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The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

"It was a winter they would tell tales about... A winter that came and never left."

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Kiran Millwood Hargrave's writing (see my gushing review of The Island at the End of Everything here), and it is also no secret that I have been excitedly awaiting her next book.

Enter, stage left: The Way Past Winter, in all its hardback, cloth bound, foil-detailed, ribbon bookmark-ed glory. (What did we do to deserve such pretty? Helen Crawford-White's cover is certainly a sight to behold.)

Set in the snowy lands where winter rules and spring is a distant memory, Mila lives with her brother Oskar, and sisters Pípa and Sanna. Still grieving from the loss of their father who mysteriously vanished, the siblings are all each other has. When a mysterious fur-clad visitor arrives at their door one day, Mila immediately does not trust him, especially when she wakes up the following morning to find that her brother, too, has disappeared.

Facing a lack of support from those in charge of the village, Mila decides to take matters in to her own hands, and, begrudgingly, accepts help from the mysterious outcast Rune. Together, they must travel north and find the land of eternal winter, to see if they can find their brother in time, and end the vice-like grip of winter.

As the golden ropes of this story wove themselves together, I was hooked, revelling in the icy world Kiran had created. With magic and mystery abound, this beautiful and lyrical novel sweeps you up in its clutches and doesn't let you go until the final page. Perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell, Philip Pullman, and Eva Ibbotson, this is, just like Kiran's other books, not to be missed.

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