Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Through the White Wood” as Want to Read:
Through the White Wood
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Through the White Wood

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  60 reviews
The Bear and the Nightingale meets Frostblood in this romantic historical fantasy from the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore.

When Katya loses control of her power to freeze, her villagers banish her to the palace of the terrifying Prince Sasha in Kiev.

Expecting punishment, she is surprised to find instead that Sasha is just like her—with the ability to summon fire. Sasha o
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by HarperTeen
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Through the White Wood, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jessica This is a stand-alone and not part of a series, although the two main characters from Beyond a Darkened Shore (Ciara and Leif) do make an appearance…moreThis is a stand-alone and not part of a series, although the two main characters from Beyond a Darkened Shore (Ciara and Leif) do make an appearance in this book as secondary characters. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  60 reviews

Sort order
Ashlee » Library In The Country
Another beautiful and rich tale from Jessica Leake! I cannot wait to get more from this author. She’s become a favorite of one!


Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
3.5 stars
"THERE ARE COUNTLESS MONSTERS IN THIS world. Some with fangs, some who skitter in the darkness just out of sight, some who wear human skin but whose hearts have turned dark as forest shadows....I knew that these men and women I’d grown up with—they thought of me as a monster, too. I wasn’t sure they were wrong."

I feel weirdly torn after reading this book. There was a lot of things I liked about it and I had a fun time reading it, but it felt like I’d read the story before. Through t
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, from-publisher
*** I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review - and just because Jess is awesome***

Wow. Jessica has done it again. I love this world! I love the powers and the characters. And Jessica has a certain way of making you fall in love with animals within the book as well!

"I hadn't set out to be a monster, but what happened when someone was pushed too far? What happened when the dark swirls of regret were accompanied by a sense that maybe what I'd done wasn't so terrible? What
Joleen (starlightbooktales)
Received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

4 Stars

Not going to lie, I was a little nervous to read Through the White Wood. I loved Beyond a Darkened Shore and I was afraid this companion wouldn’t be as good. But I was wrong. It's a new and fresh story that stands on its own legs. Jessica Leake created a new brilliant story and I am having a hard time deciding which one I like best!

Through the White Wood tells a new story about Katya, an outcast who has a power, the ability t
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
. : ☾⋆ — 3 ★


ARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you HarperTeen & HarperCollins!!)

yes, hello, can I please get a cast of lovely characters with found-family dynamics, awesome elemental powers, a side of Russian folklore, a bit of Frozen/Grisha vibes, and just a sprinkle of round-the-world self-discovery quests? thank you, that’s perfect. exquisite. finally some GOOD FOOD.

now, listen. althou
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much to HarperTeen for sending me a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the contents of my review.
Wow. Okay, so let me just start by saying, if you know me well enough, you will know that I LOVE any book set in Russia, with the whole Russian vibe going on, the snow and cities...This book did not disappoint me at all!
When I first started this book I was so excited, I went into it with high expectations as being pitch
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake is the brilliantly told story of Katya and Sasha, an orphaned village girl and a prince. Katya was forced out of her home when the ice powers that she has got out of hand(I personally think it was well warranted). Her village contacts the prince and they think she is in for a brutal punishment. Little do they know, the prince might actually NEED Katya.

I worked with Jessica on her first book, Beyond a Darkened Shore, and I completely loved that book so when
Austine (NovelKnight)
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other, 2019-releases
This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

As the first book I've read by Jessica Leake, I wasn't really sure what to expect from Through the White Wood. I'd heard good things about the previous book (I believe they're companions?) so I had somewhat high expectations for this one.

My initial impression reminded me a bit of reading The Cold is In Her Bones earlier this year, the blend of folklore with fiction, all while givi
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
****4.5 Icy Stars****

This is the second book I've read from Jessica Leake and each time she didn't disappoint me with her ability to suck me into a story and to hold my interest from beginning to end.
Feb 20, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I have a preorder giveaway running to thank all of you for your support! You can find all the details here: (open INTL)

I’m so excited to share Katya and Prince Sasha’s story filled with elemental magic and Russian folklore with you soon!
ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)

I really liked the author's debut, BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE. However, in this one, I guess this was a case of "it's me not you" thing.
THROUGH THE WHITE WOOD was pitched as The Bear and the Nightingale meets FrostBlood so I had high expectations.
However, besides the Russian Mythology, it had nothing to do with the Bear and the Nightingale but it gave some Frostblood vibes.
I was really happy to see Leif and
Aug 08, 2018 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc
ARC provided through Edelweiss for a fair review

I'm getting Slavic inspiration vibes, and I am here for it!
Sheila Goicea
I received an ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


Review to come.

My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4.5⭐ Guys, this was such a pleasant read for me! It held so many elements that I look for in a good book! Beautiful writing/descriptions, characters I connect with emotionally, quests of self discovery, a dash of romance, history, folklore and action. I loved the elemental powers and the Russian culture along with their history with Scandinavia being touched upon as well. If you’re a fan of the Grisha Trilogy or love folklore and history woven together, you need to snag this beauty! ...more
Jan 27, 2019 marked it as to-read
It's unfair that this cover is so pretty, but I wasn't too into Beyond the Darkened Shore.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0


Jessica Leake's Through the White Wood is her follow up to Beyond a Darkened Shore. It is a story that takes place in Eleventh century Russia. Through the White Wood draws inspiration from Russian mythology and explores a world that is much beloved in fantasy. Through the White Wood is a stand-alone fantasy title, but it does feature characters Ciara and Lief that readers were introduced to in Beyond a Darkened Shore
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

I first read Jessica Leake's Beyond a Darkened Shore last year, when it came in m April Fairyloot box, and absolutely loved it. I also love how Leake takes small events from throughout history and turns it into such an amazing story! It began my obssession for young adult historical-fiction-based novels. So you can imagine my excited when I saw the announcement for Through the White Wood.

