Reviews for Winterling

Booklist Reviews 2011 December #2
Deeply connected to the earth, Fer grows up learning about herbs and their healing properties from her grandmother. Grand-Jane has worked hard to protect her granddaughter, but her homey magic cannot keep Fer from accidentally opening the portal between the human and fairy worlds. Once opened, Fer tumbles into a dangerous world of alliances and treachery. With the help of a puck, whose own loyalty is deeply divided, she attempts to discover the truth about her parents' fate and the identity of the Lady who rules the land. Out of her element, in a world with different rules than her own, Fer must rely on her wits, strong character, and knowledge of herbs to see through enchantments, discover the truth, and heal the land. Prineas writes a rich, engrossing tale that is hard to set down. She weaves ancient lore into a modern story full of danger, magic, and complex, engaging characters. Hand this to fantasy readers who enjoy a strong female character and a touch of mystery. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
When Jennifer (Fer) opens the Way to a fairy world and a boyish "puck" comes through, wrongness and unending winter come through as well. Fer must go through the Way and confront the Lady who holds the puck in thrall in order to set things right. A slow pace allows this gentle tale steeped in nature and herb lore to unfold magically.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 December #1
An atmospheric middle-grade fantasy ties the coming of age to the turning of the year. Young Fer (short for "Jennifer") loves her strict Grand-Jane and the herbal lore she teaches, but she feels more at home in the woods and fields than in the concrete and iron cage of her school. When she rescues the shapeshifting puck Rook, Fer opens a Way into a place of wild beauty, deep magic and strange half-human denizens. The land's glamorous Lady claims friendship with Fer's lost parents and begs her allegiance, but Fer senses something deeply wrong: something that holds Rook sullen and silent, forces the people into savagery and keeps the land in the grip of relentless winter… something that is now spreading to Fer's home. Prineas calls upon Celtic (and a few Nordic) traditions to build a vivid fantasy world, steeped in pagan sensibilities, where the cycle of seasons resonates with the awakening of identity. The prose is lush and sensuous, evoking the sounds and tastes and scents of the natural world. Unusually, almost every character (except the puck-in-distress) is female, portrayed in all ages and roles--authority, hero, villain, mentor, warrior, healer, servant and goddess. Fer is herself brave and kind, but not unrealistically so; her magic is both matter-of-fact and a source of quiet joy. There's no flashy pyrotechnic wizardry to dazzle here, but the right readers will find refreshment in a tale as muted and miraculous as the return of spring. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 May

Gr 4-8--In this fantasy adventure, young Fer feels that she doesn't belong in her world. When she rescues a magical boy who can turn into a dog and hears the beckoning of the Way, a path into another realm, she decides to try to discover what might have happened to her parents, who have been "gone from this world" since she was a baby. Despite her grandmother's fears, she enters a land that is ruled by a powerful and dangerous huntress, the Mór, and populated with strange creatures and humans that can morph into animals. Along her journey, Fer discovers her healing powers and inner strength; she also learns about her parents and her family's connection to this enchanted, perilous place. The story has a steady pace and solid character development. The description-rich writing provides an excellent sense of the how the characters experience their surroundings, and the setting of this unnatural realm is intricately woven into the plot. An appealing and empowering tale.--Molly M. Collins, Burlington Public Library, MA

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