Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Winter's Promise (The Mirror Visitor Quartet, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Winter's Promise (The Mirror Visitor Quartet, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Winter's Promise

(La Passe-Miroir #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  37,196 ratings  ·  4,662 reviews
Volume 1 of The Mirror Visitor Quartet

Winner of the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire

Where once there was unity, vastly different worlds now exist. Over each, the spirit of an omnipotent and immortal ancestor abides.

Long ago, following a cataclysm called the Rupture, the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands, known now as arks. Ophelia lives on Anima, where inh
Hardcover, 491 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Europa Editions (first published June 6th 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Winter's Promise, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Stephen Baird I've just finished its English version, 27th of September is the date we've been given…moreI've just finished its English version, 27th of September is the date we've been given(less)
Sam W There is a little bit, it is more insinuated than anything. The main character is in an arranged marriage and you can see the male lead start to devel…moreThere is a little bit, it is more insinuated than anything. The main character is in an arranged marriage and you can see the male lead start to develop an interested/feeling for the heroine, but this mainly happens towards then end of the book. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  37,196 ratings  ·  4,662 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Winter's Promise (The Mirror Visitor Quartet, #1)
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(2.5?) That was... something.

I have very conflicted thoughts about this book. The world building was interesting and so was the magic system but I had lots of issues with the book. For a matriarchal society seems pretty backward.

Girl who's not like other ones because... she has glasses!! She is send to a different part of the world where she will have to marry someone she doesn't want to.

Interesting world and magic system but not explained enough. It could be due to us seeing it all through the
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
EDIT : a quick foreword because I'm t i r e d, and look at me! I'm writing in bold font, what a monster *shivers*

1) I've never attacked the author. My review is solely focused on the book and the book only. Goodreads offers me the opportunity, as a reader, to give my honest opinion. I... took it. It's that simple.

2) The use of profanity is a stylistic choice. Sometimes I curse, others I don't and (surprise surprise) I'm actually able to interact in a different way. After finishing this novel t
Kylie D
A novel that takes place in a world so similar, yet different, to our own. God has gotten angry and smashed the world into little pieces. It sees Ophelia travel to a distant ark, as these fragments of the world are now called, for an arranged marriage to Thorn, the Pole ark's treasurer.

Ophelia has certain gifts, just by touching an object she can read the feelings and mindset of people who have previously touched that object, and she also has the ability to travel through mirrors. Yet others ha
If you read a lot of Y.A. literature, this book will seem vaguely familiar to you. That’s because it just borrows a bunch of ideas from the most popular books out there. Harry Potter, Shadow and Bone (for a clueless girl thrown into a royal court), Vampire Diaries, too (Ambassador Archibald is a carbon copy of Adrian Ivashkov, or more accurately, a less charismatic version of him), and so many more I can’t be bothered to remember. The whole story is just a washed-out copy of those books.

Umut Rados
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the book. The world was so imaginative and creative. I truly loved the setting. It was also simple enough that made it even easier to grasp and enjoy. Probably Ophelia was the best part of this book for me. It was a powerful character development, and a very likeable heroine. She was very pragmatic in the way she approached the events. There was lots of court politics and relationship management. Dabos managed to create a strong intrigue. I kept turning the pages to learn why on ...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
DNF'd on page 185/491.

Thank you so much to Text Publishing Australia for sending a copy of this to me! Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it. The first chapter was so promising, with so much atmosphere and it had it's own distinct, magical vibe that made me think I was going to love this book! However, as I kept reading, I kept encountering more and more problems. For example, on page 49, "A nanny pushed a pram while blushing at the admiring whistles of workmen up scaffolding." Ughhhhh why
Spencer Orey
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting world filed with torturous court intrigue, and a real teaser of an ending. The arks are cool, and there are very evocative lines about more interesting things to see that we don't get to in this book. Some descriptions will stick with me, especially about the use of illusions and what's really underneath them.

I called the ending a tease, but to me it was really more of a dud. I wanted more to happen at the end than just strange alliances. Okay I actually wanted more to happen
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
Holy hell this book has some of the most unique worldbuilding I’ve seen for absolutely ages - it’s like Howl’s Moving Castle x Pride & Prejudice x Versailles under the guise of a somewhat-historical-feeling steampunk fantasy - and it’s fascinating.

Full review to come!!


- Buddy read with lovely Jasmin! -
Lucy Langford
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great reread! I loved the world and enjoyed the characters of Ophelia, Foster and Gail. Might have to reread the second book now.

