Winter, White and Wicked

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Sylvi lives on the Island of Layce, which is cursed by an eternal winter by the magical spirit of Winter. Winter is her only true friend that has stayed by her side. Sylvi’s grown up adopted by not one, but two different families. Now she has found her niche by running loads in her rig, the Dragon. Her goal in life is to keep her head down and make some coin without much trouble from the Majority.

However, when her adopted sister Lenore disappears, going off to join the Rebels, Sylvi must take a chance to take a load that could cost her and her employer their lives. In exchange, she will learn the location of the rebel camp.

Now she’s joined up with the notorious smuggler Mars Dresden and his entourage; a giant warrior named Hyla; and Kyn, a boy with skin like stone. Sylvi must keep her wits about her as she goes through dangerous roads and a tight cab of untrustworthy companions. But the weather and company will not be the worst of what she meets on the road of danger, mystery, and magic. Will Sylvi be able to put her first impressions aside and learn to trust her company in times of crisis?

Text: This book is expertly written. The descriptions are gorgeous. You feel every bump, crash, and fight. The worldbuilding is phenomenal. I totally was transported into the world of Layce, and the history was amazingly done. I also love the use of magic in the book; it was woven into the world beautifully. The different peoples and cultures are interesting and unique. I mean, people with made of rock and people with elements in their eyes is so creative. There are beautiful lessons of finding who you are and how to handle some things that happen that you can’t control.

Plot: This book has it all. It hits all the right notes for things progressively getting worse for the characters throughout the story. It has elemental, emotional, and magical challenges. I love the depth put into Sylvi and the other characters. The author gave you the information you were wondering about at just the right moment. I feel like it ends just at the right place, and makes me ready for a second book in this world (Which I am very hopeful will happen.)


Sylvi: She is rough and tough. She’s learned to rely on herself and no one else. When she gets to ride with the trio of trouble, she will learn that sometimes you have to rely on others, even when it is not your preference.

Mars Dresen: The perfect smuggler. He has magic. He has the wit. He’s never failed.

Kyn: Mars’ best friend, lookout, and second driver. He’s of the Kerce ethnicity, which means he’s made of the elements.

Hyla: She’s a warrior of Paradyian decent. She’s got at debt to pay to Mars and is willing to pay it with her life, if necessary.

Winter: the spirit of the Island has free reign over it, causing not only an eternal winter, which causes ice and snow, but also dangerous monsters such as giant wolves and wicked scary monsters like Abaki.

Age Recommendation: 16 and up, or a teen that can handle some mature content.

Reviewed By:

Author Shannon Dittemore
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Harry N. Abrams
Publish Date 2020-Oct-13
ISBN 9781419740237 Buy this Book
Issue December 2020
Category Young Adult