Wow. Just wow. I was breathless and in tears within minutes of starting book #3 (have tissues near by) and was full of anger through most of the book. I can honestly say make sure you have this one ready to go after finishing book #2. Vasya comes into her own in this one and we are given a glimpse into a possible future. The book moves back and forth between Sasha and then Vasya in this one. My only complaint is I wanted more after I got to the ending.
“The Winter of the Witch” takes place merely minutes after the events in book #2. And now we have a reckoning coming for Vasya that she was not prepared for, her path leads her to a land called Midnight and in search of Morozko since she needs his help to prevent his brother from causing Moscow to fall.
Vasya is strong and I get why she was so reluctant to turn back from the path she was on though her brother and her sister wanted her to. Why should she be forced to be locked in a tower and never seeing the world when she has the ability to be and do so much more?
For those of us grumbling, we finally get the love story we wanted between Vasya and Morozko, the winter-king. You finally get insight into his dual nature and why he is reluctant to interfere with mortals too much.
I maybe called Sasha a fool a few times, but it was interesting to get his perspective. He is determined to do better by his sister though and refuses to stand aside while she is in danger.
We also get new characters in this one (no spoilers) and we finally see why Vasya is so important to many of the characters she has run across. We get a glimpse of what her future holds for her, and I was delighted.
The writing is phenomenal. Arden ties together how Christianity and pagan beliefs were able to exist in a peaceful manner for some time in Russia. She loops in fairy tales, myths, and manages to make it into something new. I am not that up to date on Russian history so don’t know when paganism started to die out, but am now more curious to read about Russian myths.
The flow was very good though it did drag a bit at the end. Not too much for me to knock it down a star though. It just felt like the book spun its wheels a bit once the final fight started.
The world building as I said in my review for book #2 was great. I thought that Arden did a very good job of tying all three books together and showing why Morozko and the Bear needed each other. I also loved finding out more about Vasya’s family history and how that tied back to certain people in Russian mythology.
The ending was bittersweet. We can imagine this new world that Arden lays out for us, but I wanted more stories of everyone we have come to meet. What a wonderful conclusion. I often dislike trilogies because the authors either make one or two books filler in my mind and often rush to a conclusion. Arden thoughtfully lays out all of her books and if you stick with them, I don’t think you are going to be let down.