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A Winter's Promise

(La Passe-Miroir #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  11,087 ratings  ·  1,684 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 t

Kindle Edition, 468 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Europa Editions (first published June 6th 2013)
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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…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)
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Community Reviews

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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,087 ratings  ·  1,684 reviews

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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 th
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 Reviews
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
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
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
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.

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
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! -
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 pow
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.
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
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
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😭
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
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
☯~☽~•Patricia Mainard•~☾~☯
I really enjoyed this book!!
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
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-owned, arc
2.5 stars -- the ending of this bumped this from a 2 star, as I am sufficiently intrigued to keep reading. The struggle for me in this book is the conflict between the writing/tone and the content. The writing makes this much more of a middle grade than a YA (thought it might be a translation issue at first, but reading reviews from those who read in the original French, I don't think it's just the translation). The content, however, is more mature, and it left me feeling dissatisfied for most o ...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
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
Zoë ☆
Dec 11, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This sounds very interesting and the cover looks very cool!!! I wish I could read this in French but I’m not that skilled in it 😂
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Winter’s Promise is a translated fantasy novel about a young girl with powers who is promised in marriage to Thorn, a man from a powerful clan in a distant land. When I first heard about this novel, I was initially intrigued by the world itself and the magic system. I’m happy to report that the world building and magic system are the best parts of the novel however everything else falls flat. Hence the 3 star rating.

Dabos has created a unique world in which floating islands known as Arks all e
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
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
ARC provided via Edelweiss for a fair review

So good!!!! Full RTC!!
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2018
I’m disappointed.
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
Nadia King
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘A Winter’s Promise’ landed on my doorstep without warning and little did I know how much I would love reading the first instalment of ‘The Mirror Visitor Quartet’.

Christelle Dabos’s debut is magical, thrilling, wonderful; I couldn’t leave it alone until the last page had been turned.

Ophelia is a pawn; her family promises her hand in marriage to Thorn whose family is a powerful clan from a distant cold and icy world. Ophelia charmed me. She is fragile, clumsy, perceptive, pensive, smart, quirky
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
So I'm legitimately annoyed that I didn't like the book.its so pretty! Right off the bat, the translation is very choppy. Secondly, there is no world or character development PLUS NOTHING HAPPENS until the very end and I just can't stand books that do that. If you're going to take 450 pages to actually introduce a plot, do something with that time! Literally all I know is Thorn has unexplained family drama and Ophelia has glasses and can travel via mirrors. You could've done so much with the pre ...more

“What was it [her sister advised] again? 'Charm is the strongest weapon given to women, you must use it without scruples.' Ophelia promised herself never to follow her sister's advice. Scruples were very important. They were even more important than her hands. 'Traveling through mirrors,' her great-uncle had said before their separation, 'that requires facing up to oneself.' As long as Ophelia had scruples, as long as she acted according to her conscience, as long as she could face up to her ref
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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 Mémoire de Babel
  • La Passe-Miroir (La Passe-Miroir #4)
“Oublier les morts, c'était un peu comme les tuer une seconde fois.” 14 likes
“Olvidar a los muertos era como matarlos por
segunda vez.”
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