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. 

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. As any bibliophile knows, our TBR seems to never stop growing (and mine seems to give me a strong case of anxiety), and so the books we meant to read end up getting pushed farther and farther back. Here are the top ten books on my backlist!

1. THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM by Elise Kova
2. DAUGHTER OF ALBION by Ilka Tampke
3. THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee

4. EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire
5. 
FROSTBLOOD by Elly Blake

6. THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne
7. THE LIBRARY OF FATES by Aditi Khorana
8. 
RED RISING by Pierce Brown

9. ROOMIES by Christina Lauren
10. 
THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingston

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: West – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the West book tour! Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!

Thank you to HMH for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of East. You can find my review of the first book here!


ABOUT THE BOOK

31822495Title: West (East #2)
Author: Edith Pattou
Release: October 23, 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 528

In the sequel to the beloved high fantasy East, Rose sets off on a perilous journey to find her true love when he goes missing in a thrilling tale of danger, magic, adventure, and revenge.

When Rose first met Charles, he was trapped in the form of a white bear. To rescue him, Rose traveled to the land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon to defeat the evil Troll Queen. Now Rose has found her happily-ever-after with Charles—until a sudden storm destroys his ship and he is presumed dead. But Rose doesn’t believe the shipwreck was an act of nature, nor does she believe Charles is truly dead. Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake.

Goodreads | Amazon | AudibleBarnes and Noble | iBooksBook Depository


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher. 

If East is a whimsical, magical fairytale, then West is it’s darker, more mature sister novel about what happens after the happily every after, and how things don’t always remain that way.

Everything I loved about the first book was also present here: the fairytale-esque aspects, the magic, the bonds between family and friends, the adventure-filled quests, and lovable characters. But the book also has some grimmer aspects, and our beloved characters go through some really tough times – and they don’t always end well. Rose is the same determined, caring young woman that she was in East, but now that she’s a mother, it was great to see her grow even more and the unconditional love she has for her son and Charles. 

West is not as whimsical and light-hearted as East, but there was still so much that I absolutely loved about it. From the characters, to the world, to the folklore elements, there’s something wonderful about this book, and I believe fans of East will not be disappointment with this long-awaited sequel. 

★ ★ ★ ★ ½


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EdithEdith Pattou is the author of Ghosting, a contemporary novel for young adults, told in free verse. She also wrote three award-winning fantasy novels for young adults – East, a retelling of the Norwegian folk tale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” and the two Songs of Eirren, Hero’s Song and Fire Arrow. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling picture book, Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden.

She was born in Evanston, Illinois, grew up in Winnetka, and was a teenager in the city of Chicago where she attended Francis W. Parker School. She completed her B.A. at Scripps College in Claremont, California where she won the Crombie Allen Award for creative writing. She later completed a Masters degree in English Literature at Claremont Graduate School, followed by a Masters of Library and Information Science at UCLA.

She has worked for a medical association, a clothing boutique, a recording studio, the Playboy Foundation, a public television station, a school library, two public libraries, two advertising agencies, and two bookstores.

She has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Durham, NC, Cambridge, England, Stockholm, Sweden, and currently resides with her husband, Charles, in Columbus, Ohio.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Three (3) winners will receive a finished copy of WestUS only.

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
October 15 | Rhythmicbooktrovert 
October 16 | A Backwards Story 
October 17 | Forever Lost in Literature 
October 18 | Mythical Books 
October 19 | Patriotic Bookaholic 

Week Two:
October 22 | Read, Eat, Love.

