The Winter of the Witch PDF/EPUB ´ Winter of the

The Winter of the Witch [PDF / EPUB] The Winter of the Witch Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy battling enemies mortal of the ePUB ☆ Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias the seen and the unseen Now Moscow has been struck by disaster Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame Vasya finds herself alone beset on all sides The Grand Prince The Winter ePUB Ñ is in a rage choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin A wicked demon returns stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders Her destiny uncertain Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia Morozko and Winter of the Epub Þ the magical world she treasures But she may not be able to save them allAdvance praise for The Winter of the Witch “Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy isn’t just good—it’s hug to your chest straight to the favorites shelf reread immediately good and each book just gets better The Winter of the Witch plunges us back to fourteenth century Moscow where old gods and new vie for the soul of Russia and fate rests on a witch girl’s slender shoulders Prepare to have your heart ripped out loaned back to you full of snow and magic and ripped out some ”—Laini Taylor.

10 thoughts on “The Winter of the Witch

  1. says:

    There are seven wonders in the world and this book is all of them The experience of reading The Winter of the Witch is something akin to being surrounded by magic Yet those are still such pale passive words for what this story was After the wonder and elation of reading this book and flying in so real seeming a dream I now feel such an obscure sense of loss like something essential is inexplicably gone A sudden absence creating a space for the too bright too sharp world to rush into I reckon this will not be the last time I read this series—I shall return to it again and again drawn to it by a wistful melancholy longing for a life I never had a nostalgia for a time I didn't experience and a desire to once again hold the characters’ handsThe Winter of the Witch has leapt forward to claim the title of Best Book I've Read Yet This Year And if there’s any series at all that you would pick up upon my recommendation let it be this one So what's this book about? Mosco is afire and the blaze carried with it all the certainty of deathVasya had thought that she knew every horror and was beyond surprise But whatever spark had burned in her was no match for the terror she knew when her own people pursued vengeance upon her and tried to burn her at the stakes— their hatred lit lurid by the fire of Father Konstantin’s venom laced wordsWith darkness nipping at her heels and the trees whispering on every side Vasya escapes by the thinnest of margins into the realm of Midnight where she could stay there where nothing outside could touch her But the dead are pouring into the streets of Mosco held in the thrall of Medved Morozko’s evil twin brother and the Tartars are threatening to bring Rus’ to its knees At the core of Vasya rage and determination pulse up like the shock wave of a blast ripping through her fear Her loved ones need her Mosco needs her Rus’ needs herThe shot silk shimmer of hope blazes all at once And Vasya’s will can and will blow the strongest door asunder “I am a witch” said Vasya Blood was running down her hand now spoiling her grip “I have plucked snowdrops at Midwinter died at my own choosing and wept for a nightingale Now I am beyond prophecy” I love this book so dearly My experience of reading it was of wanting to discuss every paragraph I consumed I felt like a glass filled with splendor and awe Every page was a treat and my mind was afire with marvel the lit match setting off fuse after fuse They are so many things I want to say about this book they fall like confetti around my head and I struggle at deciding which ones to catch and which to let fall because all I want to do is celebrate the whole it makes without dimming the experience of coming to it freshThe Winter of the Witch is everything you want out of a Winternight novel It’s a vivacious expansion that builds seamlessly and effortlessly on its predecessor In language that strikes and caresses Katherine Arden has written an absolute jewel of a novel where both concept and execution are so good that I resented having to spend time away from reading it Harden’s characters are vibrantly drawn figures who scarcely need a villain to bring their strengths and weaknesses to light since they do a perfect job of that themselves Sasha Olga and little Marya cut straight to my heart and I wished I could just send them an emotional boogie board to help them keep afloat Medved’s and Konstantin’s characters are so riveting as well I loved how Arden examines interrogates and endlessly probes at the tropes used to distinguish heroes villains and the horrors they wrought She puts her characters at a crossroads where they stand facing each other They’re foes but they hold each other’s answers And you get such a tangible sense of the colliding emotion on both opposite sides and with every page your understanding sharpens deepens coming slowly and then all at once “There are no monsters in the world and no saints Only infinite shades woven into the same tapestry light and dark One man’s monster is another man’s beloved The wise know that” Another aspect of this series that I immensely admired is how Arden handles with great deftness the theme of religion by demonstrating how it can be a source for comfort and ease for some and scathingly denouncing how others can be driven by their unuenchable lust for power to wield it to plant the seed of fear and hatred in people’s hearts and sink their clawed hands into their mindsNow let’s talk about the absolute darling of my heart VasyaVasya’s character development is so masterly executed that the years that stretch between the first book and the last feel so far past they feel like stories someone else had told me—half remembered blurred and unreal I felt the sting of nostalgia for the savage exuberance of the child Vasya had been the little girl who had always attacked the world who wanted to see it but did not count the cost before she learned the power of fear before life had sapped her innocence and brought on a weary anger before she discovered that the world was a perilous place for women like herThere’s a tender spot in my heart that is abound with so much love and respect for Vasya This young woman who had chased the marvelous doom that is freedom to the world’s end whose heart looked upon life and death and things in between without faltering who pushed through the cold sinking tangle of anger and dismay that her people have shown her and bore their burden in addition to her own Gosh I love her than I can articulate I’m still shaken by her temerity by the way she was driven not by hopelessness but just pure unfettered stubbornness not even so much a will to live as a refusal to die There is so much ground Vasya had never felt under her hands and feet there is the entire world with all its wonders still unseen and the thought of her not letting the world hold a place hidden from her will keep my heart warmed for many years to come “What happened? Love betrayal and time” said Vasya “What happens to anyone who grows to understand you Medved? Living happens” But what makes the book truly sing—other than the mastery of plot and story structure the characters and the luxurious prose that intricately entwines scenes from the natural world and the mythic one—is how it tramples on several minor and major tropes like a boss The Winter of the Witch is a tremendous triumph on several fronts but it’s the way the author insists on Vasya’s agency while also allowing her space to experience and navigate first love and intimacy is what latched onto my heart the mostMorozko and Medved have painted in Vasya’s mind a picture that wraps her in a life she had never tasted or imaginedif only she’d give up everything else Medved wanted to use her powers like a lighthouse lens amplifying the intensity of his own gifts Morozko wanted to protect her from the world even the part of it that he represents but Vasyas’s world is falling apart while his is continuing on a normal keel and they both know that this is the line past which his power can’t help her “If I am mad I will not be yours And dead I will not be his” she spoke that truth to the Bear and built her life around itVasya can survive without the constant lifeboat of Morozko's existence supporting her So she tucked a little piece of his mind into a corner of hers let go of the echo of a love she could not hold on toand went on to do extraordinary fucking thingsI genuinely love Vasya and Morozko’s relationship so much My wizened hardened heart fractured at the knowledge that they were each other’s person each other’s place and how cold and sharp the irony was because they couldn’t even be in the same place together I waited two books and a half for their stolen moments in shadowed places where they could be alone where they were free to kiss and touch and drown and live and burn I’m not even being hyperbolic when I say that Chapter 17 had me aahh ing and ooh ing and sending texts in all caps and screaming in audios to my friend This folks is how you goddamn write romance “Love is for those who know the griefs of time for it goes hand in hand with loss An eternity so burdened would be a torment And yet—” He broke off drew breath “Yet what else to call it this terror and this joy?” Through three books and years upon years of magic and family and growth this story has burrowed into my heart and wormed into my consciousness refusing to surrender its place Now all I can think about is how lucky we are to have this series in the world

  2. says:

