Book Cover
Title Winter of Fire
Series ---
Author Sherryl Jordan
Cover Art ---
Publisher Scholastic - 1992
First Printing Scholastic - 1992
Category Young Adult
Warnings None

Main Characters

Elsha, the Firelord, Lesharo, Amasai, Alejandro, Teraj
Main Elements Sorceress

A dangerous world...a powerful young woman

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 to be so honoured - and both the Chosen and her fellow Quelled are stunned. But her powers and visions grow ever stronger, even in the face of extremem prejudice.

Yet Elsha must learn the hard way that you can't play with fire without getting burned.

I first read this book back in 1992, must have been high school then. Flash forward 17 years (gasp!) and I've gone ahead and read it again. Ah, the nostalgic memories that brough back, though to be honest I recalled very little of the story itself, it was as if I was reading it again for the first time. In a way I'm glad, I didn't have any preconceptions about what was going to happen next and I can give a faithful review here, unbiased by the past, where we always tend to recall the good and forget the bad.

It's a coming of age story of a young slave girl with special powers, so special in fact that at any one time there are only a couple people in the world who have it. And it is a vital power, without it their world would fall apart. Along the way she is beset by prejudice and ignorance, but also with understanding and compassion. There is even an environment aspect to the novel. Also the truth that more often than not the facts of the past get altered into the legends of the present, yet those myths have a grain of reality in them if you look deep enough. A significance that can change everything about how you view your world, and your place in it. While it is nice to have lofty ideals about how to change the world, change takes time.

The book is well written and the characters have depth and are interesting. I may be 17 years older than the intended audience but I still really enjoyed reading it. Some young adult books can still be thoroughly enjoyed by those who are no longer young (but still young at heart), and this is one of them.

I must admit though, I don't know how Elsha managed to choose between her many suitors. Perhaps a few too many near perfect suitors to be completely believable.

So while I may not have really said all that much in this review, the truth is, all I can say is that it is very good. There is nothing bad to say. I highly recommend reading this book. And after checking to see if it was available (unfortunately, no) I saw that my good opinion is held by the large number of people who have commented upon this book.

Posted: September 2009


Background, images and content (unless otherwise noted) are SunBlind
Do not use without permission.