Book Review : Winterling

Winterling by Sarah PrineasWith her boundless curiosity and wild spirit, Fer has always felt that she doesn’t belong. Not when the forest is calling to her, when the rush of wind through branches feels more real than school or the quiet farms near her house. Then she saves an injured creature—he looks like a boy, but he’s really something else. He knows who Fer truly is, and invites her through the Way, a passage to a strange, dangerous land. Fer feels an instant attachment to this realm, where magic is real and oaths forge bonds stronger than iron. But a powerful huntress named the Mór rules here, and Fer can sense that the land is perilously out of balance. Fer must unlock the secrets about the parents she never knew and claim her true place before the worlds on both sides of the Way descend into endless winter.

Title : Winterling
Author : Sarah Prineas
ISBN : 9780061921032
Copyright : 2012
Pages : 245

3.5 Stars

I’ve liked Sarah Prineas’ writing since I first discovered her book The Magic Thief. I believe her style of writing and pacing matches up well with other authors such as Robin McKinley and Jessica Day George. Her writing is lyrical and her stories remind me of fairy tales that haven’t been told before. Sadly, I don’t think she’s gotten as much recognition as she deserves. For example, none of my friends had read this new title, as far as I know, and my local library consortium only had three copies of it.

I enjoyed the story, but was not captivated by it.


  • I was pleasantly surprised by the modern setting of Fer’s life with Grand-Jane. It was nice to see her getting on buses and being bothered by fluorescent lighting and school.
  • I liked how Prineas worked in elements of fairies, pucks, and pookas, from different sources and cultures but made them her own through the way she changed their spellings and included details of her own that are not necessarily cannon for these creatures.
  • Prineas’ writing is a huge advantage. It is lyrical without being verbose. I enjoyed how she described characters and settings while continuing to move the story along.


  • I couldn’t get a handle on how old Fer was supposed to be. Her actions made her seem older than her stated age.
  • I wished Rook had been less neutral, but I guess that wouldn’t have totally fit with his nature. However, it could have since he was supposed to be concerned with improving his situation, first and foremost.

About shortlibrarian

I am a woman working in the Twin Cities as a programming Librarian.
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