the plans the Doyennes have made for her. A grand alliance is in the making and Ophelia is the central pawn in the game. She has been betrothed to a stranger from another clan from an Ark at the Pole. Ophelia is bookish and clumsy - a misfit and a genius - her special gifts are exceptional - while Thorn, powerful and taciturn, has hidden powers of his own and is as icy and cold as the Pole itself. At the Pole, Ophelia (along with her chaperone Aunt Rosaline) must decide who can be trusted in this place of deception and illusion. Why has Thorn sneaked them into his homeland? Why are they holed up at his Aunt Berenilde’s house, in effect prisoners, unable to go beyond the bounds of the manor? And why is Thorn always at work at the Treasury, barely noticing Ophelia’s presence? When Ophelia manages to sneak out into the back streets of the city, she is intrigued and confused by the inhabitants’ behaviour. Yet this is just the beginning of the adventures and dangers. When Berenilde, a favourite of Farouk, the Great Spirit, is taken into the supposed safety of The Ambassador’s realm, the city of Citaceleste, Ophelia’s life becomes further complicated and she finds herself in a world of subterfuge, deception and illusion that will test her strength as well as her skills. Here is a city of such extreme delusion and abhorrent behaviour that one could easily lose one's mind or life. Making the wrong overture or displeasing an influential person can spell certain dishonour or disaster. When no one can be trusted all that is left is one’s self - the person you see in the mirror (as long as it tells the truth). A Winter’s Promise is the first in 'The Mirror Visitor' Quartet. This translation of the award-winning French bestseller is a welcome treat and will become a firm favourite for both teens and adults, especially for fans of Philip Pullman, Frances Hardinge and Cornelia Funke. This is an excellent fantasy epic with compelling characters. Ophelia and Thorn are both intriguingly complex, the clans and their gifts fascinating, and the interpersonal relationships between the main characters complex and ever revealing. There is amazing world-building and the plot is tight and tense, with plenty of twists and turns, political games, and machinations of seduction, threat and trickery as the story and its characters feed on the desire for power and status. You will be craving the next instalment.