Original review:
That was really interesting and a rather unusual fantasy book to what I usually read! Long ago there was a cataclysm called The Rupture and the world split its lands into celestial floating islands, known as Arks. Over each, the spirit of an immortal ancestor abides- they ere said to be the survivors of the rupture. Due to the Rupture, each Ark h
Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
4.25 Stars.
I really enjoyed this YA debut novel by French author Christelle Dabos. It has won numerous awards in Europe so it was no surprise that it has recently finally been translated into English. I don't read many translated books and was excited to give this one a go! I have read some wonderful reviews about the French version. I wanted to see what sort of atmosphere it had. It did not disappoint!

In a unique universe, the world has been smashed up into different "arks". Ophelia is a young
monica kim
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
this had all the elements of books i love: broody love interest, wintry world, intense politics, unique magic system. and yet! i just could not connect at all with the main character and found myself unable to really care about her journey at all.
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Long ago, a cataclysm shattered the world into many floating celestial islands. These Arks, have each developed in distinct ways, possessing its own unique relationship to time. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, Ophelia hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the po
Dec 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Man that went downhill quickly.

It started out a 4 star, but ended up being up horrible.

I'll admit, the first fifty or so pages were amazing, and I wished it had stayed on that track, because the second they got to Citaceleste, things were BAD.

At first I really liked ophelia. I thought she was the right mix of smart and quirky and stubborn to make her akin to the protagonists of the middle grade books I used to read voraciously. The first fifty or so pages were similar to the Mysterious Bened
Feb 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: translated, owned, ya
[3.5 stars]

The pros: strong atmosphere, inventive world-building and Ophelia is a unique main character that I was rooting for. The magic/powers aspect of this novel were really cool, though arguably under-developed (though this is the first volume of a series, so I imagine that would be improved in later volumes).

The cons: a meandering plot that takes a while to dole out information in odd ways. I think if I re-read it I wouldn't necessarily have these same feelings, but on my first read it was
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Really interesting, slow-paced story with lots of court intrigue and an unassuming yet resolute heroine in a bad situation. Content-wise, this is on the darker side, more than I expected, but it is set in a fascinating world and I quite liked it.

Ophelia is being forced from her quiet job curating a museum into a political marriage with a man she doesn't know from a distant Ark. (note that Earth was pretty much destroyed and people now live in these giant floating countries known as Arks) She is
The Artisan Geek
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I bought this book back in March when I was visiting my sister, I had been eyeing it for some time because of the cover and MY GOSH! I am so so happy that I had a go at it, because this was SUCH a lovely fantasy!! This is going straight to my favourites shelf. I will be reviewing this book on my Youtube soon!! :)

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
Oct 29, 2018 marked it as dnf
Don't get the logic of comparing this book to N.K. Jemisin's in the blurb. To me, the style was more reminiscent of Inkheart.

Not my thing.

P.S. Sampling and abandoning is great! Everyone should do more of it, IMO.
Mara YA Mood Reader
I didn’t realize this was kind of steam punk which I don’t care much for, but here, it works. I devoured this strange book in large heaping chunks at a time! And am awaiting on my copy of book two!

Although Unfortunately, I did not see Draco in the character Thorn as I had been promised and I am okay with that. Mostly because I loved Thorn’s mysterious and complex character so much anyway.

Tiktok made me buy it! Someone said Draco and Arranged Marriage and I’m sold 🙌🏼🙌🏼😍

Alice (Married To Books)
DNF at page 113!

I'm not having much luck with my reading recently, A Winter's Promise was disappointing for me personally as I had high hopes for a new, popular fantasy read. I know this is translated from the original French but the writing itself felt quite info-dumpy. I really struggled to visualise the worlds and characters which as a visual reader/writer, was an issue. The part that ultimately made me decide to DNF was a remark made about the main character's weight. This was said in a way
Beatrice in Bookland
Dec 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF @20%

I can’t for the life of me keep reading this.
Ophelia’s clumsiness is beyond embarrassing, how on earth can you break three objects in less than one minute or fall while standing still? How has she survived for 16 years - or whatever her age is? Seriously, how. Plus, there's a scene where Ophelia says that she has not washed - for no valid reason - for a week and that she doesn't care. I can't even comment on this, how gross is that???

