A City In Winter by Mark Helprin and Chris Van Allsburg. Helprin continues the story of the young princess of Swan Lake who defeats the Usurper who stole her throne.
Written by Mark Helprin. Illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. 1996 stated first edition. Viking - Ariel, a division of Penguin Books.
A City In Winter is the second novel in Helprin's trilogy, between Swan Lake and The Veil of Snows. In Swan Lake, a gorgeous picture book, a young girl is raised alone by a tutor who creates a safe, simple life for them as he prepares her to meet her destiny. Through his storytelling, she learns that she is a princess, and that her mother and father were killed by The Usurper who took her throne.
A City In Winter begins with the young woman retelling her story for her future children. The princess defeated the Usurper and rules her kingdom as queen but is cognizant of the sacrifices she made, and that were made for her.
"Laden with peonies, I walked slowly toward my station between the Second Viscount of Dolomitia-Swift and the Duke of Tooksheim. I curtsied, and fixed my gaze upon the blooms that were already there, waiting for one to wilt. Though my obligation was to keep my eyes riveted upon the flowers, this was my palace, my hall, and my table, so I looked about as I pleased. No one noticed. They were too absorbed in the music, their own conversation, and the dangers of placing a huge set of nobleman's buttocks upon a small velvet chair (had these chairs been of appropriate size, it would have been insulting). The dinner guests had arrived in upper-body masks, giraffe heads, cockatoo coats, and other oddities that, after their entrance, most entrusted to a mask-check girl. Others did not. Why do the very rich love to dress as birds, stingrays, Mandarins, giraffes, pirates, and Nubian dancers? Can it be genetic? I have never found it anything but horrifying, and I have half a mind to abolish it."
Mark Helprin (1947 - ) is a fascinating person as well as author.
Van Allsburg is an outstanding Caldecott award-winning artist and a favorite at The Charmed Bookshop, as author of The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, Jumanji, The Polar Express, and many other great children's books.
Learn more about his work.
Condition*: Fine/Very Good. The dust jacket has minor chipping near the head of the spine, slight ruffling along a top edge, a small tear on a back corner, and minor shelf wear.
*Based on guidelines of the Independent Online Booksellers' Association.
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