Winter Song by Jean-Claude Mourlevat is a fast pace novel of loss, courage and strength. Four orphaned teenagers become outlaws after fleeing the hellish boarding school that had detained them for fifteen years, but only three make it safely out. After their friend fails to escape, it becomes the three teen’s plight to rise up against the oppressing Phalage government; trying to save their friend and avenge the death of their parents. Escaping vicious hunting dog-men set out to kill them, the trio joins a secret resistance group. Throughout their suspenseful journey they learn whom it is wise to trust and that the strength of friendship and that of a single voice in a crowd can withstand masses.
This was a very well written but unusual book as it would fit into many genres. It was a mixture of pumping adventure, startling action, subtle fantasy and budding romance that made Winter Song interesting. It was an enthralling read, with action and adventure themes and scenes similar to those that Australia’s John Marsden portrays. Jean-Claude Mourlevat weaves a thick web of questions that are gradually answered throughout the book. He also creates a world that has such realism you are left questioning our own humanity. This was definitely a book that teenage readers would relish because they are able to closely relate to the characters, but I wouldn’t restrict Winter Song for any age group to enjoy.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Melbourne , Victoria Australia