Winter of the Witch – Blog Tour

 

 

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Synopsis:
One girl can make a difference…
Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic.
Then a vegeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits. Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders.
But she may not be able to save them all.

Book Information:
Written by: Katherine Arden
Published by: Penguing, Random House
Published on: October 3, 2019
Format: Paperback, eBook, Audio

 

My Review

I don’t know if I just have an affinity for heartbreaking trilogies or what but they seem to be my lot in life.

This now includes the Winternight Trilogy.

Arden weaves you into the folklore and history of Russia with a fantasy twist on it that I think raises up the culture of Russia in a rather brilliant way.

This though is the conclusion of the trilogy so I recommend looking away if you have not read the other two yet.

In this book, we’ve started off in the aftermath of the fire that temporarily plagued Moscow, started and quelled by Vasya. She is caught in a terrifying situation afterwards but it leaves her with no choice but than to travel through Midnight to change the outcomes of Moscow and what its future would mean for those she cares for back in Rus’.

There’s more of the Winter King himself but I am happy to say that as Arden has masterfully done in the other two books, he is not the focus. This is about our ‘witch,’ Vasya and it is about the choices and paths she takes.

Arden has this ability that the moment you read page one you are utterly transported to Vasya’s world. You forget that you’re in the present and it’s like the reader is lost to the world as much as Vasya.

The characters are all complex and brilliant. None are strictly good or evil, and some just exist with no inclination to pick a side of good or evil.

Vasya faces more heartache and trial than ever before and with my whole heart, I was hoping for an ending fitting for her and her story. Arden clearly delivered on this, the ending was perfect for this trilogy.

The pacing is intense. There is not one moment where I felt like I wanted to put the book down and come up for air, especially the last 150 pages.

I’m actually finding it hard to put into words just how much this book and the trilogy in its entirety mean to me. If I could buy copies for everyone interested in this trilogy just to give them a chance to read it, I would.

The story is also one that you could easily reread because now you know what to look for in terms of how early on and brilliantly Arden set up everything for this epic conclusion.

She broke my heart and put it back together again then put that cycle on repeat for the whole of the book.

I felt despair, joy, love, and determination. It was as if I were there with Vasya.

The world-building of the realms of Midnight and Winter are amazing and breathtaking and I’m so glad we got to see the realm of Midnight in this book.

It’s brilliant, start to finish. I love it, completely and entirely.

Five cups of coffee from me for this and the entire trilogy. Thank you to Anne Cater and Penguin Random House for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion on the tour. [Sorry for a delay in posting today, it took me a while to work up the nerve to say goodbye to this book]

Content/Trigger Warnings: Death of animal(s), War/Violence, general heartache.

 

About the Author

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Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France.
Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrolment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature.
After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crepes to serving as a personal tour guide. After a year on the island, she moved to Briancon, France, and spent nine months teaching. She then returned to Maui, stayed for nearly a year, then left again to wander. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really you never know.
She is the author of The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower. These novels make up the first two parts of The Winternight Trilogy.

Author Links

Twitter | Website

 

The Rest of the Tour

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House of Salt and Sorrows Review

Hey guys

Just gonna start August by dropping this review.

You’re welcome btw.

 


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GoodReads:

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

 

My Review

 

This was everything this spooky bitch wants in a YA gothic retelling of 12 Dancing Princesses. [Pardon my language]

First off let me tell you all the gowns and slippers made me want to rush out and make a Pinterest board, Craig does a fantastic job of describing the clothing and without going overboard. [Can you even go overboard with fantastic pretty slippers and gowns though?]

I loved the cast of sisters, as someone who is one of three girls, I may not have 11 other sisters but I definitely felt the sibling relationships on a spiritual level. There are times where you just want to take a poke at your sister who can also be your best friend. It did take me a couple of chapters to get everyone organized in my head as there are so many, but then again in the original tale they didn’t really bother with names so this is already an improvement in the story in my opinion.

Craig also kept the magical heart of the story, all the favorite parts of the original tale were weaved into Craig’s and you would think she may have written both tales, and considering this is one of my favorite tales, that’s high praise from me. [I need to know, Erin, did you write the original under a false name, is this you in a past life?]

Annaleigh was our narrator, the middle of the sisters, well, middle of the 12. I adored her and rooted for her the whole time, and at times I was protective of her and wanted to give Camille a nudge and say ‘quit it.’

I enjoyed Fisher, their childhood friend. I won’t’ say any more on that.

And uh, Cassius is now probably one of my favorite characters, ever.

There were special bonds with some of the sisters and each relationship was different between them and Annaleigh which was important, Verity was adorable and as one of the three graces she stood out the most to me after Annaleigh, and then Camille.

Personally, I loved the pacing but I can see where it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. This isn’t a fly by the seat of your pants book, she takes time to build intricacies within the world she’s built you and let me tell you, someone better say ‘return to the salt’ when I go out of this world lol. But really, this has moments of all actions and lulls between and I loved the lulls, the periods where everything was quietly built up and brought to this peak that I won’t talk about because, well, spoilers.

The descriptions of Churning (a bit like a yuletide festivity) were some of my favorites, the lanterns and puppets described made me ache to see them in real life.

Craig was a master at descriptions in general, the world, the clothes, the creepy parts, and omg there was so much creepy in this book it made my dark little heart so happy. It gives you the chills a bit, especially in the first half of the novel when it’s all shrouded in mystery.

There is a bit of a whodunnit element, so you have that, mixed with beautiful gothic vibes, paranormal creepiness, and dancing princesses and you have a ‘five cups of coffee’ read for this girl.

I preordered months ago and if you’re interested there’s still time to preorder, this book comes out August Sixth!

**I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion…so…Thanks for the free book, @PRHGlobal

Pros:
-Pretty clothes
-Dancing
-Gorgeous world building
-Creepiness galore
-Mystery and intrigue
-Sisterly love

Cons:
-Can be a slow build up for those looking for a quicker paced read
-You may not love the spooky vibes as much as I do
-The book isn’t longer lol, I WANT MORE!!!!!

Trigger/Content Warnings: Violence, death, murder, mention of suicide, gore, loss.