    “Beware the forest” she added following Vasya to the door “It does not take kindly to strangers” It's over 😔 But it was most definitely a beautiful and fitting endingI've owned this book since it released on January 8 but I've been reluctant to start it Partly because it was the final book and partly because I was worried it wouldn't be as good as I'd been hoping it would be But Arden didn't let me down This finale was every bit as gorgeous and magical as the first two booksMy reviews for this series are starting to feel repetitive at this point but I absolutely have to talk about the atmosphere For me it's what makes this trilogy so wonderful The Winter of the Witch follows its predecessors by being a book of uiet whispers and cold breezes It's that timeless fairy tale uality that I love so much But don't get me wrong there's plenty of action too In fact this book starts pretty much in the thick of it with Vasya being chased down by the followers of the nefarious priest Konstantin With Medved causing havoc left and right and Vasya venturing into beautifully imagined supernatural realms this could be the most action packed book of the series One of the things I like most about these books and this one in particular is how much Vasya grows as a character I think it is one of the most interesting and convincing character arcs I've ever read about She ages and gains hard earned wisdom so naturally over the course of the three novels and I feel strangely like I've grown up with her after following her story for the last few yearsAs always the fantastical is weaved in with the historical Much is based on real historical events such as the rapidly approaching Battle of Kulikovo but of course a lot has been embellished too I'm at least fairly certain that the frost demon Morozko wasn't falling into a complicated romance with a woman called Vasya in 14th century Russia 's the pityAlso apparently frost demons are sexy Who knew? Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  3. says:

    ARC given to me by my amazingly kind friend who I don't deserve but who has made my entire year Lilly at Lair of Books1 The Bear and the Nightingale ★★★★★2 The Girl in the Tower ★★★★★ “I have plucked snowdrops at Midwinter died at my own choosing and wept for a nightingale Now I am beyond prophecy” This is a hard review for me to write because I think my heart doesn’t want to admit that this series is finally over But it is and this concluding book was everything I wanted I cried I felt gutted I got my heart broken but somehow Katherine Arden healed the pieces back together Where do I even begin to tell you what this story is about without spoiling anything with a review about the final book This is a book about the bonds of family blood and found and doing whatever it takes to protect the ones you love This is a book about religion and the beautiful and terrible things people are willing to do in the name of it This is a book about all the different pieces that make a person and how it is okay to love them all even if others won’t But this is ultimately a book about a girl becoming the hero of her own story every single time no matter who or what tries to block her path “There are no monsters in the world and no saints Only infinite shades woven into the same tapestry light and dark” But I suppose The Bear and the Nightingale is a Russian inspired fantasy that stars a family living on the edge of the unforgiving Russian wilderness And our main character grew up on fairy tales but always hungered for And she soon realizes that maybe there was some truth in those tales and she encounters a frost demon named Morozko who makes magic a reality before her very eyes This story picks up right after the events of The Girl in the Tower in Moscow and Konstantin Nikonvich’s vengeance knows no bounds And a bear demon named Medved is happy to aid with the chaos in any way they possibly can We also get to see Marya Olga Sasha and Dmitrii on very different journeys through this pain and heartbreak But we also get to see Vasya learn new things about herself and her ancestors while even venturing into a new land unlike any other And I truly think this concluding novel was damn close to perfection “You denied both the winter king and his brother didn’t you? You made yourself a third power in their war” Following Vasya seeing her go to battle for Russia go to battle for her family go to battle for herself has been a journey like none other that I’ve ever experienced while reading Katherine Arden pulls from a lot of historical events and themes but I’m convinced that this eual parts harrowing and heartening fairytale that she crafted is the real timeline that happened I’ll be completely honest this is a hard review to write and not because it’s the last book in a series but because I am in awe of what a damn masterpiece this entire story is It doesn't even feel real that I have this story in my hands that I get to read it I get to love it I get to experience this beautiful tale that feels so whimsical but so real The actual blessings “Magic is forgetting the world was ever other than as you willed it” Overall this is just one of my favorite trilogies of all time and I think it always will be This story just truly has every element that I’m in love with in literature; lyrical writing winter setting fae folks of all varieties strong sibling bonds heart wrenching romance and girls becoming the hero of their story Katherine Arden and this trilogy is a gift from a higher power and I can’t wait to see what she does next Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The uotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publicationContent and trigger warnings for talk of death during childbirth graphic animal death graphic torture graphic violence sexual assault unwanted touching threat of rape death murder blood depictions slavery captivity and war themesBuddy read with Sissi Lily Hanaa Lilly ❤

  4. says:

