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.
Written by: Katherine Arden
Published by: Penguing, Random House
Published on: October 3, 2019
Format: Paperback, eBook, Audio
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
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.
The Rest of the Tour