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Winter Of Fire
 
by
Sherryl Jordan
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Winter Of Fire

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  1,351 ratings  ·  128 reviews
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 ever to be so honored - ...more
Published (first published January 28th 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,099)
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Don
Few YA novels are are well-written enough to be just as compelling when read as an adult - much less read as an adult for the first time, and not just revisiting a loved story from one's youth, with all the fond memories and nostalgia we bring to a re-read. But that is how I've just read this book, and I was extremely impressed.

The parable of slavery and repression is a familiar one; whether we consider the idea of women being subservient to men, or one people enslaving another - both of which a
...more
Mariel
Nov 30, 2010 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: just the same but brand new
Recommended to Mariel by: laughing with a mouth of blood
Boy cockatiels will freeze out a girl cockatiel if she sings. I find that to be the most depressing thing ever (I'm shooting dirty looks at my cocky buddies Lester the Molestor and Hey Jude as I type this. They never even attempted to do a Lauren Bacall whistling lesson for me!). There's a scene in the film Clueless when Breckin Meyer (can't believe I just mentioned THAT name) tells Brittany Murphy (or that one) that boys do those dangerous stunts and girls don't so they'll have something to imp ...more
Nomes
dystopia/post-apocalyptic fantasy (less fantasy, reads more like an alternate world)

This book was so good I am finding it hard to talk about it.

To say I loved it is an understatement. I felt incredibly moved right from the beginning. And by the end I felt like I had emerged from reading the book somehow changed.

*wipes tear away* That's all I have for this review for now.












Julie Morris
One of the signs of a good book is its ability to grow with the reader. I read this book a long time ago and was caught up in the characters, emotion and the energy of the story, but it has been one of the few novels that has moved with me as I have changed. It couples simple entertainment with thought provoking themes seamlessly. There is something in the soul of this book that resonates with who I am.
skein
Nov 06, 2009 skein marked it as unavailable  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
Affecting. Haven't read it for years, but I remember:
On her birthday, Elsha stopped working in the mines for a moment and was punished for it. When her father asked her why she would be so stupid as to stop working, she said - To have a minute for myself; to think; to feel joy.
"God, Elsha!" he said. "For joy?"
Courtney
Hands down one of my favourites of all time. OF ALL TIME.
Everyone needs to read this book forever.
Catie
This is a pretty decent fairy tale/fantasy with a little hint of post-apocalyptic goodness going on. Elsha is a sixteen year old girl and a member of a race of people who are "Quelled" - forced to work in mines all day with little food or shelter while suffering abuse from their wealthy, spoiled overlords (the Chosen) who brand them and believe that they can't speak and don't have any intelligence or souls. Elsha has always had a fiery spirit and likes to rebel. She also seems to have prophetic ...more
Meredith
Sherryl Jordan's young adult books don't condescend to the reader, and that really attracted me when I was young. They're less "fantasy" and more "kinda-supernatural-alternative-world-fiction." Her female characters are strong without that annoying "Young girl comes of age in X culture" feminism that is sooooo overdone in young adult fiction. Definitely for teens.

This was one of my absolute favorite books as a kid. I must have read it once a week for at least two years. I even wrote the author o
...more
LauraW
I was actually slightly disappointed in this book. I liked the spunk of the main character, Elsha, but all of the other females in the book seemed to be just tacked on so that the male to female character ratio wouldn't be so overwhelmingly male. None of the other female characters had anywhere near the level of interest that the surrounding male characters did.

And, the ending seemed almost like a Deus ex machine - where everything was wrapped up almost too neatly by the people learning how to "
...more
Stormy
I read Winter of Fire for the first time in sixth grade ten years ago. I devoured the story, and it never really left me. Unfortunately, Winter of Fire is out of print, but every time I went to a used book sale I searched for it, until I finally found it for cheap on Amazon a few years ago. This was my third time reading Winter of Fire, and I have to say, it never gets old.

