Thank you to Central Avenue Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC to read and review. The Rise of Winter by Alex Lyttle is set to be released May 1, 2019.
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Series: Terra Protectorum, book 1
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Summary (via NetGalley):
Centuries ago, Terra, the world, was nearly destroyed by humans. In the wake of that destruction, Terra created the Guardians—a group sworn to protect Her. But humans have returned to their plundering ways and Terra needs the Guardians. The Guardians are now fractured, their leader murdered years before. They need a new leader—a new Terra Protectorum—but when a young girl is chosen, outrage ensues. Questions demand answers.
Why has Terra selected a girl with no knowledge of the Guardians? Why has she chosen a human when it is the humans destroying the earth? And most importantly, why has she chosen the girl whose father murdered the last Terra Protectorum?
A new star has taken the stage of middle grade novels. The Rise of Winter is a fantastic new fantasy series filled with adventure, tension, humor, moments of reflection, family, and down-right awesomeness.
Once the rising action starts things go south quickly. Winter is thrust into a conflict bigger than herself: the earth – Terra, mother of all things living and nonliving – is decaying due to human intervention by way of pollution from factories, disrupting ecosystems by building roads, etc. Winter is pulled from all sides. She must uncover the secrets of her family, learn the ways of the Guardians, learn to believe in herself, and stop a whole species from dooming everyone. Not an easy task for a fourteen-year-old.
I liked the setting the author has placed us in. Realistic to reality but altered. It’s the onset of industrial revolution. Cars are slowly replacing horse-and-carriage so more roads must be made. Factories are sprouting. Electricity is replacing candles as a source of light. The allusion is stark, current and spreads awareness to real world issues.
I liked the animals the author picked as Guardians and the personalities and end-results of each of them. For the purposes of the book, the animals who are the current Guardians and which domain (sky, land, water) and trait (wisdom, speed, agility, strength) they embody in make sense. I think having humans as a representative Guardian of Terra’s creatures not only makes sense but adds fuel to the fire. The contention and mystery, the schemes and secrets gripping the reader in an everlasting hold all the way to the very end.
The names of what powers each Guardian posses sounded a little cheesy or were confusing in pronunciation. From the intended age group point of view, they’re perfect.
Alex Lyttle put his all into book one – it really shows! There’s so much to love about this book from the lovable characters, striking antagonists, and wonderful world-building. One of the best Middle Grade books I’ve read in a while and certainly the best MG of 2019 so far. All I can ask now is, “When will book 2 be released?”