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The Way Past Winter

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  904 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Mila and her sisters live with their brother Oskar in a small forest cabin in the snow. One night, a fur-clad stranger arrives seeking shelter for himself and his men. But by the next morning, they've gone - taking Oskar with them. Fearful for his safety, Mila and her sisters set out to bring Oskar back - even it means going north, crossing frozen wild-lands to find a way ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Chicken House Ltd
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  904 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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Alice (MTB/Alice Tied The Bookish Knot)
Listened to the audiobook for this novel via Audible!

This Middle-Grade novel was just a delight, I really enjoyed the adventures of Mila and her siblings and the closeness of sibling friendship. Inspired by Slavic folklore, the world is basically trapped in winter and has been for many years. Mila's Papa walked out of the family home a few years back but never returned, leaving Mila's older brother Oskar in charge of affairs. Everything changes when a strange man arrives at their front door aski
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful snow-sprinkled tale filled with frosty winter-magic, heart and family.
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is absolutely enchanting. This book is a beautiful work of art.

Mila and her siblings go on a journey of a lifetime to save their brother Oskar from the clutches of The Bear.
Filled with adventure, courage, magic, and hope, Mila and her siblings prove that with each other, anything is possible.

Thanks to NetGalley, Chicken House Ltd, and Kiran Millwood Hargrave for an ARC in return for an honest review.
It has been winter for five years, and Sanna, Mila and Pípa are left alone in their little house in the forest – with nothing but cabbages to eat – when their brother Oskar is lured away by the same evil force that took their father years ago and has been keeping spring from coming. Mila, the brave middle daughter, sets out on a quest to rescue Oskar and the village’s other lost boys and to find the way past winter. Clearly inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia and especially Katherine Arden’s Wi ...more
Robin Stevens
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lyrical fairy tale that brings the winter cold to life even on the warmest day. Kiran's best yet, and that's saying something! (10+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Kathryn Miller
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
As every book featuring snowfall must be by law, this book has been compared to Nothern Lights by Philip Pullman but in truth it doesn't aim to be that kind of book - rather than the modern fantasy genre of Northern Lights, it aims for a more folkloric story; a grand, perhaps allergorical, grown-up fairy-tale.

But the plot, characters and places are too vaguely sketched for that to come off. Millwood Hargrave's styling of those is more suitable for a mainstream fantasy adventure, and might have s
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This eagerly-awaited story by award-winning author Kiran Millwood Hargrave is the perfect winter adventure story, telling of an extraordinary adventure through the frozen north in a quest to reunite families and to break a cycle of endless winter

Mila lives with her siblings in their small cabin deep in the wintry forest. One night, mysterious strangers arrive near their village looking for shelter. The next morning, the men have gone but they have taken Mila's brother Oskar with them.

Mila sets
Miss Bookiverse
A sweet solid middle grade adventure that focuses largely on the solidarity between sisters/siblings and the relationship between humans and nature. The writing is beautifully lyrical but could've done with more detailed descriptions concerning the sledge and other devices. The plot isn't bad; however, a bit too simple for my taste. Most problems are solved through handy magic tricks and don't stop the protagonists for long. Also, I wish the confrontation with the villain had been more in-depths ...more
Christine Spoors
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
I loved this adventure, following sisters as they leave their woods on a quest to find their stolen brother in the frozen north. This was such a great story, perfect for a cold day when you can snuggle up and devour the whole story. I love when stories have a strong family aspect, and so this was perfect. I also loved the setting, especially their frozen woods. Unsure if it’s inspired more by Slavic or Scandinavian folklore, I’ve seen mixed answers in reviews. Just somewhere Northern European!
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very beautifully written magical fairytale.

Aimed at young people, but it could also be read by adults as it’s a lovely story. About three sisters who have lost their father, he walked out one night & didn’t come back. They live in perpetual Winter, the seasons have stopped. This book is an adventure tale about how they bring the seasons back.

It’s a great book.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful read - this is a great tale of adventure with fantastic female lead characters. This is a perfect read for this time of year with a perfect fantasy feel. I adored this novel!
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I am so glad that I picked this book! The Way Past Winter is a wonderful book! I highly recommended to all of you who craves for a vivid, atmospheric story full of adventure & magic, accompanied by a beautiful family relationship and friendship ! Love this story a lot!!! ♥️ ...more
Beth Anne
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, read-aloud
I received a free review copy from the publisher.

Read aloud to all the kids - this book caught our attention from the beginning and was a fantastic read aloud. The story was great as a large family, featuring three sisters and a brother, with a magical winter setting reminiscent of Frozen and a plot that felt like a modern day Hans Christian Anderson read. It was intense without being too scary, and the final third was hard to put down, even after long read aloud stretches. Beautiful details on
María Alcaide
3 - 3,5*s. It was very nice, the idea, the ambiance... but I thought it was going to "catch" me a bit more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely beautiful tale of winter, love, family and determination. Magical, absolutely beautiful writing style. So much love for family.
Loved it so much, needed something so beautiful right now. Made me think and wonder about the meaning of life.
Stephen Baird
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In an everlasting winter, sisters Mila and Pipa set out in search for their brother Oskar. Mila is certain that he didn’t accompany the stranger of his own accord, that he didn’t leave like their father did. Her other sister, Sanna feels that he has abandoned them as their father did.

