Wednesday, January 9, 2019

ARC Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

36621586Title: The Winter of the Witch
Series: Winternight Trilogy #3
Author: Katherine Arden
Source/Format: NetGalley; eARC
More Details: Historical fiction; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Del Rey; January 8, 2019

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

In the stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya returns to save Russia and the spirit realm, battling enemies both mortal and magic...
The Winter of the Witch was one of my most highly anticipated releases of January 2019, and it was everything I was hoping it would be and more. Told in the same descriptive and highly atmospheric prose as its predecessors—The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower—The Winter of the Witch was a satisfying and epic conclusion to not only the trilogy but Vasya’s story as well. Plainly speaking, this book was excellent. 
Picking up right after the end of The Girl in the Tower, Vasya quickly found herself in new and dangerous situations that stemmed from the consequences of previous actions—many of which had no easy solutions. As such, the beginning got the story off to a fast-paced start and I was easily drawn back into the world of the Winternight trilogy. And from the opening chapter, the story quickly devolved into more as the plans of foes—both new and old—came to fruition. Choices had to be made. Lessons had to be learned. It was no easy road for any character—not Vasya, or anyone else—and the end result was a relatively fast-paced story with action and magic as wondrous as it was a little dark and mysterious.

Speaking of—magic, dark, and mysterious—it also accurately describes the setting. There were some familiar places toward the beginning of the story—like Moscow and the woods surrounding it—but as the story progressed, Vasya's character arch took her to parts of the spirit realm. I thought those scenes were pretty cool. And with Arden’s prose, those places were described in gorgeous detail, fitting in almost seamlessly with the more ordinary settings. 
And, of course, I can’t forget the characters. One of the best aspects of the Winternight Trilogy has always been the characters—mortal or otherwise. And characters all across the board went through a hefty dose of development in The Winter of the Witch, and no one was exactly the same by the end. Vasya’s story in particular was my favorite. Gone is the girl from the beginning of The Bear and the Nightingale, and in her place is a character that came into her own. And after everything she’s been through, I loved the way her story ended.

While I’m sad the trilogy is over—and I wish there was more—I can’t help but be satisfied with the conclusion. And if you’re a fan of this series, then The Winter of the Witch is a must read….

About the author...
Born in Texas, Katherine attended Middlebury College, where she studied French and Russian literature. She has lived abroad in France and in Moscow, and is fluent in both French and Russian. She has also lived in Hawaii, where she spent time guiding horse trips while writing The Bear and the Nightingale. She currently lives in Vermont...
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Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (Del Rey) via NetGalley for this review, thank you!

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