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. 

REVIEW: The Girl in the Tower – Katherine Arden

34050917Title: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2)
Author: Katherine Arden
Rating: ★★★★★

“She had a fleeting taste of winter: smoke and pine and deadly cold, and then there was a warmth, too, and a swift, impossible sweetness.”

I greatly enjoyed The Bear and the Nightingale when I read it last year upon its release, but I wasn’t as awestruck and enamored by the book as everyone else seemed to be. I never expected to love The Girl in the Tower as much as I did. It completely blew me away and I want to sit down and read it all over again. 

“That love of maidens for monsters, that does not fade with time.”

The Girl in the Tower picked up right where the first book left off, but I felt much more invested in the story and characters this time. I was more apathetic towards Vasya in The Bear and the Nightingale, and now she has become one of my favorite female protagonists. She has grown as a character throughout the book and I loved following her on her journey. I’m so excited for where her story is going to take us next. I also felt pretty meh about Morozko when I read the first book, but now I’ve seen the light and I’m completely in love with a morose frost-demon. 

“Once in the chaos, he could have sworn he saw a tall white horse beside the bay stallion, whose rider kept the bandits’ blades from finding the girl. But then Sasha realized it was only a cloud of flying snow.”

The setting in these books are totally atmospheric. Katherine Arden is such a talented writer; her lush writing and vivid descriptions create a magical world unlike any other. I have a particular fondness for Slavic folklore, and she does such an amazing job weaving history with elements of Russian fairytales. 

The Girl in the Tower is an enchanting read that has become a favorite of mine. The gorgeous writing easily immerses the reader into this atmospheric world and I highly recommend the series. The Winter of the Witch releases in August and I cannot wait to read the rest of Vasya’s story!