THROUGH was definitely everything I was hoping for. Katya
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars (possibly rounded to 4)

I read Jessica Leake's "Beyond a Darkened Shore" in this last year and absolutely fell in love with it. It was everything that I wanted in a young adult historical fiction-based novel: just-the-right amount of romance, strong female lead, complex family relationships and most importantly, some really interesting folklore and mythology that made me feel like I was transported to another time.

Through the White Wood didn't blow me away as much as Beyond a Darkened
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
THROUGH THE WHITE WOOD is a story of a girl who comes into her own against all odds and the prince who helps to balance her world. Russian culture and a mix of their folklore are woven through the story with a richness that historical and fairy tale fans will enjoy. Readers who enjoy character driven stories as well as romance will also find much to love here. Definitely a story not to be missed!

These characters are easy to relate to and likable from the beginning. Katya is exceptionally powerfu
Lauren the Book Slayer
Let me start by saying that, although it wasn’t necessary to read Beyond a Darkened Shore before Through the White Wood, I wish I had. Both books take place in the same fantasy world, and some prominent characters from Leake’s first book, make an appearance in this latest.
Here’s my thoughts on Through the White Wood –


The Setting and time period. It took place in Ukraine and then Constantinople around 1000 AD. I love books set in Medieval time: bathing in streams, heating rocks to cook, tra
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*

The following stand-alone novel by Jessica Leake takes us from the North and the Celts to The Rus Kiev and the tales and folklore of Russia! Partly inspired by the Firebird, part featuring creatures of the woods and the Snow Queen this new story will be an enjoyable one!

Katya fears the power she has and when the Prince of Kiev sends for her, she fears death. But political plots and all
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
I won the ARC in an Instagram contest and I was so happy to have the book! It was as magical and mystical as "Beyond A Darkened Shore" and I absolutely loved the world and the characters in this book. It made me happy beyond belief to also see Lief and Ciara in this one, because they will always have my heart. But I am so glad that this book happened and I hope to see more from this world!
Morrighan Rose
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Our story opens with our main character, Katya, being ripped away from the only home and family she has ever known. It is a heartbreaking first scene and pulled at my heartstrings immediately. I knew nothing about this girl, only that she was losing everything in the blink of an eye and there was not a soul there to defend her. The members of her small frozen village, a village she had grown up in, looked on with hatred in their eyes. They were
Cassie James
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher but this doesn't influence my opinion of it.


Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake is a splendid continuation of this series. I was really excited to get into it because the premise sounds amazing and it did not disappoint.
It's set in the same world as the first book but with different main characters.
Katya has lived all her life in fear. Fear of letting go and unleashing her deadly power over ice on the spiteful people in their village. She w
I adored this author's debut, BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE. It caught me by surprise with how much I enjoyed it, and it's a story I would reread time and time again.

Because of that, I was quite excited about this companion sequel, THROUGH THE WHITE WOOD. However, I suppose my expectations were too high with this one. This book gives off a very different vibe from BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE and the characters felt a lot more young. While we dealt with warriors in the previous book, this one revolves aro
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alyson Kent
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you, Edelweiss, for the ARC (and for helping to get me out of my reading slump). Solid 3.5 stars rounded up because I zoomed through this in two days, and it was wonderful to see favorite characters from "Beyond a Darkened Shore" show up. I do feel that there should have been at least one more chapter, and I, personally, wasn't quite as attached to these characters the way I was the ones from BADS, but over all I enjoyed it and really liked revisiting this world again.
Serethiel ☽ ✨
Well, THIS SOUNDS EPIC. And rather Frozen-esque, too. 😍😍😍
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
I loved Beyond a Darkened Shore and had high hopes for Through the White Wood and although I did enjoy it, I didn't love it as much as Beyond a Darkened Shore. I thought the pacing wasn't good, it was quite slow with nothing interesting happening until maybe the last 30% of the book. The romance between Sasha and Katya was very awkward and lacked any sparks.

The two things that I liked most about Through the White Wood was the Russian medieval setting and an appearance by Ciara and Leif, two mai
Stephanie - Adventures Thru Wonderland
*I received a copy for my stop on the Blog Tour. This does not affect my review.*
I've read some of Jessica Leake's other books a while back, and actually didn't realize this was the same author until recently, but I'm so happy to have the chance to read more of her work. In both cases, I've loved her ability to create characters and settings that can easily be imagined, and feel read as I read them, as if I'm there, part of the story. It's such a beautiful feeling, and makes it stand out among a
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dreaming Darkly
  • Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, #1)
  • These Divided Shores (Stream Raiders, #2)
  • An Anatomy of Beasts (Faloiv, #2)
  • The Lady Rogue
  • The Pioneer (The Pioneer, #1)
  • Bone Grace (Bone Grace, #1)
  • The Beholder
  • Untitled
  • Missing, Presumed Dead
  • The Tiger at Midnight (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy, #1)
  • Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens, #1)
  • Nameless Queen
  • The Red Labyrinth
  • The Bright and the Pale
  • Crown of Coral and Pearl
  • Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
  • The Queen's Resistance (The Queen’s Rising, #2)
Once upon a time, Jessica Leake was a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn't stop writing. She wrote and wrote until she got her first book published, and then she wrote some more. In between all that writing she had four beautiful and hilarious children with her husband (best friend and man she's known since high school; also hilarious), moved back to her adopted hom ...more