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Publisher's Summary

Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima, and, what’s more, she possesses the ability to travel through mirrors, a skill passed down to her from previous generations. Her idyllic life is disrupted, however, when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, a taciturn and influential member of a distant clan. 

She must leave all she knows behind and follow her fiancé to Citaceleste, the capital of a cold, icy ark known as the Pole, where danger lurks around every corner and nobody can be trusted. There, in the presence of her inscrutable future husband, she slowly realizes that she is a pawn in a political game that will have far-reaching ramifications not only for her but for her entire world.

©2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC (P)2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

“Dabos’s darkly enchanting debut, a French bestseller, employs vibrant characters, inventive worldbuilding, and a sophisticated plot that will dazzle readers.” (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about A Winter's Promise

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    4 out of 5 stars

Strange Mistakes

Narration is excellent. I struggle to fall asleep to most female narrators, as those who perform voices tend to screech, but this woman can do myriad voices without resorting to too many excessively-high pitches. That said, her voice does not drone into monotony, so I stayed engaged and focused on the story during the day.

I did, however, notice SEVERAL moments that seem like obvious editing misses, places where the narrator corrects a word or false starts, and it was missed during cleanup of the production. After listening to hundreds of audiobooks over the years without noticing a single mistake, (I am always listening for page turns, which brings me a small joy each time) it seems worth noting that there were multiple in this production.

Another thing that bothers me: certain words don't *belong* in high fantasy. In this story, "champagne" is an example: champagne the beverage comes from Champagne the region in France. It feels out of place in worlds such as these, where there is no Europe, let alone France. I also came across this when the main character has a concern about "breaking the laws of physics"... in a world of magic, elaborate illusion, mind control, etc., surely the laws of physics would be understood--and probably named--differently? Perhaps these are personal peeves and a non-issue for others.

In all, however, I found the relationships to be more realistic (and frankly, less idolizing of the toxic/unhealthy) than the last several fantasy novels I've listened to.

I enjoyed the story and don't regret the credit.

22 people found this helpful

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S L O W

You think you know where the book is going and you get impatient for it to get there - and then before any one story is resolved a twist happens. So you think to yourself oh this was unexpected. Then it happens again and again. You just wish that so many seemingly unimportant things didn't occur or that you have to keep track of characters that you may never hear of again. It was very very slow going and I wanted to give up many times. I think the whole book could have been pared down to a few chapters of a good story. If you like stories where the characters don't behave the way you think they will, or lots of detail before any action happens then you will like this book. Commit to the next one in the series though as this one has no real ending.

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing world, no forward progress or explanation

I am so torn about this book. Honestly it has a magic system that could rival Harry Potter and yet nothing is ever explained in any detail. The world was fun and unique. Rooms and furniture that became temperamental if they don't know you. Floating cities, parties, illusions, you name it this story had it. Just full of fresh whimsical ideas.

But the plot went no where. It was mainly about the protagonist getting used as a rug, stomped on by everyone and I mean everyone. Not until an hour left in the audiobook did she finally stand up for herself. It was hard to watch and she isn't as helpless as she makes herself out to be. Quite smart in fact when she decides to use her hat holder as it is intended.

And the writing wasn't very fluent. Jumping from one place to the next without explanation. Really not much of anything had explanation. I knew about halfway I wouldn't read the second book. But I was hoping the ending would give me something to strive for, something to keep the plot going. Nope. I was very much intrigued by Thorn. I don't believe he is the bully he makes out but I'm too the point where it's just to bad for him. Because like Ophelia I have tried to trust him, tried to like him and gave him the benefit of the doubt but you can only be burned so many times and apparently Ophelia doesn't know that yet.

This kind of felt like a book that doesn't know what it wants to be. It had so much potential. Right from the beginning it was new a wonderous and then fell apart so completely. I don't think I should have to read the second book to fall in love with the first. So I won't be continuing to book 2 which is a shame. Honestly I'm kind of angry. I really wanted this to be good.