    She bent forward to breathe into his ear Never give me ordersCommand me then he whispered back The words went through her like wine Moscow is beset with danger and Vasya has only made it worse Her betrayal of the crown prince is still rocking the country and there are many waiting in the wings to take advantage And yet in many ways her life has become so much than what it was “I am a witch” said Vasya Blood was running down her hand now spoiling her grip “I have plucked snowdrops at Midwinter died at my own choosing and wept for a nightingale Now I am beyond prophecy” The Grand Prince through his rage has been manipulated onto a path that surely would bring the end to an eraA demon who delights in chaos has set his sights on Vasya's beloved Moscow Magic makes men mad They forget what is real because too much is possible A priest whose beautiful exterior hides a rotten core has almost completed his vendetta against VasyaAnd Vasya the obstinate headstrong girl must balance the two worlds The Modern Era and the Old World are crashing into each other and it appears as if only one will surviveWill Vasya save her human family or the wondrous and terrifying Russian spirits? Will she even be able to save herself? A truly satisfying end to a splendid series I am just in love with the beauty of this series So many times I would reread passages to experience the joy excitement and wonderI especially loved Vasya's development throughout the series Maybe it's just me but I've gotten used to the YA heroine development aka we start off meek and mildthen 25 chapters later the main character becomes a complete badassI loved how Vasya has always had that underlying spunk but that has changed from a little spark to an inferno to a comfortable fireplace The way her character changed throughout the books was so well done I cannot remember when the changes happened only that the girl we started the series with is certainly not the same one we have at the endAlso as a side note I am really feeling the magic in the series It has an ethereal uality to it that I really can't put my finger on Magic is forgetting the world was ever other than as you willed it I like how the magic system was never completely laid out it's mysterious and unpredictable and it worked perfectly in Arden's world I loved all of the little spirits especially the ornery little mushroom spirit Vasya befriends The mushroom spirit was suddenly fierce He is not to kick over any of my mushroomsThat depends said the Bear pointedly If my brave mistress does not give me something better to do than run to and fro in the dark I will happily kick over all your mushrooms” And the plot It's hard to explain the feeling I get when I read one of these books but the best way I could describe it isthis is a not a story but a journeyYouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat mirandareads Happy Reading

  5. says:

