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)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  24,733 ratings  ·  3,311 reviews

#1 Bestseller in France

Lose yourself in the fantastic world of the arks and in the company of unforgettable characters in this French runaway hit, Christelle Dabos’ The Mirror Visitor quartet.

Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima and, what’s more, she possesses the ability

Kindle Edition, 468 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
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 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,733 ratings  ·  3,311 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
Umut Rados
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
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.

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
Lucy Langford
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it

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 has strict rules regarding marriage and reproduction. In addition, each Ark is known for its own power- each one unique and different.

Ophelia is an
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! -
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
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
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.
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😭
Beatrice in Bookland
Dec 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Alice (MTB/Alice Tied The Bookish Knot)
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
The Artisan Geek
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
☯~☽~•Patricia Mainard•~☾~☯
I really enjoyed this book!!
This book was gorgeously written and very original. I can’t wait for the next book!
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
Jessica Woodbury
I was intrigued by this book, Europa Editions publishing a YA Fantasy series was an interesting surprise, but then I held off reading it for a long time. I don't actually *like* much YA Fantasy and I have a hard time committing to a series. In the end, though, I really enjoyed this and it was a nice antidote to a bit of a reading slump where nothing was really doing it for me, which is a high compliment indeed.

Worldbuilding in Fantasy is a real tightrope walk, you have to create a complex world
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
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Jessica Enriquez
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so confusing, and yet so interesting.
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on audio so maybe I was just distracted but what the hell was this even about???

The plot was so flimsy, I feel like nothing happened in the entire book. The world seemed so promising but also was sort of all over the place and Dabos did not give me enough information for me to be drawn into it.

The characters are alright but nothing to write home about, either. Ophelia, our MC, is the most timid and underwhelming main character I probably ever read about. She can “read” objec
Imagine being tied up and having the best cake ever sitting in front of you but only being fed a spoonful once in a few hours. That's EXACTLY what it felt like reading this book.

Let's start on the positive note:
-I loved the idea of the magic system, I loved the differences between the arks and the fact that most of it was kind of misterious so that we had to pay attention in order to understand them
-Ophelia's great-uncle and her brother Hector were such nice characters, it made me so sad whe
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Edelweiss for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was my first approval on Edelweiss which is why it has a special spot in my heart. I actually have a huge ARC TBR pile (which I mainly got from netgalley) and it pains me sometimes when I start reading an ARC and it doesn't hold my attention and I just have to force myself to read it. THAT'S ACTUALLY ONE OF THE WORST BOOKDRAGON FEELINGS EVER. I feel bad when I DNF a book but I can't help it somet
Michael Finocchiaro
Ophélie is one of young adult fiction's most unlikely heroines: short, near-sighted, clumsy, and nerdy. And yet, she is also one of the pluckiest, strongest, most creative heroines I have encountered. The story starts in relatively quiet Anima where objects are animated by the powers of the folks living there. Ophélie has an independent-minded scarf that nearly strangled her in the past and has two powers: the traditional Animist power of "reading" objects to determine the thoughts of those who ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

I thoroughly enjoyed this YA fantasy by Christelle Dabos. The English language version of the first book in the series only became available late last year. I picked it up because I liked the cover and it sounded interesting. I’m so glad I did.

The world-building is fabulous. The world has been smashed to pieces and now consists of a number of floating Arks. Each Ark seems to specialise in it’s own style of magic. Ophelia comes from Anima. She has the ability to read objects, understand
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • L'Arrache-mots
  • Extincta
  • Cogito
  • Ashes falling for the Sky
  • Prima regola: non innamorarsi
  • Un'estate con la Strega dell'Ovest
  • Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)
  • Ashes Falling for The Sky 2
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree
  • Ascension (Phobos, #1)
  • Changer l'eau des fleurs
  • Il est grand temps de rallumer les étoiles
  • A Winter's Promise
  • Genadeloos
  • Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3)
  • La casa delle voci
  • Sjamaan van de Zwarte Dood
See similar books…
Christelle Dabos est née en 1980 sur la Côte d’Azur et a grandi dans un foyer empli de musique classique et d’énigmes historiques. Plus imaginative que cérébrale, elle commence à gribouiller ses premiers textes sur les bancs de la faculté. Installée en Belgique, elle se destine à être bibliothécaire quand la maladie survient. L’écriture devient alors une évasion hors de la machinerie médicale, pui ...more

Other books in the series

La Passe-Miroir (4 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)

Related Articles

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
58 likes · 12 comments
“Oublier les morts, c'était un peu comme les tuer une seconde fois.” 19 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 !” 16 likes
More quotes…