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.Why: Sherryl Jordan's Winter of Fire has been one book that has stuck with me since I first read it. I first read this book (from the library) a few years back when I lived in California. While the title of the book and author slipped my mind, the main premise of the story didn't and spurred me onto searching high and low for it.