Title: The Winter of the Witch
Author: Katherine Arden
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
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 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.
“I have plucked snowdrops at Midwinter, died at my own choosing, and wept for a nightingale. Now I am beyond prophecy.”
I don’t know where to begin with this review. The Bear and the Nightingale captured my heart, The Girl in the Tower was somehow even better, and The Winter of the Witch turned out to be the perfect conclusion to this wonderful, magical series.
The Winter of the Witch begins where the second book left off. We are immediately immersed in the Russian setting, but are eventually taken into a mesmerizing second-world with magic and plenty of new, intriguing characters. Vasya has been through a lot over the course of these books and is now more fierce, determined, and unapologetic than ever. Throughout it all, she is the hero of her own story, time and time again.
A major theme of this series is coexisting. The exploration of religion and paganism is fascinating to see play out. Can there be a balance, or will one triumph over the other? Its extremely relevant to this day and age, and Vasya’s determination to unify the new world with the old is empowering, to say the least.
“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.”
This book is everything I loved about the first books and more. From the lyrical prose to the atmospheric winter setting, I was pulled right back into this magical world as if I’d never left it. I think I’m still in denial that this series is actually over, but I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for these beloved characters. This will forever remain one of my favorite trilogies.