    I learned an important life lesson from this trilogy If a fanatic priest ever comes to your home causing trouble and a cannibalistic lake spirit helpfully offers to eat him JUST LET HER DO ITI still remember reading The Bear and the Nightingale and reaching the part where the rusalka nicely offers to eat Konstantin and Vasya stops her I was screaming at Vasya to just step aside and let her do it And then as Konstantin’s future actions lead to so much suffering and so many lives lost I kept thinking how it would have been the right decision Then comes The Girl in the Tower he causes even trouble and I grow even madder than he didn’t find his final resting place in a rusalka’s stomach years ago And then comes this book and my hatred for him manages to grow even But this is only of testament of the strong writing and characters The book is pure magic whimsical and atmospheric and it perfectly captures the spirit of the original fairy talesThis is going to be a very weird review While this is one of the best books I have read in the past couple of years I think I’ll spend half the review criticizing things I didn’t like and then I’ll spend the other half talking about mushrooms but I’ll get to that laterBut perhaps that’s not too weird Usually the I like a book the I complain about things that could have been better Seriously I challenge you to look through my 5 star reviews and find one where I don’t complain about anything In fact you are likely to find 3 star reviews where I have nothing bad to sayI’ll try to keep spoilers vague but you’ll understand better what I mean if you’ve read the bookCOMPLAINING TIME Things I didn’t like 1 The way Vasya returns Morozko’s memoriesIt felt clichéd What is this an upgraded version of a First Love’s Kiss from Once Upon a Time? I thought it would have been fitting to use a mystical method perhaps using the nightingale talisman And then Olga takes one look at Vasya and figures out what happened explaining “credit me with some perception I’ve seen enough girls wed” Hmm and what is “a girl wed” supposed to look like? Have a big glowing letter on her forehead? And Olga’s next uestion is if Vasya was willing So she somehow figures out what happened but not if Vasya is happy or unhappy about it It makes no sense to me2 Dehumanization of the TatarsYes they were invaders and did terrible things But considering how badly Tatars are treated in Russia nowadays I have friends who have been horribly harassed by authorities police and random people it’s not pleasant I feel it’s the wrong time to have a very high profile book where the Tatars are less human than the literal demons We see only two named characters and none of them has any personality And all the others are a faceless horde When Vasya is presented to a tent of Tatars the single Russian person is the only one who shows her compassion I’m not saying make the Tatars good guys By all means make them bad But make them complex bad with personality and motivations and uirks Make them humanEven the Bear who conspires to destroy all humans and causes fear sickness and chaos is given a lot character development His motivations are clear he is given charm and humor and he even gets some redeeming ualities in his twisted love for Konstantin And Midnight who causes a lot of pain is a sympathetic character Only the Tatars remain completely faceless and interchangeable and it makes an otherwise great book suffer for it3 Timelines and agesThat’s pretty minor but it’s been bugging me Everyone who hears about Vasya’s great grandmother is first shocked and then immediately says there’s no way she could still be alive and she must surely be dead But why? Vasya is 17 One of my great grandmothers lived until I was 21 and at Vasya’s time women were having children younger so it was not uncommon to have great grandparents or even great great grandparents around Sure Vasya is not the first child in the family and her mother was a bit older when she had her and I’m not saying it’s likely but I’m saying it’s not as absolutely impossible as everyone in the book claimsAnd before anyone says “But it’s the Middle Ages average life expectance was 30”—that’s not how it works As I also mentioned in my review of The Bear and the Nightingale where the description of characters’ ages was bugging me for a different reason average expectancy of 30 doesn’t mean people dropped dead at 30 It means an extremely high child mortality But if you survived childhood and you avoided catching a serious infectious disease you had decent chances to live well into old ageAnd speaking of timelines summer turns to winter in a couple of weeks