Heart of the Winterland
On her 200th birthday, the enchantment that holds Princess Calisandra in a state of apathy breaks. Full of questions about her kingdom's history and what lies outside the borders of her snow-cursed kingdom, she leaves home in search of answers.
Fate has always been against Amee. Orphaned as a baby, she grew up with darkness snuffing out what little light she could find in her life. When her spirit breaks, she sequesters herself in the border forest. Powerful and angry, she waits ...
An orb formed to protect Cali, Voice has never had a purpose beyond caring for the princess's needs. But as she joins Cali on her journey and the spell that confined her breaks, she starts to wonder about her place in the world.
Captain Kota, in forced exile from her homeland, swears that never again will she be powerless. Ascending the ranks of the Shayal guard, her latest mission is to find the one who has escaped Duke Bludgaard.
A desperate search has brought Angel far from her home, but now Captain Kota's relentless pursuit keeps her from her task. When she crosses paths with a naîve princess and a sage orb, she finds more than she anticipated.
Heart of the Winterland Reviews
"In Heart of the Winterland, Kristen Kooistra has created a magical world filled with memorable characters who always seem to find a way to surprise the unwary reader. Calisandra has lived a solitary life for some two-hundred years, from the time she was an infant when her royal parents were killed and the entire kingdom was thrust into an eternal winter. It is the kingdom over which she will rule someday, if only the spell can be broken. With the exception of a being that exists only as a voice in a glowing, floating orb (a being whose purpose is to educate, guide, and protect Cali) she has never known the presence of another.
When she sets out to explore the world beyond her kingdom's frozen boundaries, with "Voice" as her only companion, she encounters a broad variety of other humans, as well as magical beings. There is Angel, a girl who joins Cali and Voice in their travels and Kota whose quest to capture Angel, places Cali's life in jeopardy. Throughout her journey, she must learn to distinguish between those whose hearts are good and those whose hearts are evil, and to learn life lessons that will serve her well if she has the opportunity to finally rule over her kingdom.
Kooistra has crafted a classic coming-of-age story. Her characters are skillfully developed; the plot is a masterfully woven tapestry of events. In a genre that too often becomes cliché, Heart of the Winterland is fantasy of the highest caliber. I'm eager to read the next book in her series, Heart of the Sorceress."
Author, The Clay Remembers
"I love this coming-of-age tale of snowbound princess, Cali, and her floating orb companion. As the mystery of their entwined past unravels, the machinations of evil sorceress Amee drew me deeper into this fascinating enigma. Cali's journey to maturity is aided by desperate outlaw Angel, who is running from the troubled and violent Captain Kota. As their destinies all meet and shape each other, Cali finds the internal resolution she needs to take up her responsibilities and face her past. The neatly-executed conclusion left me gasping, and I had a "book hangover" for a good few days following. If you enjoy action-packed fairytales with a twist, Heart of the Winterland is the book for you."
"I read, critiqued, and thoroughly enjoyed 'Winterland'. This is one of the most unique fairy tales I've had the pleasure of reading. I found myself rooting for Cali (the main character) the whole time. The relationship between Cali and her mentor, Voice is filled with laughter, tender moments, and hearty adventure. I'm glad I came along for this journey. It's the perfect read for this upcoming 'winter' season!"
Through The Galaxies