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The School Between Winter and Fairyland (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This book is everything I wanted to be. Autumn is a smart, stubborn, and strong girl who is a unique protagonist in that she is not the Chosen One. She has her own agenda, and while that does eventually entail helping Cai (the character who is the Chosen One), that was never her destiny, it’s just something that she wanted to do. I also loved all the magical creatures in this book, from the mischief, loving boggart to the flower obsessed dragons and even to the slightly psychopathic gwyllions. Another one of my favorite parts were the Winter chapters, where the perspective shifts to Winter’s. While there were only a few of these, they added a lot to the book, both plot and character wise. Finally, The School Between Winter and Fairyland does a fantastic job of addressing classism in a way that is easy for younger readers to understand. All together, I would happily give this book a five star review.

— Annika (TAG Member)


A fresh and exciting twist on magical boarding schools, the well-loved Chosen One trope, and the nature of true heroism—from the author of The Language of Ghosts and Ember and the Ice Dragons. Perfect for fans of middle grade fantasies including the Serafina series by Robert Beatty and Neil Gaiman's Coraline

Twelve-year-old Autumn Malog is a servant at the enchanting Inglenook School, where young magicians study to become the king’s future monster-hunters. Along with her Gran and three too many older brothers, she works as a beastkeeper, tending to Inglenook’s menagerie of terrifying monsters.

But when she isn’t mucking out the wyvern stalls or coaxing the resident boggart to behave, Autumn searches for clues about her twin brother’s mysterious disappearance. Everyone else thinks he was devoured by the feared Hollow Dragon, but Autumn is convinced she’s heard—and glimpsed—him calling to her from within the castle walls. But who will believe a lowly servant?

So when Cai Morrigan, the “Chosen One” prophesied to one day destroy the Hollow Dragon, comes to her for help, Autumn agrees on one condition: Together, they’ll search for her brother and uncover the dark truth at the heart of enchanting Inglenook School once and for all.

About the Author

Heather Fawcett is the author of the middle grade novels Ember and the Ice Dragons and The Language of Ghosts, as well as the young adult series Even the Darkest Stars. She has a master’s degree in English literature and has worked as an archaeologist, photographer, technical writer, and backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theater festival. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada. Visit Heather online at

Praise For…

"In this lively fantasy, Fawcett (The Language of Ghosts) plays with familiar tropes (magical schools, chosen ones), centering a female protagonist, a fresh take on heroics, and a clearly built world layered with history and an interesting magical system."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063043312
ISBN-10: 0063043319
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 26th, 2021
Pages: 352
Language: English