I absolutely loved this book! Ever since I finished The Girl in the Tower, I have been eager to read the next chapter in Vasya's story. I went into this book with incredibly high expectations and I have to say that this book was even better than I could have hoped for. There is just something magical about this trilogy. This was a book that I found almost impossible to set aside. I just had to know how things would work out for Vasya, her family, and all of Russia. I found that this story was really able to touch me emotionally and I had a fantastic time reading it.
The Winter of the Witch is the final book in the Winternight trilogy which really must be read in order. This book does pick up shortly after the events of the previous book by throwing the reader right back into the action. If I had to find one thing to criticize about this book, it would be that this book does not take the time to refresh the reader's memory of the events from the previous installments. Since it has been over a year since I read the previous book, it did take me a moment or two to really remember the details regarding what had been happening with Vasya.
Vasya is a wonderful character and I have found it a joy to watch her develop and really find herself over the course of the trilogy. She seems to be ready to take on the world in this book. She is strong and has proven herself worthy of being a leader. She is also compassionate and mourns the ones she has lost and works to protect others often at her own risk. She does expect others with power to also do what needs to be done even if it comes with significant risk and does not hold back her opinion when she thinks that they are not doing enough.
This book was exciting. I worried about the safety of Vasya and the other characters quite often since there are a lot of dangerous situations in the book. Vasya has really embraced her powers by the end of the book and I had a great time seeing everything she was capable of doing. I also loved all of the magical creatures that were a part of Vasya's world. The Winter King, the Bear, Midnight, and even a mushroom king all played important and sometimes surprising roles in this wonderful story.
I thought that the writing was beautiful. I felt like I was carried away by the words as I read this book. There was a wonderful flow to the story and I think that the writing added to the overall beauty of the story. This story made me feel a lot of things. I was nervous and worried about the characters at times and smiled in joy when things worked out. I felt pain when things went horribly wrong and had tears of joy when things went oh so right. The story is dark and it is often violent but it was always beautiful.
I would highly recommend this trilogy to others. I was swept away by this dark fairytale of a story and loved every moment of it. I must say that this book brought everything to a fantastic conclusion and the ending was even better than I could have hoped. This is a trilogy that I plan to revisit many times in the future. I can't wait to see what Katherine Arden writes next!
I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Del Ray via NetGalley.
This was the kind of story that is easy to lose yourself in. It was a magical fairytale of a story but a rather dark fairytale. From the start, I was completely swept away by this story and the beautiful way that it was told. Vasya has grown into a powerful woman and does what is necessary to protect herself, those she loves, and Russia. The story was epic and the ending was beautiful.