I loved this book from the start where the beginning of winter is described, the relationships between the siblings clearly set out in chapter 2, the bleakness of the landscape, and the magical feel throughout.

I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this, and what an evocative, absorbing adventure it is. There were some lines that just blew me away. Millwood Hargrave's prose is clearly only getting better as her landscapes move further north...

Full review to come closer to publication.
Christina Reid
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This reads like traditional tale and this impression is strengthened by the gorgeous hardback presentation and illustrations throughout which really add to the story.
I loved following Mila and her sisters on their journey through a frozen world to find their brother, taken by the Bear of the North. I wanted to know more about the mage, Rune and found Pipa's naming a brilliant touch! The issue of grief after losing their mother and their father's grief after losing his wife is handled sensitively
Feb 04, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not 100% sure how to review this book....I mean, at least it looks beautiful?

I went into it expecting a beautifully, atmospheric, wintry tale of 3 sisters trying to figure out what happened to their brother. From the back of the book I was promised enchanting, sisterhood and adventure. I got a very poor adventure, it wasn’t enchanting and there was hardly any sisterhood.

I’m not sure if it was the writing, or the actual story being told that didn’t mesh with me but I just didn’t connect to th
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like the other books by this auther, this one involves a journey to save the protagonist's family and friends. This time it is through an endless winterland. Many years ago winter arrived and never left, Mila and her family had to change their way of life just to survive. After strangers appear one evening, Mila's brother disappears. Not only her brother, almost all the boys from the village have vanished, seemingly having gone with the strangers. But Mila is sure that her brother would not have ...more
H.D.A. Pratt
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was so endearing and light. With the simplistic storyline which reminds me off all the fairytales I was read as a child, I loved every minute of this read.
The main protagonist Mila is one who doesn’t want to leave her world but for family and what is right she is willing to do anything! A character like this and all the ones she meets or even her sisters who are the complete opposites to her, makes this story even better!
Seeing the scenery so clearly in my mind with every s
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was promised an enchanting book, filled with adventure and it's exactly what I got.
The writing is simply beautiful; not even 3 sentences in, and I was completely lost in this snow covered world.

But I was also promised sisterhood... and that was nowhere to be found.
The story is Mila's. Her fear of losing her family, her love for her home, her longing for normality; but this is no sisterhood tale. It's beautiful all the same, but if you're looking for the tale of 3 sisters, maybe look elsewhere
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it appears this middle grade fantasy novel was originally published back in 2018, I had not heard of it until receiving a NetGalley copy. I enjoy the newer cover and the more childlike opening chapter illustrations, as they make it feel like the story is for a younger audience.

I often find that middle grade fantasy seems like a difficult genre to write. Sometimes, the subject matter comes off as being too adult. But I felt The Way Past Winter did a perfect job of providing enough magic and
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Way Past Winter is the first of Kiran Millwood Hargrave's books that I've read and it absolutely blew me away!
It's a wonderful tale of family, loss, magic, and redemption set in a Scandinavian wood during a neverending winter.
When I first picked it up I meant to read just a chapter or two before bed, but it is just so captivatingly written that I devoured it in one sitting!
Also, the finished copy is beautiful so I think I'm going to have to upgrade my ARC!
Thank you so much to @chickenhousebo
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this because I bought it as a gift for an eleven year old and wanted to make sure it was suitable. And the cover is just beautiful😊. This is a wonderful fantasy/modern fairy tale suitable for younger readers and older readers alike. A snowy adventure, a battle against an enemy who condemns the land to eternal winter and the strength and pain of family. Exciting, uplifting and uncomplicated, this book contains lots of fairy tale and folkloric tropes which are fun to spot. Would highly reco ...more
Sarah Ann
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Beautifully written and very skilled storytelling but it felt so similar to other middle grade novels I’ve read and didn’t illicit any powerful emotions from me as this writer’s other works have done.

I like the character of Sanna and would much rather a story of her adventures.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fairy tale of old myths, snowflakes and ice; broken families and naturalistic night mares. I adored this book. I only wish I had read it during the darkness of winter; it has the perfect atmosphere for it.

Definitely one of the most enchanting middle grade novels I've read in a while.
Collin Molenaar
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A great fairy tale which is easy to read. Perhaps sometimes it's a bit too sweetish.
If you like this book, you might also like the novel "Uprooted", from Naomi Novik. These books contain quite some resemblances. Like for instance the people that are caught into heart trees, to make them stronger and protect the forest against humans.
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with this book the first moment that I saw its amazing cover, silky bookmark attached to the spine, and the artwork throughout its pages. The story while intended for teens captured me and I enjoyed the journey that the characters took me on.
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Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an award winning poet, playwright, and novelist.

Her books include the bestselling winner of the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017 The Girl of Ink & Stars, and Costa Book Awards- and Blue Peter Awards-shortlisted The Island at the End of Everything, and The Way Past Winter , Blackwell's Children's Book of the

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