The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
This story is mythic in stature and full of wonder and enchantment. It is a tale about a family living remotely on a harsh land where winter has an icy hold and threatens to freeze all life to the bone. Following the death of their mother, and abandonment by their father, sisters Mila, Sanna and Geir are struck another blow with the sudden disappearance of their brother, Oskar.
Brave and tenacious Mila defies her older sister Sanna and Sanna’s pessimistic belief that Oskar abandoned them. Convinced that foul play and a malevolent enchantment are to blame, Mila embarks on a hero’s quest to rescue her brother from the evil influence that has ensnared him. This exacting quest is a punishing challenge for its hero and follows a compelling arc from the call to adventure onwards through many tests and obstacles, confrontation with the anti-hero and, ultimately, a fight for survival. Only through great risk and adversity may the ‘way past winter’ be found.