Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic.
Then a vengeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits. Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders.
But she may not be able to save them all.
The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden
Publisher: Del Rey, Ebury Publishing
Publication Date: January 10th, 2019
I have plucked snowdrops at Midwinter, died at my own choosing, and wept for a nightingale. Now I am beyond prophecy.
I’ve been pondering over how to review The Winter of the Witch for the longest time, and I simply couldn’t find the right words, or the right way to start. In the end, I decided to go about writing my review in a different way for this book, because it’s … special.
Instead of pointing out the many, many aspects of it that absolutely amazed me (and there were many), and the ones that didn’t quite manage to—The Winter of the Witch, for some unknown, quite baffling reason, didn’t entirely touch my heart, in the end—I’m going to list three reasons why you should absolutely read this book.
Because despite ending up being a spectator of its beauty from a small distance, rather than reveling in it, I still believe with my entire heart that this is an incredible book that’s part of a book series no one should miss out on.
The beautiful writing
You all know how much I love beautifully written books (I dedicated an entire blog post to books with gorgeous prose after all, so it stands to reason that it’s pretty high on my list of aspects to gush about), and Katherine Arden’s writing is truly arresting in its beauty. I’m usually a fast reader, but I read this book much more slowly than others, simply because I wanted to take my time to appreciate it, and soak in every single word.
The Winter of the Witch is a Russian inspired fantasy that, for the most part, is set during the wintertime, and I truly felt like I could taste the snow on my lips, feel the tree branches crunch beneath the soles of my shoes, and hear the sound of hooves on the ground, as I accompanied the main character Vasya on her journey.
All the surroundings were described with so much care, without going overboard, or distracting from the story itself, and it was truly wondrous to see Moscow come to life before my eyes.
The feminist aspect
The Winternight Trilogy has been delightfully feminist from the very beginning, which I absolutely adore. We can never have too many books featuring fierce, determined, and unapologetic female characters, and The Winter of the Witch only deepened my appreciation for them.
My fate and my life lie beyond your judgement.
All in all, The Winter of the Witch was a delight to read, and I can only whole-heartedly recommend everyone to pick up this stunning conclusion to a magical series—it tells a story that will doubtlessly stay with you for many, many years to come.
Thank you so much to Del Rey for sending me an ARC of this book! It in no way influenced my opinion, or rating.
You’re interested in this book?
Have you read the first two books in this series?
What are your favorite books that have the best, most immersive setting?
Any January releases you’re looking forward to?