The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
Series: Winternight Trilogy #3
Publisher: Del Rey (Ebury Publishing)
First published January 8th 2019
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon
One girl can make a difference…
Moscow has burned nearly to the ground, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to hold accountable. Vasya finds herself on her own, amid a rabid mob that calls for her death, blaming her witchery for their misfortune.
Then a vengeful demon returns, renewed and stronger than ever, determined to spread chaos in his wake and never be chained again. Enlisting the hateful priest Konstantin as his servant, turmoil plagues the Muscovites and the magical creatures alike, and all find their fates resting on the shoulders of Vasya.
With an uncertain destiny ahead of her, Vasya learns surprising truths of her past as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all…
THIS WAS AMAZING. The Winternight Trilogy is one of my ultimate favorite trilogies and this book did not disappoint! This was an amazing end to the series and it delivered everything I was hoping for and more.
The Winter of the Witch was a really hard book to read. I didn’t want it to end and I was dreading what might happen – and for good reasons! This book made me sad to the point of crying, being excited, nervous, afraid, angry, and every other emotion you can think of! It was an incredibly emotional ride filled with hard and stressful moments made incredibly realistically. There’s a lot of injustice, sexism and violent moments here and it truly broke my heart. But somehow they are balanced by incredibly sweet and magical ones that made my heart radiate happiness. There’s a lot of love, friendship and family moments in here and those were BEAUTIFUL! I was completely swept away to this amazing Russian based story, full of fairytale magic and hard realistic lives!
A lot of this book is connected with religion and it gives an incredibly accurate idea of it. It shows how far people can go in the name of religion, in both goodness and awfulness. Belief and faith play a big role here and it’s as beautiful as it is scary. This is probably one of the best books I read dealing with religion, in such a powerful and unique way. It doesn’t diminish religion, but it also shows that blind faith can go immensely wrong. Like everything in life, moderation is the way to go, and this book did an amazing job showing that. Also, I just have to mention it here and put it out of my chest… I FREAKING HAAAAAAAATE Konstantin Nikonvich’s. I hate him SO MUCH and I literally felt like hitting him in the face way too many times to count. ARGH, he disgusts me.
Now that the rant is over… If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know that the magic in this book is quite unique. It’s based on Russian fairytales and it contains an abundance of interesting creatures and gods. We have for example Domovois and of course my love Morozko, who we got to see form a lot in this book. Morozko, from the beginning, has this kind of “far-away” feel to him like a God should have, I suppose. And I loved that it didn’t change even tho we got to see so much more faces of him. He developed beautifully without losing his essence, if you know what I mean. I was afraid that wasn’t going to happen, as it does in so many books, so I’m ecstatic about that.
As for Vasya, I couldn’t be more in love with her. She is one of my favorite female characters ever and for sure you will want to know her! She is strong, determined, and never gives up. Vasya believes in herself and she would do anything to protect who she loves, and I mean anything – be it for Russia or for her family, she does everything in her power. I loved her development and how much we got to know her and how much she got to know herself. Plus… The romance? MY FAV OF ALL TIME. Romance has been a bit of a miss to me lately, but this one is just perfect and beautiful and I can’t get over it. It’s so unique and special!
I loved to see Vasya’s family’s path too. They have been incredibly different from the start and it was beautiful to see how they end up intertwining. It was just beautiful to see Sasha’s, Olga’s and Vasya’s life since childhood to adulthood. But in this book, I especially love to read about Marya, and her relationship with Vasya.
As for fairytales, this is a dark, beautiful and incredible one. It’s a hell of a ride and it’s beautifully written! This book is the most beautiful blend of magic and reality and it’s an absolute favorite that I would recommend (and push) EVERYONE to read. READ IT!
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!