Book Review: The Winter of the Witch, Book 3 Winternight Trilogy, Katherine Arden – Blog Tour: October 7, 2019
Fantasy: The Winter of the Witch, Book 3 Winternight Trilogy, Katherine Arden
I try not to read series out of order, but the invitation to participate in a blog tour for a book that was already on my TBR list was too good to resist. I’m glad I didn’t. This is one of the best books I have read this year, and I am definitely going back to get the other two. Katherine Arden builds an amazing world using a Russia of history and myth, weaving actual characters from history into her fairy tale, and the result is magic. The Winter of the Witch is a lush, gorgeous book.
Vasilisa Petrovna is the heroine of the story, a girl who has one foot in the normal world and another foot in the magical realms. As the story opens, she has just saved Moscow from fire–a fire she had inadvertently caused. She is therefore mistrusted by the king and pursued by a vengeful mob, led by a monk who longs to see her dead.
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but I will say that Vasilisa does not fully understand her powers, nor does she realize the allies she has. Still, her life and the lives of her family are in danger. And even if she survives, her country is in a battle with enemies both without and within, monsters walk amongst men with their own agendas, and she is only one girl. What can she do to save her family and her country? Read the book, and you will find out if she can!
The growth of the character through this book is wonderful. Again I want to avoid spoilers, but the girl at the beginning of the book is different from the woman at the end, and the maturation feels natural and necessary. Vasilisa finds strength in herself and in others that changes her. She makes bold decisions, takes on challenging endeavors, and finds that in doing so she has become a new and different version of herself. As wonderful as the plot, the setting, and the language of the story is, the character development may be my favorite part of the book.
I want to thank Anne Cater for the invitation to participate in this blog tour celebrating the release of The Winter of the Witch in paperback. I did not receive any compensation, and checked out the book from the library (which, if you cannot buy it, is a wonderful thing to do yourself!). I was asked to write an honest review, and honestly this is a wonderful book. I liken it to the works I have already reviewed by Naomi Novik; this reminded me a lot of Spinning Silver even though the fantasy worlds are very different. Eastern European winter scenes do have some affinity, though, and if you like one then I believe you will like the other.