Winter Rose
Patricia A. McKillip
Shortlisted for 1996 Nebula Award.

Cover The best way to read this book is curled up in front of a log firs, a glass wine at your side and torrential storm battering at the windows. This is a beautiful and elegant book. These are not adjectives I'd generally ascribe to a book, but they are the ones that best describe 'Winter Rose'. It is one of those rare books that I think is deserving of five stars.

The story is set in a generic pre-industrial country town. The sort of setting that appears in dozens of fantasy. Rois is the main character. She lives in a daydream world wandering through the woods behind her fathers house. Naturally her father wants her to get married and settle down.

There's a ruined mansion nearby. Mystery, rumour and gossip surround what happened there the night it was abandoned. The story begins with Corbet arriving to claim his inheritance, which is the mansion. His arrival adds to the mystry of the mansion. The villagers like him, he is friendly and outgoing, but he also becomes the centre of gossip

When I mention Rois has a sister I'm sure you can see the line the story is going to take. Don' t discard this book out of hand because it dosen't seem to have a terribly original plot. 'Gone with the Wind' has an equally unimaginative plot when you reduce it to a few sentences.

Where this book excells is in the details, imagarry, style, the sheer brilliance of Patricia's writing. I was captivated by the book from the opening paragraph.

No book is perfect in every regard. I could find flaws in Shakespeare if I looked. 'Winter Rose' is no different. I could list a few minor nit picking problems, but I'm not going too. The book was such a pleasure to read I don't want to spoil the memory of the hours of enjoyment it gave me by focusing on a few minuscule and basically irrelevant flaws.

If the first paragraph of this review seems like an enjoyable way to spend and evening (I know it won't appeal to everyone) then 'Winter Rose' is an absolute must for you to read. The book is magnificent.