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Winter Of Fire
Sherryl Jordan
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Winter Of Fire

4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,616 Ratings  ·  145 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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(showing 1-30 of 2,835)
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Jun 17, 2010 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 06, 2007 Julie Morris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 30, 2010 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jun 01, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2015
I re-read this book to fulfill the "book from your childhood" category of the 2015 Reading Challenge as it was my favorite book for many years as I was growing up. I have a very clear memory of finishing it when I was a kid and then flipping back to the beginning to start it again right away. I was nervous to read it as an adult as I was afraid it wouldn't stand the test of time. While it wasn't good enough to flip back to page one and read again when I finished it, I'm happy to say I wasn't dis ...more
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?"
Jan 04, 2013 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Hands down one of my favourites of all time. OF ALL TIME.
Everyone needs to read this book forever.
Mar 04, 2011 Catie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011, ya, fantasy
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
Feb 02, 2009 Meredith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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 "
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
Feb 01, 2013 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 27, 2011 Deirdre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Dec 27, 2012 Erica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelves-of-gold
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
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
Autumn Kalquist
Jul 22, 2013 Autumn Kalquist rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Lizbeth Gutierrez
Jul 13, 2015 Lizbeth Gutierrez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read Winter of Fire when I was a quiet 12-year-old in a world of very loud middle schoolers. I found it pushed behind other more popular books on the lowest shelf of the fiction section of the school library and noticed because of the faded date stamps on the back that it hadn’t been checked out in years. The title and cover immediately intrigued me. Back then, every book became my constant companion. I would carry it with me everywhere I went during the days I was reading it. I didn’t h ...more
Storm Carman
Nov 29, 2014 Storm Carman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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!
Diana Sandberg
I’m afraid I just can’t quite warm up to Jordan. We read her Juniper Game a few months ago and I had a similar feeling about it. She has some good ideas, but I find myself wrinkling my nose at the characters: too self-consciously fey, too clever, too talented, too unreal. This was a read-aloud (daughters 10 and 13) and by the end we were all snickering at the main character’s talent for attracting gorgeous, devoted men.
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
No spoilers :) I wouldnt do that!


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
Aug 05, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, made-me-sad, fantasy
"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
Jul 21, 2010 Junebugindeed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Oct 18, 2009 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Julia Brumfield
This is one book that I tripped upon in middle school while I fell in love with it. Almost hard to find any more it has been tugging at my sleep while asking me to re-read it and since this seems to be the year of visiting old familiar friends I was more than happy to jump on this copy when I came upon it.

The story follows a fiery-spirited woman whose only known world is cold, unfair slavery and dreams that revolve around the fire needed to drive the cold. She struggles to belong and yet to be
Aug 08, 2015 Mindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was my junior year of high school and I decided to wonder around the school library during lunch. I pulled this book off the shelf and checked it out without even reading the book description. I went home that afternoon, started reading it and could not put it down. I had never read an entire book outside of class assignments before. I stayed up all night, using the need to wash some laundry as my excuse so my mom would not get upset that I had stayed up late o ...more
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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
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