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The Way Past Winter

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  656 ratings  ·  128 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 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  656 ratings  ·  128 reviews

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Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
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
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful snow-sprinkled tale filled with frosty winter-magic, heart and family.
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 ...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!*
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
Sophie Anderson
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, this was dazzling! A heart-sledging, goosebump-tingling adventure with enough warmth to melt an endless winter ...more
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
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
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
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
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 ...more
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.
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.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gorgeous story!

Magical fantasy, with a touch of horror, a whole lot of chilling wintery scenery, all makes for a beautiful tale of family and sisterhood.
Jan 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
Recommended on Sew Sweet Violet Podcast - January 2020
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Quite boring, then strangely gruesome at times. Don't know who this is aimed at but it certainly wasn't me.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
After seeing Kiran speak at Oxford Blackwell's, I knew I was going to enjoy this book. It's not everyday that you come across a middle-grade story that is so complex and honest in it's storytelling. There wasn't one moment that I felt patronised as a reader, which was so refreshing. I do think the story would maybe translate better to YA or Adult Fantasy but I did really enjoy the adventure for what it was worth.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was a fun adventurous story!
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Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an award winning poet, playwright, and author.

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
“Stories are just a different way of telling the truth.” 0 likes
“MIla took a deep breath as she entered, inhaling the warm biscuity smell of the dogs, so comforting even in her saddest moments.” 0 likes
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