While Vasya mentions it’s early for snow we never see a proper explanation4 Everyone constantly mentioning how ugly Vasya isCome on No one is universally beautiful or ugly people have preferences and I find it hard to believe that everyone who meets Vasya will first find her ugly second say it out loud and third somehow get attracted to her anyway5 The Chernomor connectionIt felt unnecessary Baba Yaga is already very powerful Vasya doesn’t need extra explanation for the magic in her blood While the Tsar Saltan fairytales were among my favorite as a kid this reference felt artificial without much connection to the restENOUGH COMPLAINING LET’S TALK ABOUT MUSHROOMS Did I mention this is going to be a strange review?If you’ve read my review of The Miniaturist you know I have a slight problem when it comes to food in books Namely if a food is mentioned often or described in detail I start craving it and need to drop everything else and go find it and eat it asap It’s annoying really but I can’t help it With The Miniaturist it was marzipan with Game of Thrones it was lemon cakes And here as Ded Grib became uite a prominent character it had to be mushrooms or in particular what Vasya calls lisichkiAnd that’s the strange thing about how my brain works when it comes to food in fiction—at first I couldn’t figure out which mushroom type that was but I kept thinking “Oooh these sound delicious I need to have them Now” Then I checked it out and found out it’s the mushroom that back home we call “duck’s foot” apparently it’s chanterelle in English good to learn something new Imagine my surprise to find out it’s actually my favorite type of mushroom—it looks so cool and tastes like heavenI had to have it The thing it I’ve been living in Germany for some time and I couldn’t remember ever seeing this type of mushrooms here and I had no idea where to look for them But then I went to the supermarket for some other reason and there they were my precious babies just one single tiny packet of them in the whole supermarket And they were imported from Bulgaria so of course I had to buy them immediatelyAnnoyingly they were extremely overprized—if I paid one tenth of that prize back home it would be considered crazy expensive Honestly if my mom hears I’ve spent 350 EUR on 150 grams of mushrooms she’ll disown me and I’m not exaggerating It’s pretty infuriating knowing the people who picked them get paid next to nothing and then a German supermarket chain gets to label them as some fancy product and make tons of profit They even have the audacity to mention “handpicked” on the label like it makes it high class Of course it’s handpicked it’s wild mushrooms And the human labor is cheaper than any mushroom harvesting machine that would have workedIf it wasn’t for this book I would have probably skipped but as I said I can’t fight this weird fiction food cravings So I ended up cooking them with butter white wine uark and chivesI’d like to think that’s exactly how Vasya would have cooked them if she had the chance Chives is believed to come from Siberia and uark is super popular throughout Russia so there you goENOUGH MUSHROOMS LET’S GET BACK TO THE PROPER REVIEWThe book picks up right after The Girl in the Tower ends and we jump straight into the action The plot is extremely engaging from the first page probably because we already know and love the characters Magic is everywhere from the strange creatures to the distant realms that one reaches through midnight roadsWhile I guessed the nature of Morozko’s prison I loved that part of the story when Vasya arrives at the old town where people can still see spirits It felt straight out of a fairytale and I would have loved to spend time there Though I wasn’t a fan of how the bath scene was handled the rest of that setting was one of my favorite parts in the book Now I want to go back and reread the old fairytalesI was happy to see that the actually holy priests are effective when fighting the demons Because of Konstantin I was afraid all priests would turn out to be cartoonishly incompetent which would have made Sasha look naïveAfter the Bear was defeated and the Tatars became the new threat I was afraid the conflict would become mundane leaving behind the fairytale feel I needn’t have worried The magic keeps growing and everything ties together perfectly I love the idea of humans and spirits allying together to defend their land and how Vasya’s choices played a central role Her decisions were never strictly good and often seemed reckless but at the end shaped the course of history for better or for worse Beautiful trilogy I am sad it ended but it was a good end

