A WINTER’S PROMISE BY CHRISTELLE DABOS (TRANSLATED BY HILDEGARDE SERLE) || ARC REVIEW

GUESS WHO FINISHED READING HER FIRST BOOK IN SEPTEMBER!?!?

Me me me me me me me me me!

As you may know, reading is now a luxury for me because of school. But because I’m a dedicated bookdragon who had six hours of free time the other day, I finally got the chance to escape to a fantasy world and forget about school altogether. Seriously, why can’t teachers just attend six-hour meetings, seminars and orientations all the time and just leave exhausted students alone???

(Brain: Um in case you didn’t know, a teacher’s job is to TEACH and not just to sit through meetings all day. You’re a student and it’s your duty to survive school no matter how difficult life can be.)

SHUT UP, BRAIN.

Anyway, I’m always at my happiest when I finish a good book AND ADAM THIS BOOK IS SOOO GREAT. It exceeded all my expectations and I’m really excited to share this review with you all.

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A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

Rating: ★★★★★

#1 Bestseller in France

Lose yourself in the fantastic world of the arks and in the company of unforgettable characters in this French runaway hit, Christelle Dabos’ The Mirror Visitor quartet.

Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima and, what’s more, she possesses the ability to travel through mirrors, a skill passed down to her from previous generations. Her idyllic life is disrupted, however, when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, a taciturn and influential member of a distant clan. Ophelia must leave all she knows behind and follow her fiancé to Citaceleste, the capital of a cold, icy ark known as the Pole, where danger lurks around every corner and nobody can be trusted. There, in the presence of her inscrutable future husband, Ophelia slowly realizes that she is a pawn in a political game that will have far-reaching ramifications not only for her but for her entire world.

The World of the Arks

Long ago, following a cataclysm called the Rupture, the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands, now known as arks. Over each, the spirit of an omnipotent and immortal ancestor abides. The inhabitants of these arks each possess a unique power. Ophelia, with her ability to read the pasts of objects, must navigate this fantastic, disjointed, perilous world using her trademark tenacity and quiet strength.

An unforgettable heroine, a rich and bountiful universe, intrigue and suspense: A Winter’s Promise is perfect for readers of Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Ravens, Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood, V.E. Schwab’s “Shades of Magic” series, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, Kenneth Oppel’s “Airborne” series, and N.K. Jemisin “Broken Earth” series.

Extract:

I think we could have all lived happily, in a way, God, me and the others, if it weren’t for that accursed book. It disgusted me. I knew what bound me to it in the most sickening of ways, but the horror of that particular knowledge came later, much later. I didn’t understand straight away, I was too ignorant.

 

Thank you to Edelweiss and Ingram Publisher Services for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was my first approval on Edelweiss which is why it has a special spot in my heart. I actually have a huge ARC TBR pile (which I mainly got from netgalley) and it pains me sometimes when I start reading an ARC and it doesn’t hold my attention and I just have to force myself to read it. THAT’S ACTUALLY ONE OF THE WORST BOOKDRAGON FEELINGS EVER. I feel bad when I DNF a book but I can’t help it sometimes.

I was scared to have the same experience in reading this book but my worries were for naught because THIS BOOK IS TOTALLY WORTH THE READ. My heart is overflowing with love for it.

A Winter’s Promise is a #1 French Bestseller and was originally published in 2013. Now, it has finally been translated to English by Hildegarde Serle and will be released on September 25! 

MY THOUGHTS ON A WINTER’S PROMISE:

• I’m 100% pleased with the world-building

If a book has a detailed and well-written world, expect me to shriek about it for 1000 years. Which is exactly why I’m about to dedicate my life to shrieking about A Winter’s Promise.

This book is set at a time where the world has been divided into Arks which are starkly different from each other. I love how Christelle Dabos wrote Pole and Anima. These two Arks that were focused on the books were interesting and magical in the best possible ways.

I am especially pleased with the dynamics of the Pole. It is made up of political intrigue, social hierarchy, warring clans, social scandals, and illusions which made it even more intriguing.

Y’ALL NEED TO READ THIS BOOK SO WE CAN SHRIEK ABOUT IT TOGETHER.

