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(Winterling #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  4,210 ratings  ·  400 reviews

“We live here, my girl, because it is close to the Way, and echoes of its magic are felt in our world. The Way is a path leading to another place, where the people are governed by different rules. Magic runs through them and their land.”

With 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

Hardcover, 248 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by HarperCollins
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Heather Penner This book would be just fine for a 9 yo as far as content, and I think that the reading level would be about right as well. It is a very engaging stor…moreThis book would be just fine for a 9 yo as far as content, and I think that the reading level would be about right as well. It is a very engaging story but not too challenging of a read. (Answered by a mom.)(less)
Mea It would depend on your cousin's age and personal preference.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,210 ratings  ·  400 reviews

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May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-ya
When I asked my daughter how many stars to give this book, on a scale of one to five, she said ten. Thinking she'd misunderstood, because, well, she's eight, I reiterated that it was a scale of one to five. She exclaimed, "I KNOW! I meant it's OFF THE CHARTS!"
Ahmed  Ejaz
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, full-lengths
Spring is about life and green buds and birdsong, not about hunting a living creature to a bloody death

Enjoyed it. Sarah Prineas wrote this book in such an imaginative way that.... Just WoW! Her imagination is great.

In this book we are not introduced to the world upto my expectations. As much as I remember, this book doesn't even tell us the name of the world. But still author has given enough to keep reading this book.
Rules of the World
This world has the rule of
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Second read: 2018/ 4 stars.

I decided to reread this book because I was participating in the ReRead-A-Thon and I also recently bought the sequels to this series. I knew vaguely what happened but not enough to feel ready to just jump into the second book. So a reread was needed.

I think I enjoyed this book more the second time I read it. I still really enjoy Fer, I really like that she is a vegetarian. It's not something that you see often in middle grade and if you see it, it can be a bit preachy
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was a solidly OK book. The characters had potential, but felt flat. The flap told me to expect "boundless curiosity and wild spirit" from Fer, the main character. Honestly, this description had more spunk and energy than I felt while reading the text.

I'm having a hard time writing this review because I REALLY wanted to love this book. After all, both Ingrid Law (author of Saavy) and Kristin Cashore (author of Graceling) said lovely things that were quoted on the back cover. I'm a librarian
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Meh. Hits all the right buttons, what with the bold female lead, who is a healer and a vegetarian, the cute mysterious boy, the portal, the noble dead parents, etc. But, um, workmanlike? I never felt the heart. Not sure the author actually loves her characters and the world she's building, or if she just writes books.

And the fact that we always know more than Fer does is confusing; it's like one spoiler after another; we don't get to figure things out as we go along with Fer.

And I don't unders
Dec 26, 2010 added it
Shelves: childrens, fantasy
2012 you say?? That's a looong time from now. 2011 needs some Sarah Prineas!

[Dec 2011 update] has been preordered, from the US. November 8th in the UK? Sorry, Quercus, not a chance.

(See my profile for my 'policy' about rating books.)

I hadn't quite taken on board that this was a portal fantasy, rather than completely invented world like the Magic Thief books, so was very surprised when the protagonist thought about whether there'd be tofu for dinner. :) It's nice to know that Sarah Prineas can wr
Gina (My Precious Blog)
I'm s sucker for beautifully illustrated middle grade cover art. In fact, this was the draw for me to pick up this book. Luckily, the story was solid, too. Pitched as a middle grade fantasy, Winterling didn't fail to entertain, with evil villain called "The Lady", pucks, shape shifters and a magical land of fairy-like creatures, this story oozes fun. World building worked perfectly for the age group the story is intended for, not overly complex but not completely simple either. The main characte ...more
Jun 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I loved every moment of this book, and really the only thing holding it back from a four-star review is a lack of polish. Fer is an engaging character, and the world she inhabits has that magical, fresh quality about it I treasure so much in middle grade books. The world-building feels authentic, almost like if you look at the world in a different way it might even be real.

However, the book suffers from a lack of polish. Fer's situation with her grandmother, called Grand-Jane, is difficult and s
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I got a copy of this book for review through the Amazon Vine program. It was a wonderful and magical middle grade fantasy full of adventure and magic. Something that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves fantasy and adventure.

Fer has always felt like she doesn't quite belong in this world. In the woods one night she rescues a boy, except the boy isn't exactly human. The boy invites Fer into the Way and into a dangerous fairyland. Fer feels strangely at home in this other place but senses that somet
Dec 11, 2014 marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me
Read on February 28, 2015
A very quick and cute read. My only problem with Winterling is that it's just too unbelievable for me. Oh no, not the magical world or the creatures inhabiting it. I found it very difficult to understand the characters who kept switching their mindset to conveniently further the plot.