Winter of Fire is definitely a middle-grade book, which was a little hard to get used to after reading so many young adult b
...more
Maggie
One of my favorite things in the world is finding a good book that I've never heard of, and Winter of Fire defiantly filled those requirements. Even after finishing it this afternoon, I am still finding myself thinking about the amazing world and wonderful characters that Mrs. Jordan created. The main character is Elsha, one of the enslaved race called the Quelled. She is chosen by The Firelord to be his handmaiden and Elsha begins on a quest to bring equality to her world. While the whole 'slav ...more
Deirdre
I loved this book, and I'm so sorry it's out of print! I thought Elsha was an amazing character, and I had a lot of sympathy for her. It's true, one reviewer said, that she's very reckless sometimes, and does some stupid things. But, to me, that made her character more vivid and believable.

The book does have one or two problems. Definitely, Elsha relies a little too much on men, and I can see how her relationships with them might bother some readers -- though I think they are very true-to-life,
...more
Erica
Elsha is one of the Quelled, a race of slaves who are branded with marks on their foreheads, marked forever as those who will mine coal for a frozen world. The coal warms those of the privileged race. Elsha, however, has a gift that may lead not only to her own salvation, but that of her people, and even the world.

I read this book when I was in junior high, and I adored it. I tracked it down recently and bought a copy to read again. Although as an adult I saw the plot as a little more obvious, I
...more
Delicious Strawberry
I remember reading this in high school (on my own, not for class) it was a book I had accidentally stumbled across in the library while I was browsing for something to read. i was so moved that a few years later, I read it again and found myself no less moved.

Part of me craves a sequel to this fantastic book (or a prequel) and part of me is happy the book was left the way it is. It's even more fascinating when you realize that the author implies that this dark world is what ours is in the future
...more
Autumn Kalquist
Jul 22, 2013 Autumn Kalquist rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I love this book. I guess I really connected with Elsha and still do. It's the one book I've read over and over since I got it at a school book sale when I was 11. (I'm almost 29, so it's been my favorite for a long time!)

I remember all my classmates being scandalized during lunch when I shared the scene of Elsha dancing around the fire. The cover of my original copy has nearly fallen off, but I bought a replacement hardcover a few years ago. I'd love to see this come out on Kindle. It's apparen
...more
Jls
Read this when I was in 7th grade. The only book I have read multiple times. When my house burned down three years later, and I lost the only copy I had ever been able to find I was very upset. In an effort to find a copy I wrote the author, Sherryl Jordan, asking if she knew where I could find one. Two months later I recieved a package from New Zealand with an autographed copy from her library and a signed drawing she had done of the characters in the book. I still converse with her to this day ...more
Larissa Carman
My favorite childhood book. I first read it in 6th or 7th grade when I stumbled upon it in the school library. I love the main character Elsha and she gave me courage during my middle school years. It's a really good read and I recommend that everyone should at least give it a chance! It teaches important life lessons and values all the while getting you hooked into a good story that has you non-stop reading until the very end!
Chalene Longshore
The earth was dark. A cloud of dust covered the ancient flame in the sky, and the veil of prejudice covered the hearts of the Chosen and the Quelled. The Chosen were just that, they were god’s chosen race. They had souls, they had intelligence, and they had the right to rule over the Quelled. The Quelled were the branded, soulless, dumb, less-than-human beings that were destined to work in the coal mines all of their lives. Elsha was Quelled, but her soul was one of fire, not one of absence. She ...more
Tracy-lee
No spoilers :) I wouldnt do that!

THE BEST SHERYL JORDEN BOOK. NAY THE BEST BOOK ON MY BOOKSELF. NAY ON ALL THE BOOKSHELFS.

seriously though,

I first read this on a rainy winters day, cooped up in a tent on a family holiday.

I feel in love with Elsha immediatly. She was strang and brave. She wasn't stupidly pretty like all other characters. She was flawed, like me.