October 23 | Dani Reviews Things 
October 24 | Adventures and Reading
October 25 | BookHounds YA
October 26 | Jena Brown Writes

Week Three:
October 29 | Ace Reads
October 30 | Novel Novice
October 31 | All the Ups and Downs
November 1 | Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 2 | Paws and Paperbacks

Week Four: 
November 5 | Smada’s Book Smack
November 6 | if the book will be too difficult
November 7 | Vesper Dreams
November 8 | Oh Hey! Books.
November 9 | Two Chicks on Books

Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2018

Happy Halloween! 🎃 I can’t believe November is already upon us and we’re now approaching the end of the year. October was a pretty decent reading month; I read quite a few books that I really enjoyed! I leave for my two week vacation next week and I cannot wait. I have so many books that I plan to read. Speaking of which, I have a poll at the end of this post for you guys to vote on! Help me decide which long-overdue trilogy I should read while I’m on vacation! 


B1ciZ4RumOSTHE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN: This was the perfect read for October. It’s a spectacular retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, told from the point of view of Elizabeth. Kiersten White has reimagined a classic with a unique perspective, while maintaining the story’s dark, twisted, gothic tone. The way in which the author wrote this book is brilliant. She manages to both keep true to the original, and yet elaborate on some parts to create a new tale. Elizabeth Lavenza was an absolutely fascinating character to read about. She is transformed from a secondary character, into a strong, manipulative, intelligent protagonist.  [review]  ★★★★ 

33876440THIS MORTAL COIL: I’m so mad at myself for sleeping on this book for a year, especially with all the rave reviews I had seen for it. It had everything I love in a Dystopian novel, and reminded me why that genre used to dominate my bookshelves. The entire concept is extremely intriguing. I’m the first person to admit that anything involving coding and hacking goes way over my head, but even with all the science terminology and technical jargon, I never found myself overly confused and could (for the most part) follow along with what the characters were talking about. A spectacular debut perfect for fans of science-fiction, dystopian settings, and compelling characters.  [review]  ★★★★½  

40042561THIS CRUEL DESIGN: I started this immediately after finishing This Mortal Coil, and finished it within a day, so that should tell you all you need to know about my feelings about this book. It picks up right where the first leaves off, and was just as fast-paced, well-written, and absolutely addicting as its predecessor. Readers have no cause to worry as there’s no second book syndrome here! I could hardly put it down and there are plenty more plot twists and reveals that kept me hooked. As with the previous book, the science and technology elements continue to be really intriguing and unique. I had no problem following along with all of the terminology and jargon. I was under the impression that this was a duology (it’s not), so the last couple of chapters really had me nervous! The ending is a total cliff-hanger and I have so many questions!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★

37570566GRIM LOVELIES: I think expected to enjoy this a lot more than I did. I loved the concept and the basic plot, but I wasn’t a fan of the execution and I think it ended up lacking a lot of things that I was looking for. I don’t know. I wasn’t that into it but I’m still really curious about the sequel, so I may or may not continue with the series. ★★½

 

36949995THE BONELESS MERCIES: I loved (almost) everything about this book. What I liked: the amazing characters and sisterhood/friendships between the girls, the really neat retelling of Beowulf, and the awesome setting based on Norse mythology. What I didn’t like: the romance seriously confused the crap out of me. It’s hardly present, but the entire book continually hinted towards feelings between Frey and another character, and then by the end it seemed to abruptly go in another direction. I felt very annoyed; like I was being led on only to be given something else entirely at the end.  ★★★★

38336563THE DEVIL’S THIEF: Have you seen this book? It’s massive. But it was 700 pages of pure fun, action, and magic. It picked up right where The Last Magician ended and I was instantly pulled back into this world and ready to be with these characters. It did drag a bit in the middle, but I think that was mostly due to my belief that this was only a duology and wanting Esta and Harte to get on with their quest already. The angst between those two went up a few notches and it was both the best thing and the worst. I’m really excited this was extended into a trilogy (I don’t believe it was originally) because there is so much more left to this story and I can’t wait to continue, especially after that cliffhanger! ★★★★

