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The Winternight Series by Katherine Arden


Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Synopsis At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year but Vasilisa doesn't mind--she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil. After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows. And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa's stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent. As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed--this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse's most frightening tales.

Thoughts - I read this book in 2017. The second book hadn't come out yet and I sort of forgot about the series. I thought about it again and thought I'd complete the series since the next two books had been published. The following thoughts are copied from my 2017 post. This is a magnificent tale.. it took me a while to get into it.. there are a lot of Russian terms and initially I found my self rereading paragraphs.. so I will say do not read this when you are in the mood for something light and quick.. this is a deep and all consuming sort of tale and so worth it.. this may just be my favorite of the year.


The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

SynopsisVasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, she has only two options left: marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey. after she prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.

Thoughts - Since I was reading the second book after 4 years it again took me a while to get into.. it has a lot of Russain terms, thankfully Ms. Arden provides a glossary at the back of the book. Within a couple of chapters the story had managed to fully absorb me. The writing is so rich. I don't really now how to describe it but I can tell you this.. being a women it pretty much every century has sucked. But I'll still take this century. Hands down. This is by no means I light book. I highly recommend it though. 
       

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

SynopsisNow 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.

Thoughts - WOW.. just wow. I am glad I read the last two books back to back. The last book starts seconds after the second book ends and a chapter in and my heart was already shattered. The author made such a bold opening move. I hated her and was in awe of her for being so courageous. It was a magnificent story. The fantasy/folklore gets more intricate and complicated with every book as our heroine learns more about the world and herself. I had to reread parts especially about 'midnight' that I didn't initially understand fully. But once again.. a terrific must read book. The heroine is young and na├»ve, yet so strong and courageous. It was wonderful watching her grow into this amazing woman. I started the book in tears and ended it in tears.. this time happy tears. 

ps.


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29 comments:

Jennifer said...

These books sound great!

Jennifer
Curated By Jennifer

Kelly said...

You've convinced me to add this series to my wishlist. I'm off to check out my options...

Congratulations on getting your vaccine. It's a great feeling, isn't it!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

Yay for the vaccine! I get my second shot on Wednesday. This book series sounds interesting. Adding to my list!

Sparkles and Lattes said...

I feel like I would definitely need and use the glossary. Yay for getting your vaccine!!!

Rach said...

Isn't it the best when you read sequels back to back?! It makes the whole reading experience so much better. I haven't heard of this book but will def need to check it out!

www.rdsobsessions.com

Polyester Princess said...

This series sounds truly intriguing, Hena, and I might very well search out these books. Thank you for the introduction! And congratulations on getting your first Covid vaccine! xxx

Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's rare to find a good book series, so enjoy! Glad you got your shot!

Kathrine Eldridge said...

Thanks for sharing these reads and yay for getting the vaccine!

https://www.kathrineeldridge.com

Martha said...

They sounds great! Thanks for your review. I'll grab them if I come across them on my book shopping trips. Glad you got your vaccine too. :)

Jodie's Touch of Style said...

I love how you said you hated her AND was in awe of her. This sounds like such a great series.
I always say that being a woman in other times would have been awful. Makes me glad I'm here now.
THanks for sharing,
XOOX
Jodie
www.jtouchofstyle.com

ALLIE NYC said...

Oooo these sound good! I am reading a very scary book that takes place in Russia, it is about the Romanovs and what happened to them and the discovery of the bodies.

I am book marking this, these books sound super interesting.

Allie of
www.allienyc.com

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra said...

Yay, this is one of my favorite fantasy series so I'm always thrilled to find someone else who really enjoyed it. And also yay for getting your vaccine. I hope you haven't experienced many side effects. I got my second shot about a week ago and had a slight headache and achy shoulders for a few hours the next day but that was it.

Laura B said...

I've been wanting to read this series! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

bread&salt said...

These book series look great! Thank you for the information and review

Lovely said...

Yay, for the vaccine! This sounds like an interesting series!
xoxo
Lovely
www.mynameislovely.com

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. This is not an author or series I know and I will check them out.
Hooray for getting your vaccine.

Veronica Lee said...

Don't you just love it when you come across a successful book series?!

So glad you got your shot.

Carole's Random Life said...

This is one of my favorite trilogies! I fell in love with these characters and thought that the story was very well done. I do hope to read it again someday.

Emmylou said...

Oh wow! Thanks for the review of this series! Will add it to my list, Hena:) And congrats on getting vaccinated!

awhite said...

This series sounds amazing! And yayyyyy for the vaccine!

-Ashley
Le Stylo Rouge

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

This sounds like such a compelling book series.

R's Rue said...

Yay

Janie Junebug said...

The books have beautiful covers. Congratulations on your vaccine. I'm fully vaccinated now and so happy about it.

Love,
Janie

karen said...

I have that first book on my Kindle, now I need to find the others and add them, I love digging into a series. Congrats on your SHOT!!!!!

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

Congrats on your vaccine! I go for my second shot next Wednesday. I need to check these books out, I haven't heard of any of them... I have just a little bit to finish on my current book and then I'm ready for something new!

Carrie
curlycraftymom.com

Debbie said...

good for you, i am fully vaccinated too!! and ps, your rings are beautiful!!

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks for the great book reviews!

Mica said...

Love that you got your vaccine! Ours still aren't widely available yet and they don't think they will be this year which is so frustrating :(

These sound like interesting books, although not the kind of thing I'd like to read. it's good that the stories moved you so much!

Hope that you are having good weekend. It's a wet long weekend here.

Away From The Blue

Amy Aed said...

Awesome that you got your vaccine! I don't even know many people in the UK that have it.

I've never read this book but it sounds interesting, I'd like to give it a go!!

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