Title: Winter of Fire
Author: Sherryl Jordan
First published January 28, 1992
321 pages, Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780590452892 (ISBN10: 0590452894)
In a world where the sun has disappeared and warmth and light are scarce, the Quelled caste is responsible for providing firestones to the rest of society. Elsha, a rebellious young Quelled girl, is chosen to be handmaid to the Firelord, leader of the Chosen.
As she travels with the privileged class, Elsha confronts rampant prejudice and fights against injustice, improving the lives of her own people. Along the way, she even falls in love with a few enlightened Chosen men.
With her unwavering determination, Elsha may even be able to bring back the sun and restore hope to her world.
About the Author
Sherryl Jordan, an acclaimed author from New Zealand, started her writing journey with children’s picture books. As time passed, she transitioned to writing novels for an older audience.
Her big break occurred when she published Rocco, which was released in the United States under the title A Time of Darkness. After this success, she continued to create numerous titles for young adult and juvenile readers, which were published internationally as well as in her home country.
In 1993, Jordan received a fellowship to attend the highly regarded writing program at the University of Iowa. During her time in the United States, she spoke at schools and conferences about her unique style of writing.
Her books combine elements of fantasy, science fiction, and romantic realism. Jordan explained in an interview for the St. James Guide to Children’s Writers that her young adult novels come to her as gifts, rather than being planned out.
She says that they appear unexpectedly in her mind and captivate her with their new worlds, characters, and sounds, daring her to put them down on paper.
Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan – A Gripping Tale of Rebellion and Freedom
Sherryl Jordan’s Winter of Fire is a young adult novel that was first published on January 28, 1992. The book belongs to the fantasy genre and is set in a dystopian world, where the oppressor rules with an iron fist, and the oppressed are forced to live in servitude.
Jordan’s writing style is gripping, and she deftly creates an immersive world where readers can relate to the characters’ struggles and triumphs. The story is set in a frozen wasteland, where a ruling elite known as the Council has repressed the people for generations.
The main character, Elsha, is a young girl who is born with a special gift – the ability to control fire. The Council sees her as a threat and orders her to be executed.
However, Elsha and a group of rebels manage to rescue her and hide her in their underground lair. Winter of Fire follows Elsha’s journey as she learns to control her powers and becomes an integral part of the rebellion, fighting for her people’s freedom.
Along the way, she meets many other characters, including the gruff but kind-hearted rebel leader, Lukas, and the mysterious and beautiful Ice King, who holds the key to the rebels’ victory. Jordan does an excellent job of creating a rich and detailed world, full of interesting characters and complex relationships.
The setting is vividly described, with the frozen wasteland and underground lairs providing a harsh yet compelling backdrop to the story. The conflicts between the rebels and the Council are also well-drawn, with the rebels’ desperation and the Council’s cruelty coming through strongly.
One of the book’s strengths is its focus on themes such as freedom, sacrifice, and hope. Jordan presents these themes in a way that both young and adult readers can appreciate.
The characters’ struggles and triumphs are relatable and inspire the reader to root for them. However, Winter of Fire is not without its flaws.
The pacing in the first half of the book is a bit slow, with too much exposition and not enough action. Some of the secondary characters could also have been better developed.
Additionally, the world-building could have been better explained, and some of the fantastical elements of the story are left unexplained. Despite these minor faults, Winter of Fire is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read, full of suspense and action.
Jordan’s writing is beautiful and immersive, drawing readers into the story and keeping them engaged until the end. The book’s dystopian themes are still relevant today, making it a worthwhile read for anyone interested in social justice issues.
Overall, I recommend Winter of Fire to young adult and adult readers who enjoy epic fantasy and dystopian fiction. The book’s themes of rebellion, freedom, and hope resonate deeply and may inspire readers to examine current events with new eyes.
I give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars for its engrossing story, strong characters, and powerful themes.