Well I have a version of this novel here beside me that's entitled: Winter's Song. Same book different name. How odd. Ah well the contents of the book haven't changed (hopefully) only the external elements of name and cover.
My impression of Winter's End? Its a book that like the image on my version ends up covered over by a layer of snow and forgotten until summer. Metaphorical snow that is. But that is not to suggest I didn't like Winter's Song. I just didn't find that it particularly grabbed me in a way that said: remember me when you next pick up a book. Yeah that's right it was easily forgotten as I moved on to other novels.
The premise is interesting but perhaps something crucial is lost in the translation of the novel to English? Or perhaps the writing style in France is different? Or perhaps the writer's style is simply different to my own? Whatever the cause the style of Winter Song did not particularly appeal to my own style. I found the writing rather bland in contrast to other novels and easily forgotten until I picked up the novel again.
The plot focuses around four teenagers. Two boys, two girls, who flee across mountains escaping from their respective orphanages. Gradually you uncover the reason for their lives in the orphanages and find out about the past war and how their parents were killed. So basically in the end everything grinds down to this novel being about teenagers fighting against a tyrannical dictatorship (which looks similarly to the Nazi dictatorship), finishing the fight their parents begun. To be sure the themes were interesting and I do recommend that you read the novel but I must say that it didn't grip me as anything incredibly brilliant. Maybe you will feel differently.
Anyway to consider the themes of the novel I must say that this novel focusses on the consequences of war, on themes of love, freedom, courage and most importantly the power of one voice standing in opposition to the darkness. So I must here note that the themes were the one element I most took from the novel as brilliant and powerful. I must also say that the fact that this novel reminded me somewhat of past historical events whilst being set in a dystopian future was interesting somewhat.
My feeling however about this novel is that the tone and style of writing did not grip me. As a result I found it hard to take anything away from the novel as with other powerful stories. Which truly is a shame because buried within this novel are incredible themes. Sadly this would have been a one of a kind story had it of been written any other way.