  6. says:

    You know that feeling when you find a book that speaks to some deep part of your soul and you just want to shout THIS is why I readThis wintery trilogy has become exactly that for me reminding me of all the reasons why I love literature It’s not a secret that I loved the first two books in this magical trilogy with the burning fire of a thousand suns So you can imagine how much I needed this book in my hands and also how stressful a thing it is to embark into the last book of a series that has settled so deeply into ones bones But my friends it was utter perfection from the first page until the last and I may go so far as to say it could be the strongest book of the threeThe story picks up seamlessly where The Girl in the Tower ended and right out of the gate we are put through some very harrowing scenes Goodness they put me through a lot of anxiety The stakes are so much higher this time around and from those first moments onward I could not look away the story barrels onward at a relentless pace And now we finally see the full scope that Arden intended The culmination of everything she was building towards in the perfectly paced slow burn of The Bear and the Nightingale and the riotous action of The Girl in the Tower It feels seamless how it has all come together and I’m just so giddy with delightOur girl Vasya is no longer a just a plucky naive child From the ashes of the Moscow fire she has risen into a woman with incredible new strength in ways than one But of course she remains wonderfully flawed her character has even dimension than ever Arden has shown how much she really knows her characters because they have truly carried this story and made it heart wrenching in all the best ways She can make you feel for even the most minor supporting characters with just a few lines I think Studio Ghibli fans will appreciate the whimsical details in this one We’ve been blessed with magical midnight roads loveable mushroom spirits hello new favourite sidekick character It really is a fairytale written for grownups And yet this tale will bring out the childlike wonder in even the most grown up of grownups It’s delightfully subversive too it upends the age old tropes of princes winning maidens of monsters being slain So many mischievous plot twists I did NOT expectI was also not prepared at all for these f e e l i n g s I am still filled to the brim with them This book broke me then slowly pieced me back together until I wept with triumphant glee at the very end And there is a certain PART that made me all asdkjfkslsjfks You’ll know it when you get there AheeeemI gave this book a big loving emotionally exhausted hug when it was over The ending was perfect and that is a rare thing so it probably shouldn’t be tampered with BUT I love these characters so damn much my heart is crying for of their adventuresAnd that’s it I can now wholeheartedly say this this is my favourite trilogy of all time If I could persuade you to read one thing let this be it You may just love it as much as I doARC gifted by the author

  7. says:

