Title: Winterveil by Jenna Burtneshaw
Published: June 25th, 2013 by Greenwillow Books
Format: Hard cover
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal
Age group: Young adult
Grade rate: A-
Teen Kate Winters and her powers are unique. She alone can understand Wintercraft, a book of ancient secrets. In Winterveil, the veil between the living and the dead is crumbling, and only Kate can stop it. The pull of the veil is powerful, and part of Kate wants to let it fall, allowing the dead overrun the living. Her best friend Edgar Rill urges Kate to save the world of the living. But Silas Dane can influence Kate too. Silas, a merciless villain, has the potential to behave honorably—if he chooses.
I was dying to read the conclusion of the Wintercraft series, sadly, my local library took forever to bring the book. If you recall, the ending of Blackwatch was quite dire and all seemed hopeless (like the drama?). I should have trusted Burtenshaw to be able to get Kate, Silas and Edgar out of that bind.
The story of Wintercraft is so unique. The idea of a city where the dead was buried and was tended by a specially trained group of people and then abandoned it’s hard to imagine. Even harder is that the dead couldn’t find peace when they built the new capital city on top of it. The world building is impeccable, as it’s strange.
The story is told in the third person, which is very appropriate for this complicated story as it allowed the reader to be everywhere and know everything that was going one. Even then, the plot is unexpected, complex and full of surprises. The writing is straightforward and easy to read and understand and that is always a bonus when reading fantasy.
What to say about Kate? She is somewhat different in Winterveil. She’s more powerful, braver, more mature, and accepting. It must be incredible scary and empowering at the same time to have a deeper understanding of things that most of the people cannot see. To see and hear ghosts and a different world that is beyond most people’s comprehension.
Silas – would you get offended if I were to say that I fell in love with you as a character - *I’m sure he’s probably just shuddered*. Silas is so, so, so …(hold on, I’m thinking of the right words) exceptionally difficult and loyal. He has suffered so much, and keeps enduring everything the world throws at him, just to save Albion, the city he feels honor bound to protect. Silas, I understand your sacrifice and I hope you find peace. The relationship between Silas and Kate is also unique. Even though there is a vast different in their age and experience, I kept hoping that the bond they shared would develop into something deeper. One can only hope, right?
Edgar is sweet, protective, resourceful, but always timid and fearful. In this installment we see the reasons why and I think he developed a bit of a backbone, for which I’m glad. Even then, I just don’t see anything romantic developing between him and Kate. –Just saying.
Dalliah is our evil character here, and evil she is indeed! She has the same problem as Silas, leaving without a soul in a torturous state, and she has been like that for years. She has done so many atrocities to bring down the veil and she sees a golden opportunity in Kate, which is a true Winter and much more powerful than she could ever be.
What a wonderful ending to the series, although it was very open. I still hope for a ‘cure’ for poor Silas and some sort of reconciliation for Kate and the rest of the skilled. I think there is so much more of the story to tell *hint, hint, cough, cough*
About the cover: I always like the covers for these books. This one is mysterious, I imagine it’s Silas running up the castle’s stairs in Albion about to confront the council. I like the contrast of dark and light and the birds in the background.