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Young Adult Fiction 258
enchanting and lyrical YA fantasy
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WIND DAUGHTER is a lush and riveting YA fantasy. This lyrical book is written as a companion to ECHO NORTH but can be read alone, and I highly recommend picking it up regardless of whether you have read the first. This story follows Satu North, daughter of the North Wind, who became a mortal when he made a bargain with the Wolf Queen. She then used the power she took from him to propel him and his wife forward 400 years, away from everyone they knew.

Satu has been raised on the mountain amidst her father's stories. She feels set apart from the others and finds it hard to be around people, particularly in large numbers. When the winds send her bees, Satu has found something to enjoy - until the world begins to unravel around her. As her parents, the village, and the world begin to disappear, Satu learns from the Winter Lord that she is the only one who can save it, by reclaiming her father's powers. Unwilling to trust the man who was the second-hand for the Wolf Queen, Satu finds their paths crossing repeatedly as she ventures to accomplish the impossible, in order to save her family and the world.

What I loved: This was such a lush and riveting read. Written like a fairytale, the writing sweeps the reader away into Satu's life and this imaginative world of magic and weaving. The world-building was fantastic, bringing to life the history, key players, and places amidst Satu's journey. It comes together slowly but beautifully amidst the lyrical prose.

Satu seems an unlikely heroine, but her strength comes from her passion and empathy. She feels things too heavily and too dearly, and she has trouble with people outside of her parents. When she learns about the way her parents and the world have unraveled, Satu will do what she must to save them. She is accompanied by a boy who appears like stained glass, Fann, who is trapped in nightmares by the Wolf Queen, who is clawing her way back to the powers of the North Wind that she stole. Her interactions with the Winter Lord are also intriguing - he appears throughout her life, and his nature is in question. As the story builds, he becomes even more interesting.

The twist in the story was really haunting and beautiful, and it took me by surprise - I loved the way it played out, and it definitely brought up a whole world of feelings - including some tears. The writing, the characters, and the story were simply stunning.

Thought-provoking themes around choices and their consequences; right, wrong, and the gray area between them; empathy and the power of the heart; sacrifice; family; meeting people where they are; and destiny made this a really poignant read.

Final verdict: With masterful story-building, endlessly endearing characters, and lyrically beautiful writing, WIND DAUGHTER is a haunting and enchanting YA fantasy that is sure to consume readers. Highly recommend for fans of WINTERSONG, FOR THE WOLF, and AN ARROW TO THE MOON.
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