37007910THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL: If I’m being completely honest, I ended up enjoying this tremendously more than I had anticipated I would. This was a gothic, historical novel that enchanted me from the beginning. There was a lot to enjoy about this book, but my favorite thing was its atmospheric setting. It reads like a Jane Austen book with some witchcraft and eerie paranormal activity mixed in. The period drama aspects were so charming! The romance that develops between two characters was really cute and I couldn’t get enough of it. Hester Fox does a fantastic job of blending the drama with suspense. Although the story is more of a gothic romance, there are still some spooky encounters and mysterious elements that make this a wonderful read for October.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★

35843937THE CAGED QUEEN: After I finished this, all I felt was overwhelmingly conflicted. I was initially disappointed that I wouldn’t be following more of Asha and her story, but since I found Roa’s backstory and relationship with Dax to be intriguing, I attempted to go into this book with an open mind. Unfortunately, it still didn’t stand up to my enjoyment of The Last Namsara. I really love the world that Kristen Ciccarelli has created here, and even though I appreciated being back with these characters, I spent a majority of this book extremely frustrated. Probably 99% of the issues and conflicts that happen could have been solved if Dax and Roa had simply talked. The lack of communication between them caused so many unnecessary understandings and after a while I began to get both annoyed at Roa and at the plot.  [review]  ★★★

1187138A FEAST FOR CROWS: I FINALLY FINISHED THIS. Seriously though, it took me a little over six months to read this damn book. While appreciate that GRRM split the book so that we wouldn’t be reading 2,000 pages, there was so little going on in this one that I got bored so easily. The only chapters that I really cared for were Alayne’s (obviously; she’s my favorite character), Cersei’s (she’s batshit crazy and I love reading from her mind), and the conflict in the Iron Islands. I’m really looking forward to A Dance With Dragons and being back with my boy, Jon.  ★★★★

38640729EAST: East of the Sun and West of the Moon has always been one of my favorite fairytales, and yet I don’t have an answer as to why it has taken me so long to read this book. The pacing and flow of the story is so well-crafted. Even with all the different POVs present, each character had a distinct voice and every chapter added to the plot. The writing was whimsical and helped maintain the fairytale aspects of the original tale the story draws from. I absolutely adored Rose. I loved her intellect, her perseverance, her kind nature, and her strength. This was a beautiful, fast-paced, magical story. I’m sad that it took the sequel’s release for me to finally pick this up, but I’m so glad that I did.  [review]  ★★★★

31822495WEST: If East is a whimsical, magical fairytale, then this is it’s darker, more mature sister novel about what happens after the happily ever after, and how things don’t always remain that way. All the fairytale-esque elements that were present in the first book are also present here, but the book also has some grimmer aspects and our beloved characters go through some really tough times – and they don’t always end well. And even though this wasn’t as whimsical and light-hearted as East, I still absolutely loved it.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★★½

39088520EMPIRE OF SAND: This was a really unique southeast Asian adult fantasy with elements inspired by the Mughal empire. The writing was wonderful and really pulled you into the story. I also really liked the protagonist, Mehr, and enjoyed following her on her journey and rooting for her throughout the story. The only small complaint I had was that some of the magical aspects were a bit confusing, and to be honest, I didn’t fully understand everything that was going on.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★½

37854049THE SISTERS OF THE WINTER WOOD: If you like books such as Spinning Silver and The Bear and the Nightingale, then this is definitely a book for you! I love stories that are rich with fairytale elements and yet blend seamlessly with historical aspects. I also really liked how both Liba and Laya were given distinct voices; Liba’s chapters were told narratively and Laya’s were in verse. This was a very magical, atmospheric story and I adored everything about it!  ★★★★

OTHER

Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Shows to Watch on Netflix this Halloween | Blog Tour + Giveaway: This Cruel Design | Halloween Creatures Tag | Blog Tour: The Witch of Willow Hall | #ARCstravaganza: The Gilded Wolves | Five Spooky Podcasts to Listen to this October | Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Villains | #SixforSunday: Favorite Debuts of the Years | Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’d Love to Meet | Sunshine Blogger Award


And now I need your help! Vote below and help me choose which books to read when I leave for vacation next week!