    This is possibly a perfect book for me A perfect finale certainly I wrote down so many uotes and I rarely care for uotes This was the perfect culmination of so many threads and how finales should be done Loss learning triumph joy tragedy all in one book Such a fulfilling conclusion One of my favorite books of the year I will of course be gushing about it in a review on my channel

  8. says:

    it has been said that those who do not believe in magic will never find it and this book is physical proof that magic does exist every page every word every letter made its way into my heart which began to beat in a steady and strong rhythm of “i believe i believe i believe” this story this trilogy has woven itself into the very fabric of soul and will forever be a part of me a truly captivating tale that has made me fall in love with reading all over again and as i have come to the conclusion of this wonderful story i have realised what a joy and privilege it is to have such magic in my life ↠ 5 stars

  9. says:

    ALL THE STARS AND MORE Russian firebirdReview first posted on Fantasy LiteratureMedieval Russia comes to life in Katherine Arden’s WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY which began in Lesnaya Zemlya a small village in northern Rus’ in The Bear and the Nightingale and continued in The Girl in the Tower Vasilisa Vasya is a young woman with the rare ability to see and speak with the natural spirits or chyerti of the hearth stables and lands and waters of Rus’ Vasya has gained the attention and respect of the winter king Morozko god of death who has helped her along the way as she fought and bound the demonic Bear traveled from Lesnaya Zemlya to Moscow and undertook a dangerous masuerade as a boy while fighting to protect Moscow and her family from both an evil sorcerer and the Mongol invaders The Winter of the Witch begins in the aftermath of a huge fire that burned much of Moscow The distraught people of Moscow are whipped into a rage by Vasya’s nemesis the priest Konstantin who blames Vasya for the fire with some justice Vasya is captured by a mob and nearly burned to death as a witch Though she escapes a tragic loss leaves her reeling and now a terrible price has been paid on her behalf The Bear is on the loose again pulling Konstantin into his plans for war and chaos and Morozko has disappeared into some hidden prison The vast Tatar armies the Golden Horde are still on the move against Moscow and Vasya has perilous journeys to make through magical midnight lands as she tries to save her country and the humans and spirits that she loves Vasya has gained in personal strength and magical power from her beginnings in the village of Lesnaya Zemlya but she still makes some serious mistakes along the wayIn the WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY Arden has proved herself particularly adept at weaving together folklore and actual history The Winter of the Witch focuses on the events leading up to the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 but puts a fantastical spin on it As the country lurches toward war Vasya is guided into the midnight realm of Polunochnitsa or Lady Midnight where she meets not only one of her ancestors ― a famous Russian folklore character in her own right ― but the mythical firebird Pozhar whose other form is a golden mare and a delightfully opinionated mushroom spirit that Vasya called Ded Grib Grandfather Mushroom Pozhar and Ded Grib represent the high and the lowly among the chyerti whom Vasya is trying to protect along with the humans who inhabit Russia Even Medved the fearsome Bear who played such a terrifying role in The Bear and the Nightingale becomes understandable and sympathetic or at least much entertaining as a character It’s a nice reminder that even villains have some positive characteristicsHe spoke of Russia Not of Muscovy or Tver or Vladimir the principalities of the sons of Kiev but of Russia itself of its skies and its soil its people and its prideShe listened in rapt silence eyes vast and filled like cups with shadow “That is what we are fighting for” said Sasha “Not for Moscow or even Dmitrii; not for the sake of any of her suabbling princes But for the land that bore us man and devil alike”The tensions between Christianity and the old pagan ways humans vs chyerti are ultimately resolved in a way that I hadn’t expected but that I found profoundly moving and Arden’s writing style is entrancing The Winter of the Witch is not just the coming of age story of a girl with magical powers or a romance though it has both of those elements; it deals with larger themes like love of country individual worth self sacrifice and cooperation with those who are different The WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY was a wonderful series from beginning to end and I give it my highest recommendation I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for review Thank you so muchInitial update Five stars SO so good Amazing wrap up to this fantasy trilogy set in medieval Russia I love how this weaves Russian folklore into actual history and deals with larger themes like love of countryPlus it made me cryIf you haven't read this trilogy yet I highly recommend itInitial post YES I finally got the ARC of this last book in this trilogy which began with The Bear and the Nightingale Now can I keep my hands off it for a couple of weeks while I read a few other books in my urgent TBR pile? We'll see Content notes a fair amount of gritty violence and a non explicit sex scene

