A Winter’s Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet

Christelle Dabos, trans. from the French by Hildegarde Serle. Europa, $19.95 (468p) ISBN 978-1-60945-483-8
Ophelia’s entire family inhabits Anima, one of 207 planetary shards (or “arks”) that orbit Earth’s remains. Her clan traditionally intermarries, so it’s shocking when Anima’s ruling matriarchs order the awkward young woman, a museum curator who can read objects’ histories via touch, to wed Thorn, the chief treasurer of a distant ark dubbed the Pole. Banishment is the punishment for refusal, so Ophelia moves in with Thorn’s Aunt Berenilde and hopes to become acquainted with her fiancé. The hostile Thorn rarely visits, however, and Berenilde forbids Ophelia from leaving the estate, allegedly to protect her from assassination. Ophelia can’t fathom what either ark stands to gain from the betrothal, but she intends to find out—provided she can survive the Pole’s cutthroat politics and Thorn’s poisonous family tree. Author Dabos’s darkly enchanting debut, a French bestseller, employs vibrant characters, inventive worldbuilding, and a sophisticated plot that will dazzle readers despite its methodical pace. Ophelia’s galvanizing journey toward self-determination culminates in a dramatic cliffhanger that teases book two. Ages 15–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/09/2018
Release date: 09/25/2018
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