Monday, April 8, 2013

A Vintage Reads Review: Winter of Fire

Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan, January 28, 1992. 321 pages. Published by Scholastic. Source: Bought.
Elsha is one of the Quelled: a branded people, doomed always to mine coal to warm the ruling class, the Chosen. But Elsha has strange visions that set her apart - and a strong spirit that condemns her to death. Her life is saved when she is called to be Handmaiden to the Firelord, the most powerful being on the planet. Elsha is the first of her kind ever to be so honored - and both the Chosen and her fellow Quelled are stunned. But her powers and visions grow ever stronger, even in the face of extreme prejudice. Yet Elsha must learn the hard way that you can't play with fire without getting burned.
First Sentence:
Always at the heart of my life there had been fire.
It has been years since I first read Sherryl Jordan's Winter of Fire and while the finer details of story slipped my mind, I am so happy to have been able to revisit an old favorite of mine.

 I was definitely nervous going into my re-read of Winter of Fire because what if it turned out to be not nearly as good as I remembered it being. Well, the good news is that it was well worth years (like four duty stations) of searching to get my hands on it. Sherry Jordan's writing and the world in which Elsha lived in was still as breathtaking and magical as the first time I read it.

If it's possible, my fifth read of the book has made me an even bigger fan of Elsha and her struggle as the first Quelled called to be the Handmaid to the Firelord. What really makes her such an admirable character is that the world was pretty much against her from the beginning yet she still dreamed that she would one day be something more and change things. Y'all know that I really enjoy reading books that feature strong female characters and Elsha was definitely that.

What I've always loved about this Winter of Fire would have to be the way the author, Sherryl Jordan, deals with the prejudices of the Chosen and the way that they treat the Quelled. What makes this one of the best parts of the book is that Elsha, the main character, can see that the way her and her people are treated is wrong and because she is trying to change things for the Quelled. My words seem to ave left when it comes to explaining why I loved the way the author brought about the change in the way things were handled, but the fact that it was not something was instantly accepted is, in my opinion, what makes the transition of thinking so interesting to read about.

Even though I loved this book, the one thing that I found disappointing would have to be that my memory concerning certain aspects of the story were vastly off. There were things that I was expecting, things which are probably from some other book that I read about the same time and have forgotten about. While my memory may have added in some details that didn't exist, the only fault I can find with this book is that it will be hard for potential readers to find since it is in fact out of print and has been for quite some time.

Final Verdict: Winter of Fire- Still an incredible story of one girl's journey to change her world.

Winter of Fire earns 4.5 out of 5 pineapples.


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