I loved all of Sheryl Jordan’s books. I loved her characters and the places they took me to.

Also defiantly a great read for any o
...more
Cindy
"The Chosen think that you Quelled cannot even talk," he murmured. "They think you have no intelligence, no mind."
I chewed my food, and said nothing.
"You have a mind," he added quietly, his amazing violet eyes aglow. "Tell me what is in your mind, Elsha of the Quelled."
A moment I hesitated. Then I said: "Fire." -pg. 47



According to the Chosen scriptures, they were chosen by God to rule over the Quelled, as they have done for centuries.


The Quelled people are slaves forced to mine coal for the race
...more
Junebugindeed
I read this book in middle school and I fell in love with it. A teacher lent me this book and I haven't been able to find a copy since.
Sarah
I fell in love with this book in high school- ten years later and it is still one of the few books I keep on me when I travel.
Alicia
Oct 18, 2009 Alicia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This book is awesome. I cannot praise it enough. I have read and re-read this book. What are you waiting for?!
Kristen Jacobsen
My favorite book ever. The only book I've read more than twice.
Renae (Respiring Thoughts)
Winter of Fire is an unconventional middle grade (or very juvenile YA) novel. In it, Sherryl Jordan tells the story of a special girl who overcomes her own slavery and strives to make the world a better place. This is fantasy with hints of post-apocalyptic fiction, and the set-up and idea worked well for me. However, I was troubled with some parts of Jordan’s execution, and in the end I didn’t love this book.

Our protagonist, Elsha, is a Chosen One. She was born not only a slave, but is considere
...more
Bird
I first read this as a young adolescent, and hadn't been able to track it down until recently (with the help of the Goodreads group "What's the Name of that Book?").

It definitely has an early-90's "grrrrl power" vibe to it. Elsha is powerful and defiant, and every male she encounters falls in love with her not because of her looks, but because of her fiery spirit. She, however, has much more important things than romance to deal with, and doesn't spend her time mooning over attractive men like t
...more
Linda
Closer to 4.5 stars.

First, may I say, that I enjoyed Ms. Jordan's THE JUPITER GAME but fell in love with THE RAGING QUIET. WINTER OF FIRE falls somewhere in between. First published in 1992, it was speculative fiction aimed at older middle-schoolers and the high-school age group. But adults should have no problem reading this piece of sci-fi/fantasy if you enjoy this genre.

Set in a futuristic alternate reality, Elsha is a Quelled. She is a member of a slave race that mines firestones aka coal de
...more
Gina
FINALLY. Thanks to Rachel, I was able to track this book down again. I'm pretty sure I read this in 1997, because I have it linked with Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" for some reason, but memory is a funny thing. Anyway, I have been looking for it for ages, but couldn't remember the title or anything more than a few details of the plot, but this is definitely it.

It's no wonder I loved it so much when I read it originally. It's a Scholastic Point book. Those were always awesome. Every man Elsha meet
...more
Alicia Scully
Creates a world set in the future that is divided into two races-—the Chosen and the Quelled. The world is in a state of extreme cold and firestones need to be continuously mined to keep the population alive. The Chosen force the Quelled to be their slaves, branding them and taking forcing them into a submissive state. Elsha, the heroine of the text, is Quelled but she is taken as the Firelord’s handmaid—a great honor as the Firelord is the highest position available in this world. This breaks m ...more
Bibliotropic
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Award-winning New Zealand author Sherryl Jordan began her writing career with picture books, but soon moved on to novels for older readers. Her breakthrough came with Rocco, published in the United States as A Time of Darkness, and since that time she has gone on to pen many more titles for young adult and juvenile readers that have been published both in her native New Zealand and throughout the ...more
More about Sherryl Jordan...
The Raging Quiet The Juniper Game Secret Sacrament (Secret Sacrament, #1) Time of the Eagle (Secret Sacrament, #2) The Hunting of the Last Dragon

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