Book Review

ARC Review: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Fantasy, no language, violence, some romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Katherine Arden
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Expected Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

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 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 the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all. 

*Note: I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Del Rey Books, for the opportunity to read The Winter of the Witch. Publication date, length, etc. subject to change.




I was beyond ecstatic to receive an e-ARC of this book because I didn’t know if I could wait til it came out! It was the perfect winter read and had everything a brilliant fantasy should have.

First of all, the action starts immediately. I was whisked away to Moscow in such a rush that it was hard to put the book down. They’re an immense amount of raw emotions that Vasya feels that will break your soul in two. And what’s even better it wasn’t a one and done kind of setting. It takes time to come to terms with her story and Vasya felt so real because you could understand her on a personal level.

Y’all, watching a death-God and a Winter Witch deal with feelings was a big highlight of this book for me. IT WAS SO PRECIOUS. Morozko and Vasya’s relationship continues to grow, but they still remain their own people. I love the stubborness to be with each other, and to taking care of their own stories. Their relationship is passionate and sincere and I am here for “evil” characters trying to swim through emotions.

The antagonists of this trilogy get a lot more spotlight. I actually came around to appreciating the Bear (and his totally witty one-liners) and understanding the plot in a whole new light. The other ambiguous characters were entertaining. It was a lively bunch that kept me on my toes because they themselves were constantly choosing new directions.

This was a completely satisfying ending (minus a few tragedies, ya know, Russia in war and all). The combination of watching characters turn their flaws into strengths, the teeth-clenching action and the swoon-worthy cheyrti [devils] make for a trilogy that deserves a lot more attention.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy/Historical fiction
  • Romance: a light love scene, some kissing
  • Violence: magic, knives, war, suicide
  • No language
  • Trigger Warnings: suicide
Book Review

Review: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

Girl in the Tower

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult historical fiction fantasy, a little language, some violence, some kisses and lewd commentary
Length: 363 pages
Author: Katherine Arden
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


I read the first book in this series over a year ago and remembered enjoying it, but thinking, WHOA that was a lot of story. The Girl in the Tower exceeded my expectations for a middle novel. I was able to be even more immersed in the story because I understood the characters and plot much better after The Bear and the Nightingale.

Vasya is a strong heroine. Not letting her life be put into a box of marriage or a convent, she rides out for her own adventure. And what wanderlust she found! The prose and descriptions of vast Russia are beautiful. Arden interweaves world building and commentary so well you get swept away.

One of the few things I didn’t love was how much everything was Vasya’s fault. This death, that destruction, etc. She could’ve used a break, bless her heart. Vasilii the Brave is a heroine and deserved more praise under her guise.

The love tale woven throughout makes me giddy too. I look forward to more of Morozko and Vasya in the next book. This book isn’t heavy on the love either, and for a reader, I think that can sway them on way or another. I really appreciated the way it was set up. It stands apart from some novels too focused on the love. Vasya has so much loyalty and love for her family. It’s what makes the love with Morozko all the more sincere and tender.

Multiple POV helps you gain an understanding from many different characters. Vasya, Olya, and Sasha are a few on the group who get a momentary narrative. I always love when an author can handle so many characters at once because it enhances the story from all sides.

Can I almost mention MY LOVE FOR SOLOVEY? I want a magical horse that speaks to me. His fierce protection over Vasya gives me all the heart eyes.

I love the historical fiction aspect. Arden has degrees in Russian and tells the history and uses the aspects of names, times, and places to create a magic filled fantasy.

Overall audience notes:

  • A young adult fantasy book that could easily be enjoyed be an older audience
  • Sparse language, did not detract from the story
  • No love scenes, some kissing scenes (all safe for work)
  • Some lewd commentary about rape, and wanting to sleep with others
  • Some violence with minor gore