REVIEW: The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Arden (ARC)

36621586Title: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3)
Author: Katherine Arden
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

“Come with me, Snegurochka. I know a house in a winter forest.”

When I read The Girl in the Tower last year, it quickly became one of my favorite books ever, which was a total surprised since The Bear and the Nightingale was enjoyable, but not mind-blowing. The Winter of the Witch was not only a satisfying conclusion to the series, but an absolutely stunning and magical story all on its own. 

“But who could do it other than she? You can be a bridge between men and chyerti, Morozko had said. She thought she understood that, now.”

As with the second, The Winter of the Witch picks up right where the last book left off, making it easy to transition back into the story. Vasya continues to be one of the best written female protagonists I’ve ever read – and one of my very favorite heroines in literature. Her character growth throughout the series is amazing, and her bravery, strength, and compassion are admirable traits that only speak to some her well-roundedness. In addition to Vasya, there were so many other characters whom I loved reading about: Sasha, Olga, Marya (although there wasn’t as much of her in this one), Dmitrii, Ded Grib, and Pozhar to name a few. And of course, there’s Morozko, our morose winter-king. My adoration for that brooding frost-demon only grew in this novel, and I couldn’t get enough of his scenes, especially the angst with Vasya. Chapter 17 very nearly put me in an early grave, you guys. 

She whispered, “You are not alone anymore.”
“I know,” he whispered. “Neither are you.”

I’ve said this before, but the atmospheric setting in these books is one of the best I’ve ever written. Katherine Arden is such a talented author: her lush writing, vivid descriptions,  and carefully crated historical and fairytale elements create such a magical story. And the wintry setting made this a perfect read for winter time. 

He was only half there; the wind seemed to blow through him.
“As I could, I loved you too,” she whispered.
Their eyes met. Then he was gone, gone on the rising wind, blown through the wild air. 

There is so much to love about The Winter of the Witch, and I will never stop recommending this series to people. From the writing to the characters to the storytelling, The Winternight trilogy is an enchanting, whimsical story perfect for those who love a blend of fantasy and folklore. 

#ARCstravaganza: The Wolf in the Whale – Jordanna Max Brodsky

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post


ABOUT THE BOOK

39603796Title: The Wolf in the Whale
Author: Jordanna Max Brodsky
Release: January 29, 2019

A young Inuit shaman’s epic quest for survival in the frozen lands of North America in 1000 AD.

Born with the soul of a hunter and the language of the gods, Omat is destined to become a shaman like her grandfather. To protect her people, she invokes the spirits of the sky, the sea, and the air.

But the gods have stopped listening, the seals won’t come, and Omat’s family is starving.

Desperate to save them, Omat journeys through the icy wastes, fighting for survival with every step. When she meets a Viking warrior and his strange new gods, together they set in motion a conflict that could shatter her world…or save it.

The Wolf in the Whale is a powerful tale of magic, discovery and adventure, featuring an unforgettable narrator ready to confront the gods themselves.

WWW Wednesday #16

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words in which the three W’s stand for:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

M3SFH_vwWHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Realm of Ruins by Hannah West

 

 


35298956WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. This is one of my new favorites by this author!

 

 


23510085WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

REVIEW: A Dangerous Collaboration – Deanna Raybourn (ARC)

30518319Title: A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4)
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Upon receiving the email that I was approved for this, I immediately put aside all other plans for reading because that’s how much I love these books. 

A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth installment of the Veronica Speedwell series, and while I wouldn’t count it as my favorite, it was just as enjoyable as all the others. One of the things I loved best about this one was the setting. In A Dangerous Collaboration, Veronica and Stoker find themselves in a remote island off the coast of Cornwall, in a possibly haunted castle, as the guests of Lord Malcolm. The entire plot/setting is very reminiscent of a murder mystery dinner and it was so very fun to read! Other than our beloved protagonist and her partner-in-solving crime, there is a full cast of interesting characters, including Tiberius, Stoker’s eldest brother.

The pace of this book was a bit slower than the others, and it took a while for it to really pick up. However as with all the other, it was full of thrilling adventures, witty conversations, sexual tension, and of course – murder and mayhem. I’m always equal parts frustrated by my inability to discover the true killer before the reveal and yet impressed by Raybourn’s writing that she is able to keep me in the dark for so long. 

And I cannot write a review without again touching on the relationship between Veronica and Stoker. Things were a little different this time around, because it has become apparent – not just to the readers, but also to Veronica – that there is definitely something between the two of them. Veronica and Stoker spend a majority of this book fighting their attraction/feelings for one another, but the ending makes it so worth all the waiting!

If you haven’t had a chance to read this series yet and you’re a fan of murder mysteries, historical fiction, and slow-burn romances, then please do yourself a favor and pick up the first book! A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book of this wonderful, thrilling series and I’m highly anticipating the next (and I believe last) installment! 

REVIEW: The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

25883848Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Rating: ★★★★★

“Here’s a fact. Hating someone is exhausting. Each pulse of blood in my veins takes me closer to death. I waste these ending minutes with someone who genuinely despises me.”

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.”

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m complete trash for a love-to-hate relationship and witty banter. The Hating Game was everything I never knew I needed in my life, and I wish I could go back in time and slap myself every time I saw this book on my TBR but skipped over it to read something else. 

“But you kissed me. Why would you do that?”
“I needed to test a theory I’ve had for a while. And you really, really kissed me back.”

The Hating Game had all my favorite tropes for both a romantic comedy and a romance novel. It also had a few little twists to those tropes that were absolutely amazing and really added to my enjoyment. The highlight of the book were the characters themselves. I didn’t have a lot in common with Lucy (other than her inability to say no to others at work), and in fact we seemed to be opposites in a lot a ways (right down to our heights), but she was such a fantastic protagonist. She’s quirky, sweet, smart, and hard-working. Then there’s Josh. At first, he comes across as an arrogant – albeit very good looking – pain in Lucy’s ass, but as the story continued, we see the layers to Josh peel back and oh boy. World, I have new book boyfriend and his name is Joshua Templeman. The fact that he had insecurities and was self-conscious about himself and his body was so refreshing for a male lead in a romance book. He wasn’t full of himself and had a more reserved personality, and yet still had an air of confidence that was totally sexy. 

“He’s looking at me with fierce tenderness in his eyes. Eyes like he loves me. Now I know I must be dreaming.”

I now understand all the high praises and great reviews I’ve seen about this book, because it deserves all it. I devoured this. The Hating Game is now one of my favorite contemporary romance novels and I can’t wait to read more from Sally Thorne.