I don’t even know what to say about Thorn, he’s an ass
Even if the story is nothing too elaborated I loved every single page of this book!! Loved the characters, the world is absolutely amazing and dynamics too!! I can’t wait to have the next one is my hands, unfortunately it hasn’t been translated yet😭
before this reread, I only remembered reading this book 5 years ago and enjoying it immensely. I'm glad to say 19yo me had taste. this book is something else. the writing is gorgeous, the plot is unique and intriguing, and the characters are so well-crafted! I'm excited to continue with the rest of the series! (4.75) ...more
☯~☽~•Patricia Mainard•~☾~☯
I really enjoyed this book!!
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: Lots of potential, but unfortunately, this story was too problematic for my taste.

Well, I think you can tell by my rating that A Winter’s Promise just didn’t work for me. I had high hopes for this book, which is apparently a huge success in the author’s native country of France, and has just been translated into English and p
Text Publishing
'Highly original and intricately imagined, this is world-building on an epic scale.'
The Bookseller UK

‘The Mirror Visitor stands on the same shelf as Harry Potter.’

‘As mesmerising as a waking dream, A Winter’s Promise is certain to ensnare you in its unique, dizzyingly magical world of treachery, illusion, and intrigue.’
Margaret Rogerson, author of An Enchantment of Ravens

‘A fantastic epic, definitely, but also a coming-of-age novel, this first volume makes a strong impression. A novelist is
This book was gorgeously written and very original. I can’t wait for the next book!
breana / milkyboos ♡
read this for the magical girl society and after a good discussion, i think i'm giving this a solid 3 stars.

pros: world-building and magic system are super interesting, and i love the political intrigue wrapped up in the story.

cons: i found myself rather unattached to most of the characters and therefore not invested in what happened to them, which is disappointing because many characters caught my attention when first introduced only to fall flat as the story went on.

mayhaps i will pick up the
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best French Fantasy Novel and Best French Young Adult Novel 2014. Dabos’ fantasy series is filled with magic, illusion, and intrigue. Ophelia has certain gifts—she can experience an object’s history through touch (i.e., a ‘reader’) and she can travel through mirrors. She enjoyed her work as a museum curator before her family arranged for her to be married to Thorn. She has to travel to a different Ark [arks are a series of floating islands that formed when the world broke apart].

Ophelia is thrus
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like a steampunk Howl's Moving Castle meets Pride & Prejudice. But also completely unique (one of the most original fantasies since Laini Taylor's work). Fabulous. Highly recommended. ...more
May 12, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This was disappointing as hell.

I saw this series on booktok, and there was just so much raving about it and its slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance, which is a trope I live for of course. Though it's a pretty underrated series, I saw a lot of hype around it, so I got excited, because there's nothing better than finding a hidden gem.

This book definitely did not meet any of my expectations, and I'm just so mad because I was so excited yesterday when I finally got around to picking it up.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1)
  • Ascension (Phobos, #1)
  • Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2)
  • Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
  • A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4)
  • Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3)
  • A Winter's Promise
  • Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1)
  • Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • Cogito
  • L'Arrache-mots
  • L'aube sera grandiose
  • Ashes falling for the Sky
  • Distortion (Phobos, #2)
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Christelle Dabos was born in 1980 on the French Riviera and grew up in a home filled with classical music and historical puzzles. More imaginative than cerebral, she begins to scribble her first texts on the benches of the faculty. Settled in Belgium, she intends to be a librarian when a disease occurs. Writing then becomes an escape from the medical machinery, then a slow reconstruction and final ...more

Other books in the series

La Passe-Miroir (6 books)
  • Les Disparus du Clairdelune (La Passe-Miroir, #2)
  • La Mémoire de Babel (La Passe-Miroir, #3)
  • La Tempête des échos (La Passe-Miroir, #4)
  • Mirror Visitor Quartet Series 3 Books Collection Set By Christelle Dabos (The Memory of Babel, The Missing of Clairdelune, A Winter's Promise)
  • La Passe-miroir

Related Articles

Looking for some out-of-this-world reading this summer? Then we suggest taking a peek at these highly anticipated young adult books, all...
154 likes · 21 comments
“Oublier les morts, c'était un peu comme les tuer une seconde fois.” 25 likes
“Passer les miroirs, ça demande de s'affronter soi-même. Il faut des tripes, t'sais, pour se regarder droit dans les mirettes, se voir tel qu'on est, plonger dans son propre reflet. Ceux qui se voilent la face, ceux qui se mentent à eux-mêmes, ceux qui se voient mieux qu'ils sont, ils pourront jamais. Alors crois-moi, ça ne court pas les trottoirs !” 22 likes
More quotes…