Winter White and Wicked
Shannon Dittemore is an author and speaker. Her young adult books include the Angel Eyes trilogy, a supernatural foray into the invisible world, as well as the fantastical adventure novel Winter, White and Wicked. Its sequel, Rebel, Brave and Brutal, will hit shelves on January 10, 2023.
Shannon’s stories feature strong female leads grappling with fear and faith as they venture into the wilds of the unknown. She’s often wondered if she’s writing her own quest for bravery again and again.
It’s a choice she values highly. Bravery. And she’s never more inspired than when young people ball up their fist and punch fear in the face.
To that end, Shannon frequently offers classes providing junior high and high school students with an introduction to creative writing and the publishing industry. Tools she hopes will enable them to use their voices in new and powerful ways.
Together with authors Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson, she encourages young writers online at Go Teen Writers, an instructional blog recognized by Writer’s Digest five years running as a “101 Best Websites for Writers” selection.
*From the publisher’s website.
Mad Max: Fury Road meets Frozen in this striking YA fantasy
Twice-orphaned Sylvi has chipped out a niche for herself on Layce, an island cursed by eternal winter. Alone in her truck, she takes comfort in two things: the solitude of the roads and the favor of Winter, an icy spirit who has protected her since she was a child. Sylvi likes the road, where no one asks her who her parents were or what she thinks of the rebels in the north.
But when her best friend, Lenore, runs off with the rebels, Sylvi must make a haul too late in the season for a smuggler she wouldn’t normally work with, the infamous Mars Dresden.
Alongside his team—Hyla, a giant warrior woman, and Kyn, a boy with skin like stone—Sylvi will do whatever it takes to save her friend. But when the time comes, she’ll have to choose: safety, anonymity, and the favor of Winter—or the future of the island that she calls home.
*From the publisher’s website.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
One of my other favorite authors, C. J. Redwine, described Winter White and Wicked in such an appropriate way: “I didn’t know I needed a story that was half Mad-Max Fury Road and half Frozen-meets-Ice Road Truckers, but I did, and so did you.”
Now, I’ve never seen Mad Max, but I’ve been a fan of Frozen and its soundtrack since seeing it in theaters. And being married to a former trucker, I loved seeing a young woman absolutely killing it on those icy roads, delivering precious cargo, debatable new friends, and battling her ideas about life and Winter—once the only one who understand her—along the way.
For the sake of honesty, I’ll admit that the first few pages were a little slow. After that, I was hooked and was sad when it ended. Along with Sylvi (Sylver) Quinne, I go from hating to understanding Mars Dresden’s battery heart and wounded soul and daunting mission. Hyla’s fierce loyalty and soldier’s heart are quite the juxtaposition to her sunny soul and positive disposition. And Kyn—don’t get me started on him. Loyal goofball with a heart of gold. He longs to do the right thing and brings so much humor and levity amid the darkness of Winter’s swell.
Sylvi’s growth is slow and sure, just like it would be for any one of us—it’s not sped up for the sake of a neat happy ending. She’s not a perfect heroine, not even close. But she’s not whiney or annoyingly stupid as some heroines can be on their growth journey. She takes risks, but they’re calculated—at least somewhat.
All I can say to sum it up is I’m glad I finished this book just two months before the sequel comes out. I can’t wait to read Rebel Brave and Brutal.
Reasons to Love It
📚 strong female lead
📚 Reminiscent of Frozen
📚 YA fiction
📚 family ties
📚 healing of people and land
📚 Reminiscent of Ice Road Truckers
📚 enemies to friends/lovers
Winter’s more than words and wind. She’s a chill that clings to everything. She’s power. And, like all great powers, she likes her companionship recognized. If she’s talking to you, you’ll know.Sylvi, p. 41
Kindness does not make me weak. It allows others to be strong as well.Hyla, p. 49
We have to keep moving forward. Sifting through myth and legend looking for actually history requires too much stationary contemplation.Sylvi, p. 59
Is there no good that can come from suffering?Hyla, p. 129
You cannot believe the truth about yourself until you’ve killed the lie.Mars, p. 364
When our knowledge dares to be expanded and our beliefs are challenged, we must look at them with open eyes as well as God’s wisdom and our own life experience. Sometimes things are not so clear as they first seem.
I’d love to hear from you! What Shannon Dittemore
book is your favorite? What were your thoughts on this one? What other fantasy books have you read and enjoyed? Or what are you reading right now that you really love? Drop a comment below!