By Sarah Remy
Madison Place Press, $2.99, 297 pages
Sarah Remy’s Winter is the captivating opening chapter to a new young adult fantasy series called the Manhattan Exiles. The history of the world she describes began once, long ago when humans lived in fear of the Fair Folk. These beings had magical powers of persuasion and were able to appear ethereally beautiful, though they were cruel. The queen of the fairies, Gloriana, was the cruelest, and most powerful, of them all. When a few of her most trusted courtiers attempted to overthrow her, they were banished to the human world, cutting off all of fairy from this realm. Now, the banished will do anything to get back to the world they know. For as time passes, the human world slowly poisons their minds and their magic. Of all of the banished, only two have managed to reproduce in the human world. These two children are Summer and Winter and have never seen Gloriana’s court or the world of the Fair Folk.
Winter is the story of Winter, a young man born in a world to which he doesn’t belong. Though he is flawed and filled with self recrimination, he is a hero. His companions include a talking mouse, two young boys who live on the streets, a cop who has a fairy lover and a young girl they pull out of a wall. The rest of the banished are imprisoned on Manhattan Island surrounded by rushing water and iron. Winter is immune to these deadly materials. He seeks to correct a mistake he made in his childhood while residing beneath the Washington Monument in D.C. As the story evolves, the author shares different perspectives, each with their own agendas and definitions of heroism.
Remy’s writing style is not expository narration. Back story is revealed as the action progresses and characters learn of it. Since this is the opening books of a series, Winter has so much going on, so much history and interrelationship to reveal that at times it can be confusing. And because the characters are immortal, passage of time and ages of characters can be difficult to follow. Remy’s descriptions are as unique as her prickly characters. This drama is not high school drama. And the startling non-conclusion will leave you checking book stores for the next installment.
Reviewed by Rachelle Barrett