• ‎I fell in love with the magic system

This book features a magic system where a person inherits the magic of the family. There are families of illusionists, animists, and those who can inflict pain on others (Painists??? Maybe not). Anyway, it was fascinating to learn the different abilities of the different clans and uncover the intrigue surrounding them. In this book, you don’t know who to trust. Everyone has secrets and hidden motives and I just love books that fry my last three brain cells. Some books are unforgiving like that. Poor brain cells.

• ‎Three-dimensional characters!!!

All the characters here are well-written. Most of them have complex personalities and I can’t wait to learn more about them in the sequel.

Ophelia is the protagonist and my new spirit animal. I just relate so much to this girl I felt like I was reading about myself. She loves reading, she’s an expert at breaking dishes, she has a strong will and most of all, SHE DOESN’T HAVE A SENSE OF DIRECTION. That’s me right there. I don’t even know what my life would be when I move to a city for college. I think I will get lost in the darkest recesses of Underworld in 3 nanoseconds. Send help.

I also love Ophelia’s I-don’t-need-a-man-to-make-myself-complete attitude. But I also ship her and Thorn so much everything hurts. Why do I love slow burn relationships that are even more complicated than my physics lessons???

Thorn is the male protagonist and I JUST WANT TO PROTECT HIM WITH MY LIFE. I think a block of stone shows more emotions than him but for some reasons unknown, I have come to love this character so much. Beneath his hard exterior and cold expressions is a soft heart. At least I hope so. I can’t wait to see where his relationship with Ophelia goes in the next book. GIVE ME THE SEQUEL NOW PLEASE.

— Berenilde is Thorn’s aunt and I don’t know if I want to trust her or throw her from a 720-story building. Based from my mixed emotions, I can say that she’s a complex character with an interesting personality.

— Rosaline is Ophelia’s godmother and the only member of her chaotic family to accompany her to the Pole. I adore how she’s so strict to Ophelia but will also protect her with her own life.

— Archibald is a character I want to read more about. I have a feeling that he will have a huge role in the next books. He’s one of the most interesting characters in this book and if he isn’t given more attention in the sequel, I’ll wage a war on the lizards in my house out of anger.

— Kudos to Ophelia’s loyal scarf who adores her and will probably strangle her one of these days if it gets upset.

There are a lot more characters you need to know about and I would appreciate it if you pick up this book so we can talk about them and decide which characters to throw out of a 720-story building.

• ‎Has an atmospheric vibe

This is the first translated book I have ever read and I’m pleased that my first experience was positive. I don’t know if the original exudes the same feels but this version has an atmospheric tone which I absolutely loved. This book totally transported me to a different world and I forgot about the quizzes I needed to study for, the homeworks I needed to answer, the researches I needed to write, and the reports I needed to make just for a little while. It gave me the perfect break from reality and I’m so thanful for that.

• ‎The story is well-established AND I WANT MORE

Since this is just the first book to the series, it’s mainly just the establishment of the characters, the world, and the plot. I enjoyed every page of it and now I’m chewing the nearest table with impatience BECAUSE I NEED TO READ THE SEQUEL ASAP. I want more of the characters and this world. I want to know how the bigger picture will unfold. I don’t know when I’ll be able to read the next book or find a copy but I’m really hoping I can read it because I’ll be destroyed if I can’t.

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A Winter’s Promise offered me a place of refuge when I needed it most. It’s a highly unique story full of mysteries and intrigue and I 20/10 recommend it to all bookdragons who love fantasy and awesomeness.

This book will be published on September 25 and I really hope that more people will pick it up so they can be swept away by the world Christelle Dabos has created.

I’m sorry for the late post but I really miss all of you!

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Is A Winter’s Promise on your TBR? What are your most-anticipated book releases for the month of September? What are your other reading plans for this month? Tell me your thoughts!  

16 thoughts on “A WINTER’S PROMISE BY CHRISTELLE DABOS (TRANSLATED BY HILDEGARDE SERLE) || ARC REVIEW”

  1. Ooh I’m so intrigued! The magic system sounds like utterly glorious and I WANT THAT IN MY LIFE. Also I love it when the atmosphere and setting of a novel just like totally suck you in. 😍Best bookish dragonish feeling.

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  2. I am a bookish dragon and I think that I would LOVE THIS BOOK! You basically described everything I want in a fantasy: slow-burning romance, fantastic world-building, a developed magical system, and amazing characters. I haven’t read a translated book yet, but I would be happy if A Winter’s Promise was my first!

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