Winter White and Wicked (Winter White and Wicked, Book 1) by Shannon Dittemore

Genre

Fantasy | Young Adult

Reasons to Love

📚magic
📚 strong female lead
📚 Reminiscent of Frozen
📚 YA fiction
📚 fantasy
📚 family ties 
📚 healing of people and land
📚 Snow
📚 Reminiscent of Ice Road Truckers 
📚 enemies to friends/lovers
📚 royalty

Main Themes

Redemption | Freedom | Relationships

Main Characters

Sylver (Sylvi) Quine | Lenore (Leni) Trestman | The Majority | Sola |Begynd | Mars Dresden | Old Man Drypp | Hyla | Kyndel (Kyn) | Shyne | Crysel | Dakk |Maree Vale

Review

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.

I adored this book. I don’t toss around the word “favorite” lightly, but this book bears that designation easily. 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 juxtapositions to her sunny soul and positive disposition. And Kyn—don’t get me started on him. The 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. 

Although Shannon included stunning maps at the beginning of both books, I easily painted a picture of Layce, Shiv Road, High Pass, Hex Landing, and the Whistletop. My mind conjured images of everything white and gray, with no sunshine peeking through, which was the perfect “mood” for this book. Seeing our feelings, and even our very lives, accurately on the gray and dreary days feels impossible, and it seems that’s where Sylvi finds herself too. I could relate to that. I could relate to so many things about Sylvi. She has my heart.

The words painted a picture of important pieces of the story too, like Old Man Drypp’s house and tavern, and of course, the Sylver Dragon. This book has become a movie reel, imprinted on my brain and my heart. And I’m not mad about it.

Shannon spun a fast-paced, wild, and whimsical tale that I couldn’t put down. And I (almost, basically) cried with relief when I found out the next book would be out just two months after I finished this one. (Preorder? Check!) I can’t wait to see where Shannon takes Sylvi and her strange crew in book two, Rebel Brave and Brutal.

Ridiculously Quotable

Sylvi

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.

Hyla

Kindness does not make me weak. It allows others to be strong as well.

Hyla

Is there no good that can come from suffering?

Mars

You cannot believe the truth about yourself until you’ve killed the lie.

My Take

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. 

Warnings

Language 

(None | Mild | Medium | Harsh)

No foul language in this book.

Content

⚔️ ⚔️⚔️

With our characters battling a dictatorial majority and spirits and forces beyond their understanding, as well as just plain evil men, there are a lot of fights. Some are bloodier than others. Some result in death. The book also implies a woman who worked as a prostitute and a man who visited her attempted to assault a minor.

Spice

🌶️ – no romance in this book in the typical, physical sense, but there the tension is building . . .

Rating
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Other Reviews on This Series

Rebel Brave and Brutal (Winter White and Wicked, Book 2) by Shannon Dittemore

Publisher’s Summary 

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.

About the Author

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.

I’d like to check out Winter White and Wicked—where can I buy it?

You’ll find everything you need by following this link to the publisher’s website.

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