In a world that’s always winter, a young girl discovers what she really is.
Wyn, a prickly, unsociable girl, is plagued by odd abilities that she keeps secret—fire doesn’t burn her, cold doesn’t affect her, and her eyesight is extraordinary. Her only friend is Kate, daughter of the minister and his wife, who have brought Wyn into their family after the death of Mrs. March, Wyn’s beloved first foster mother. But things are out of balance in the all-white English countryside where Wyn lives. It’s nearly the last day of summer, and the landscape is still covered in ice and snow. Then Tawhir, a mysterious boy, appears, and Wyn is almost overpoweringly attracted to him even as she feels a deep unease. Gradually, unwillingly, Wyn uncovers both what is causing the odd weather and her long-ago connection with Tawhir. Peel writes with a deeply felt sense of setting and with just the right touch of restraint to allow his characters to reveal themselves fully. Nature spirits and dragons are introduced but without hoopla and as a seamless and essential part of the entirely logical plot. Thoroughly realized characters, a story that combines high fantasy with the pagan world of nature spirits, settings that amplify and uphold the natural-world underpinnings of the plot, and plenty of tension characterize this refreshing read.
A must. (Fantasy. 12-14)