Review: The Winter Of The Witch

Posted January 10, 2019

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Winter Of The Witch The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
Series: Winternight Trilogy
Published by Ebury on 10th January 2019
Genres: Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

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...

It’s fitting that my first review of 2019 is The Winter Of The Witch, as the Winternight Trilogy has kept me company every winter for the past few years. We now have the final book in the trilogy, and it’s a beauty. I didn’t want it to end!

It’s hard to write a post about the final book without spoilers. So, if you’ve yet to read them let me tell you that I loved them. You should absolutely begin 2019 in this stunning Russian tale. Click the titles for my reviews of the first two – The Bear and the Nightingale & The Girl In The Tower

A Wee Summary

In the aftermath of the Moscow blaze, the city is unsettled and looking for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself the focus of the mobs and must flee for her life.

Her flight takes her to places she couldn’t imagine, discovering more about her magic and the spirits that surround her.

When she hears that a demon has entered Moscow sowing fear and creating chaos, Vasya knows she must find help and return to try to save the city and its residents.

My Thoughts

I did not want this book to end. I read it slowly, savouring every word. Arden has, once again, created a beautiful tale.

Where I felt that the first two books have slightly different feels to them, this third book felt different again. I struggled to write my ‘wee summary’ as I realised just how much is packed into this novel: worlds within worlds, spirits, magical creatures, a chaos-loving demon, a power-hungry Priest, a Winter-King, a rebel army, death, love, folklore, and a twist on Russian history.

Throughout this series I’ve loved the way Arden has entwined Russian history and folklore into her tale. The Winter of the Witch is no different, with more magic and other worldliness than we’ve seen yet.

Arden’s distinctive, beautiful writing style continues to be a favourite of mine. She truly paints a picture in the mind, creating such an atmospheric, memorable tale.

As for Vasya, we’ve come a long way with Vasya and her family. I’ve loved the progression in her character. In fact, I kind of want to do a reread from the start now that I know where her journey will take her.

For me, this is the perfect end to an enthralling trilogy. Maybe I’m just living in hope, but I do wonder if there’s scope for more stories in this world in the future? I’ll have my fingers crossed.