Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Review - The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden @arden_katherine @DelReyBooks

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
Series: The Winternight Trilogy #3
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Del Ray
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Date Read: December 27, 2018
Source: NetGalley
★★★★★
Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.
My Review

I absolutely loved this book!  Ever since I finished The Girl in the Tower, I have been eager to read the next chapter in Vasya's story.  I went into this book with incredibly high expectations and I have to say that this book was even better than I could have hoped for.  There is just something magical about this trilogy.  This was a book that I found almost impossible to set aside.  I just had to know how things would work out for Vasya, her family, and all of Russia.  I found that this story was really able to touch me emotionally and I had a fantastic time reading it.

The Winter of the Witch is the final book in the Winternight trilogy which really must be read in order.  This book does pick up shortly after the events of the previous book by throwing the reader right back into the action.  If I had to find one thing to criticize about this book, it would be that this book does not take the time to refresh the reader's memory of the events from the previous installments.  Since it has been over a year since I read the previous book, it did take me a moment or two to really remember the details regarding what had been happening with Vasya.

Vasya is a wonderful character and I have found it a joy to watch her develop and really find herself over the course of the trilogy.  She seems to be ready to take on the world in this book.  She is strong and has proven herself worthy of being a leader.  She is also compassionate and mourns the ones she has lost and works to protect others often at her own risk.  She does expect others with power to also do what needs to be done even if it comes with significant risk and does not hold back her opinion when she thinks that they are not doing enough.

This book was exciting.  I worried about the safety of Vasya and the other characters quite often since there are a lot of dangerous situations in the book.  Vasya has really embraced her powers by the end of the book and I had a great time seeing everything she was capable of doing.  I also loved all of the magical creatures that were a part of Vasya's world.  The Winter King, the Bear, Midnight, and even a mushroom king all played important and sometimes surprising roles in this wonderful story.

I thought that the writing was beautiful.  I felt like I was carried away by the words as I read this book.  There was a wonderful flow to the story and I think that the writing added to the overall beauty of the story.  This story made me feel a lot of things.  I was nervous and worried about the characters at times and smiled in joy when things worked out.  I felt pain when things went horribly wrong and had tears of joy when things went oh so right.  The story is dark and it is often violent but it was always beautiful.

I would highly recommend this trilogy to others.  I was swept away by this dark fairytale of a story and loved every moment of it.  I must say that this book brought everything to a fantastic conclusion and the ending was even better than I could have hoped.  This is a trilogy that I plan to revisit many times in the future.  I can't wait to see what Katherine Arden writes next!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Del Ray via NetGalley.
The Winternight Trilogy
Book 1 - The Bear and the Nightingale - My Review
Book 2 - The Girl in the Tower - My Review
Book 3 - The Winter of the Witch
About the Author

Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent a year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature. After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crêpes to guiding horse trips. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

29 comments:

  1. I really need to get into this series, especially seeing how you enjoyed it so much.

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    1. I do hope you get a chance to read this trilogy, Barb!

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  2. I popped on over to Amazon and read the sample pages. The setting comes alive, and the story pulled me in. No wonder you liked it so much!

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  3. that's a series that I heard so much about and I'm really curious to try it

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  4. I don't think I have heard of this series, but I do like those covers and your review.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  5. I really liked book 1, I did not feel book 2 was as good, but I hope book 3 will end with a bang :D

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    1. I actually liked book two a bit more than book 1. This book was a really strong finish.

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  6. That does sound pretty good. I love it when I really enjoy a book.

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  7. I think I need to give this series a try, and make a concerted effort to read them in the right order ;-) Although it's fantasy, the writing style sounds like a great fit for me

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    1. I hope you get the chance to read this, Stephanie Jane!

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  8. Yay for a book meeting high expectations and really delivering. Soon on this trilogy, I hope!

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think of this trilogy, Sophia Rose!

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  9. You sold me on this. I need to get this series. Great review.

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  10. I loved it too! The wording is lyrical, magical. Excellent review. I listened to all of them on audio and I recommend them if you get the chance. Kathleen Gati does an amazing performance. Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. I am sure that I will be doing a re-read and the audiobooks sound like the perfect way to do that.

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  11. So many people rave about this series. Now that it's done, I really need to pick it up!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  12. Everything about this series just looks absolutely gorgeous. I used an Audible credit for the first one and am really looking forward to listening to it.

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  13. I CANNOT wait to read this series straight though now that this book is out!! :)

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    1. That would be the perfect way to experience this trilogy!

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  14. Yeeeeeeeeeessssssss! I am about half way through and loving it, too. 💜✨

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  15. It's so clear that you love this series through and through and I am glad this finale could be such a good one for you! I want to try the first book and think it is already on my wishlist. The character development sounds amazing, and the fairytale-esque writing style too. And with an exciting plot as well - what is there not to love?

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