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Jenna Burtenshaw

Jenna BurtenshawJenna Burtenshaw has been writing regularly since she was nine years old. Starting with short stories and poems, she wrote for herself and the people around her and fell in love with the process of storytelling. She began writing Wintercraft, her first novel, in 2006 and now writes full time. In her spare time she enjoys walking her three dogs, playing the flute and getting lost in a good book. Learn more at Jenna Burtenshaw’s website.


Wintercraft — (2010-2013) Young adult. Shadowcry was released as Wintercraft in the UK. Publisher: Ten years ago Kate Winters’ parents were taken by the High Council’s wardens to help with the country’s war effort. Now the wardens are back… and prisoners, including Kate’s uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane — the High Council’s most feared man — recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council’s experiments into the veil, and he’s convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft — a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft.

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Wintercraft: Ordinary with occasional flashes of brilliance

Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw

In Shadowcry (Wintercraft in the UK where I live) we meet Kate Winters, a young girl who discovers that she has the power to see through the veil and command the souls of the dead. She and her friend, Edgar — who is more than he first appears to be — are taken to the city of Fume and caught up in a power struggle between the Skilled and the High Council, who wish to destroy them.

Wintercraft is a really mixed bag. At times the writing is excellent, demonstrating real skill in keeping the pages turning and the tension ratcheted up to the maximum. Yet, especially towards the end of the novel, when you would have expected Jenna Burtenshaw to utilize the best of her writing in the climactic finale, everything falls rather flat and left me feeling disappointed. In addition, the fate of Da... Read More