A Winter’s Promise | Christelle Dabos | Review

“‘Travelling through mirrors, that requires facing up to oneself,’ her great-uncle had said. ‘Those who close their eyes, those who lie to themselves, those who see themselves as better than they are, they could never do it'”





Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides.

Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.


What have I just read? How many times does the main protagonist blow her nose in the first 100 pages. Yes, blew her nose, you read that right. At first I thought it was a poor translation, after it had happened numerous times I realised it was more than a mere mistake. I’m not one to slate books and authors as that is not my style. I always try and find something that I enjoy about a book and put a positive spin on things. But I am really struggling when it comes to this one. A Winter’s promise has been on my shelf for the longest time. I thought it was about time that I picked it up. Goodreads told me that there was an average rating of 4 stars which made me so excited to pick it up.

The start of this book was super promising. I started it one night in bed and flew through the first 100 pages. I actually loved it! I couldn’t wait to pick it up. However the next time I picked it up I genuinely thought that I had picked up another book completely. It just took a turn for the worst and didn’t really redeem itself.

I found A Winter’s Promise really difficult to read after the first 100 pages. Female characters in this book are given such a bad name, they are hated throughout. Bad things happen to them and they are slated throughout. Sex is portrayed as being immoral obviously because a woman is involved. Women are treated like shit. Need I go on? I just don’t think there is room in society today for this type of book. The behaviour isn’t challenge and the bland main character just takes it. Yes she can be sassy occasionally but in the most part she takes this shit and just carries on as if it is okay. Would I have enjoyed this book if the behaviour was challenged? I definitely would have.

Archibald, is the biggest arsehole of a character that I have ever met. Honestly each time his name appeared on my page I wanted to throw the book over the other side of the room. I literally didn’t have time for him and as a reasonably main character he situated in the majority of the book.

I enjoyed the world building and the plot of this book. It had so much promise bit the underlying hate for women really put me off and made me not enjoy this book at all. I really wanted to enjoy this book, I have never read a translate and thought it would be something I would enjoy. Nope. I can’t recommend this, I’m sorry. For me this would have been a 1 start book had I not enjoyed the beginning.

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