4 people found this helpful

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the narrator was excellent

however, and i realize that she is young, but by god does ophelia complain a lot. it was grating enough to the point that i had to take a break from the book. it got a little better towards the end of the book or at least the last 2 hours of it, but i definitely hope that she grows up a little more by the next book.

4 people found this helpful

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Extraordinary

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it to you. It's well written: it's brilliantly provocative; features excellent characterization;, and transports your to a fantastic world.

56 people found this helpful

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  • Mo
  • 10-19-19

Memorable

I found the world interesting and the story compelling. Her characters help set this author apart. The "supporting" characters feel a little more complete than in many fantasy novels.

3 people found this helpful

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welllll

idk. interested enough to keep going but feeling a bit like it's a job. we shall see with the next one

2 people found this helpful

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Enthralling although slow start

Well created world, and a heroine with an ACTUAL brain! Not the sharpest, but way better than so many heroines who survive on luck and stubborn personalities. Slow start, but it’s worth it. Storyline is intriguing and keeps you guessing.

2 people found this helpful

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excellent book!

Very interesting story, with evolving characters in a world that never ceases to surprise!. And the narration is simply superb.

2 people found this helpful

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a good fantasy read

I wanted it to go on and on... more books with Ophelia I hope! I loved the imagery and imagination mixed with intrigue. I want to visit Ophelia's new life again!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Keys
  • 10-22-21

Really frustrating

The story itself is fantastic, as is the voice of the narrator. However, it seems like the recording has been very poorly edited. Several lines are repeated, like the narrator has practiced a couple of different ways of doing it and then they haven't edited out the repeated line. The sound level also varies enough to make me check my headphones are still plugged in properly. It distracts from the reading, this story (and the narration) deserves better.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-22

Favourite ever

I love this series so much. The plot gets over complex and shaky in the last book but otherwise it’s a special quartet.

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  • Iona
  • 09-03-21

Disappointing narration

I ordered this after a friend raved about it in the original French. I’m extremely disappointed in the narration. The emphasis is all wrong in every sentence. The author repeats her descriptions over and over for the same character. It’s like it’s been written for someone who isn’t paying attention. I’m a big fan of this genre but it’s just not sparking any interest.

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  • Edmund Merrywin
  • 01-25-21

A fantastic book

The book itself was amazing! I couldn’t put it down. However the narrator wasn’t the best, there were mistakes left in the recording and I could hear when she had messed up lines and no one had corrected them. However it was very enjoyable!! I would recommend it!

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  • karen a.
  • 12-24-20

great story

I really enjoyed this book and looked forward to going in the car to listen to it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-17-22

A world worth reading about

All in all, this books intriguing story lines can easily get you hooked. The narrator although at times either over or under expressing her characters, was not bad to listen to, or excessively annoying. Definitely only venture into this story if you’re prepared to read all in the series, as your questions will not be satisfyingly fulfilled in just this first novel. Also adding that it is framed as a young adults book with implied language.

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  • Elle
  • 02-09-22

It was okay

I'll probably read the next book but by the end of this one I wasn't obsessed thats for sure. The main character and some of the others were a little annoying but that may have just been the voice acting (It was very over the top and sometimes distracting). I definitely liked the fantasy world.

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  • AliceVD
  • 04-26-21

4 stars

A wonderful beginning to the series, filled with intrigue and mystery. The world was both whimsical and bloodthirsty. Will definitely be picking up the second book soon!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-02-21

captivating

Just loved the book and had to then listen on audio. Was not disappointed. highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-31-20

Amazing book, awful narrator

Halfway through this book which is EXCELLENT. Buy the print copy please, the narrator is terrible and put me off what would otherwise be a fantastic read. Her narration is fine when it comes to the general text but every character she voices is more annoying than the last. The amount of overacting that goes into each character is like watching a bunch of high schoolers performing Shakespeare very badly if the entire troupe also had head colds at the same time. I had to really push to get to where I am now and am sort of on the fence as to whether I should just give up and buy the book instead. Excellent marketing ploy if that's what it is.