For instance, in the beginning, Fer's Grandmother tells her she is in danger and that she shouldn't wonder around on her own, but wouldn't share why or from what Fer should be afraid of. Obv
Maria Tag
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Winterling is a wonderful book that everybody should read. It's about a teenager named Fer who is an outsider in her own world. she has always felt like she hasn't belonged- in school, she has no friends, and kids unrelentlessly bully her. At home, she has an odd, strict grandmother under the name of Grand-Jane who doesn't let Fer go out and do anything, even explore the farmlands and woods safely in range her own house. Fer is a prisoner to her own home. Fer, a free spirit, wanders off one day ...more
Barb Middleton
Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
There's nothing like a nasty villian. A witch queen? A crow lady? Mor, the villian in this story, is all of those things, murdering the true heir to the land and stealing her magic thus causing the seasons to stop. Winter is constant and the only way to bring spring is to sacrifice an animal or human in a ritual known as The Hunt that renews Mor's power. Don't be fooled by the constant winter and thinking this is another Snow Queen. Mor is more closely linked to Morrigan from Celtic mythology, t ...more
An enjoyable read. I felt immersed in the fantasy world, and really enjoy Prineas' style of writing. The characters were interesting, and Fer makes a good heroine--strong and confident (without it feeling like the author is trying too hard on the "girl power" front) but also empathetic and questioning. I really liked the character of Grand-Jane and wanted to know more about her; it's nice to see a book with an older character being such a central figure. The ending was a bit anticlimactic and un ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent serious middle grade fantasy, fall about loyalty and family and healing. (I say serious not because it's grim but because it's not a laugh-a-minute, you know.) If you're looking for a fae book with tricksy, murdery fairies, which as I know is a subset of genre that always needs more entries, this is a good one.
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
I seriously read this book in one day flat (I just couldn't put it down!). It was a really bad idea to fly through it so quickly, because now I've got that hollow "I know the length was perfect for this story, but I'm so hungry for more I wish it was two or three times longer" feeling.

As you may have guessed by now, I absolutely LOVED Winterling! =D I really, really hope she writes a sequel (or two or three, or maybe five or six) because I just have to know more! It's apparent that Sarah Prineas
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
When I saw the blurb I can't say I was overly impressed, but I do like me some faeires and the author wrote another series, The Magic Thief, which I enjoyed, so I figured I'd give it a shot. In the end, it's a cute story with a strong role model for girls, but there's nothing particularly stand out about it.

I do like the way that Prineas takes faerie lore and both manages to stick with it generally, but also change it enough to make it her own - like the Mór being an analog to the Morrigan, what
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
I always have a hard time rating children's books. I feel like any evaluations or recommendations should be done at the target level. I can't say this book is 3 stars because of some plot issues that I noticed or the simplicity of the writing, because a child reading 4-5th grade level material would not be bothered by these things.

So, I can easily see any child 5 staring this puppy. It's excellent. The was thoroughly invested in the story and the characters. My heart raced at the appropriate mom
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Update: I wrote a blog post about "Winterling and the Girl I Was":

I had the good fortune of reading this book in manuscript form. I instantly fell in love with Fer and her adventures. Prineas creates a rich, wild world every bit as enticing as her city of Wellmet in the The Magic Thief series. Fer, in her patchwork coat, is a great heroine -- not the stereotypical plucky girl, but heroic in her own unique way. Can't wait to get more of Fer and Rook in boo
Greg Eekhout
May 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lucky boy that I am, I got an early look at Winterling, and this is the blurb I volunteered:

Sarah Prineas conjures a world of frost and snow and magic and peril. At the core of a story that doesn't skimp on thrilling chases and dangerous secrets, we have Fer, a compelling hero readers will care about and root for. Joining Fer is a fascinating cast of allies and enemies, from grouchy Rook to snarling wolf people. Winterling captures the best elements of classic fantasy tales and puts them in a fr
Lovely, serious fantasy novel for children. It's traditional in a good way - this would fit very nicely next to CS Lewis on the shelf, with the 21st century update of a strong (and even vegetarian! yay!) heroine. It's very different from the Magic Thief books, but just as good in a different way - less sparky humor, but really lyrical writing and magic that feels truly, deeply magical. I'm looking forward to sharing this with my son when he's older.
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Winterling by Sarah Prineas is a magical tale of friendship and righting old wrongs – a testament to the value of life. Winterling opens with a bang as the prologue begins with a dog running from wolves and ending up in our world.

Read the rest of my review here
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
A good book for 4-6 graders as a fantasy introduction. The characters were somewhat flat and, the main plot points were telegraphed early. It may not hold the interest of older more experienced readers.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
1/23/18 $1.99 for Kindle.
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Sarah Prineas has again made a fantastical and imaginative plot and interesting setting and its past.
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall, a solid read. I sat down and finished it in maybe 5 hours, and it was just what I needed to suit my mood. I'm sure you've all heard variations of the story before: ordinary, if not somewhat odd, girl discovers a portal leading to a magical world that needs her help. Still, it was well-written with an interesting idea or two that I haven't seen before.

I agree with criticisms that the heroine is really slow on the uptake, especially since the author reveals certain important truths to the
Brandy Painter
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars really (because Rook is awesome)

Originally posted here.

Here it is, the first of my Most Anticipated Reads of 2012. Winterling by Sarah Prineas was well worth the anticipation. This is one of the books that just fit me and my mood perfectly.

Yay for heroines who ask questions! Again. And again. And again. Until they finally get the answers they need. Also, yay for heroines who persist in what they know is right even when others say it is a lost cause. Fer had me smiling through the entir
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
FTC Disclosure: I received an Advance Copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

Winterling by Sarah Prineas

From the back of the book: With her boundless curiosity and spirit, Fer has always felt that she doesn't belong. She hears the call of the wild wood, of the secrets it whispers to her. But when her grandmother reveals clues about the disappearance of her father and his mystical bond to her mother, Fer begins to unlock the secrets about the parents she n
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Winterling- Sarah Prineas 4 45 Nov 30, 2014 12:12PM  

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Coming in April 2021 from Philomel, Trouble in the Stars! It's a middle grade science fiction adventure about a shapeshifter kid.

And Dragonfell is out in paperback in April 2020.

Happy reading!

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Other books in the series

Winterling (3 books)
  • Summerkin (Winterling, #2)
  • Moonkind (Winterling, #3)

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