  10. says:

    ‘’Yesterday she saved your life slew a wicked magician set fire to Moscow and then saved it all in a single night Do you think she will consent to disappear for the price of a dowry for any price? Do you know my sister?’’ It is seldom that the third book of a trilogy ends up being the finest However this is exactly what happened with The Winter of the Witch The final installment of a saga created with absolute beauty and dark grace by Katherine Arden is one to remember and cherish in a trilogy that defied all genres and labels making its way to be a classic I firmly believe that The Winternight Trilogy will keep company to generations of readers who will fall in love with the wealth of the Russian culture the myths the legends the traditions ‘’But she saw the devils despite the dark There were silhouetted atop roofs and walls domoviye and dvorovije and banniki the faint house spirits of Moscow They were there but what could they do but watch? Chyerti are formed by the currants of human life; they ride them but they do not interfere’’ Three things are the ones that make the trilogy perfect a supreme heroine the exuisite descriptions of the Russian landscape and the theme of the never ending battle between the old world and the new the pagan beliefs and the Christian religion All these elements are done to perfection in the 3rd book As Vasya fights for survival justice and balance she undertakes a long journey to a harsh mystical haunting realm Arden’s writing is extraordinarily beautiful as we are wondering in the land of Midnight or the scorching Moscow summer The scenery changes and changes and along with it Vasya is transformed The glorious city the realms of magic everything is a part of a greater world and everything is a link in a chain that must not break because a dangerous foe is approaching a horde that doesn’t care for the old and the new desiring to establish its own dynastyArden gives us princesses and princes knights and priests Wise women artists animals touched by magic Demons and spirits of nature The entire Russian folklore lives in the pages of the book and it never looked beautiful mystical threatening Marya Morevna the Baba Yaga the Firebird and the chyerti the domovoi and the upyr in a particularly powerful shocking chapter Polunochnitsa and her dark domain the Midday demon the horses of legends the women graced or cursed with the Sight These are the pawns of the fight between the living and what they can’t see the world they can’t believe in The division that feeds their need to destroy what they fear because they are unable to understand ‘’I am a witch’’ said Vasya Blood was running down her hand now spoiling her grip ‘’I have plucked snowdrops at Midwinter died at my own choosing and wept for a nightingale Now I am beyond prophecy’’ She caught his knife on the crosspiece of hers hilt to hilt ‘’I have crossed three times nine realms to find you my lord And I find you at play forgetful’’ I cannot begin to tell you how much I adore the relationship between Vasya and Morozov and here their dynamic is electrifying than ever Is it strange and dark and possibly twisted? Well it may be and this is exactly what makes me love them so much They are my favourite literary couple after Heathcliff and Catherine and yes I know I am weird Vasya continues to remain one of my favourite female protagonists not only because of her bravery and determination but mostly because Arden chose to make her as real as she could given the premise of the story She doesn’t refrain from fear and insecurity and despair or even one or two uestionable decisions and this is how you create a believable relatable main character in a fantasy setting Strange as it may sound though the character I was always anxious to meet in a chapter was Konstantin He is desperate and lost and all sorts of confused and you cannot help but be hypnotized by his presence His chemistry with Vasya is explosiveSo I am sad to leave the Winternight universe A trilogy created through haunting sceneries an exceptional cast of characters impeccable dialogue and endless respect to the immortal heritage of the Russian tradition Katherine Arden thank you for three marvelous journeys ‘’Men fear what they do not understand’’ murmured the Bear ‘’They hurt you They beat you spat on you put you in the fire Men will suck all the wilderness out of the world until there is no place for a witch0girl to hide They will burn you and your kind’’ Many thanks to Penguin Random House UK and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest reviewMy reviews can also be found on

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