Melanie's Reviews > The Winter of the Witch

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
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it was amazing
bookshelves: demons, fantasy, historical, magic, paranormal, retellings, arc, read-in-2018, buddy-reads, romance


ARC given to me by my amazingly kind friend, who I don't deserve, but who has made my entire year - Lilly at Lair of Books!

1.) The Bear and the Nightingale ★★★★★
2.) The Girl in the Tower ★★★★★

“I have plucked snowdrops at Midwinter, died at my own choosing, and wept for a nightingale. Now I am beyond prophecy.”

This is a hard review for me to write, because I think my heart doesn’t want to admit that this series is finally over. But it is, and this concluding book was everything I wanted. I cried, I felt gutted, I got my heart broken, but somehow Katherine Arden healed the pieces back together.

Where do I even begin to tell you what this story is about without spoiling anything with a review about the final book. This is a book about the bonds of family, blood and found, and doing whatever it takes to protect the ones you love. This is a book about religion and the beautiful and terrible things people are willing to do in the name of it. This is a book about all the different pieces that make a person, and how it is okay to love them all even if others won’t. But this is ultimately a book about a girl becoming the hero of her own story every single time, no matter who or what tries to block her path.

“There are no monsters in the world, and no saints. Only infinite shades woven into the same tapestry, light and dark.”

But I suppose The Bear and the Nightingale is a Russian inspired fantasy that stars a family living on the edge of the unforgiving Russian wilderness. And our main character grew up on fairy tales, but always hungered for more. And she soon realizes that maybe there was some truth in those tales, and she encounters a frost-demon named Morozko who makes magic a reality before her very eyes.

This story picks up right after the events of The Girl in the Tower in Moscow, and Konstantin Nikonvich’s vengeance knows no bounds. And a bear demon named Medved is happy to aid with the chaos in any way they possibly can. We also get to see Marya, Olga, Sasha, and Dmitrii on very different journeys through this pain and heartbreak. But we also get to see Vasya learn new things about herself and her ancestors, while even venturing into a new land unlike any other. And I truly think this concluding novel was damn close to perfection.

“You denied both the winter-king and his brother, didn’t you? You made yourself a third power in their war.”

Following Vasya, seeing her go to battle for Russia, go to battle for her family, go to battle for herself, has been a journey like none other that I’ve ever experienced while reading. Katherine Arden pulls from a lot of historical events and themes, but I’m convinced that this equal parts harrowing and heartening fairytale that she crafted is the real timeline that happened. I’ll be completely honest, this is a hard review to write, and not because it’s the last book in a series, but because I am in awe of what a damn masterpiece this entire story is. It doesn't even feel real that I have this story in my hands, that I get to read it, I get to love it, I get to experience this beautiful tale that feels so whimsical but so real. The actual blessings.

“Magic is forgetting the world was ever other than as you willed it.”

Overall, this is just one of my favorite trilogies of all time, and I think it always will be. This story just truly has every element that I’m in love with in literature; lyrical writing, winter setting, fae folks of all varieties, strong sibling bonds, heart wrenching romance, and girls becoming the hero of their story. Katherine Arden and this trilogy is a gift from a higher power and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and trigger warnings for talk of death during childbirth, graphic animal death, graphic torture, graphic violence, sexual assault (unwanted touching), threat of rape, death, murder, blood depictions, slavery, captivity, and war themes.

Buddy read with Sissi, Lily, Hanaa, & Lilly! ❤
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Reading Progress

December 5, 2017 – Shelved
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: demons
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: historical
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: magic
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: paranormal
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: retellings
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
October 12, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
October 12, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
December 22, 2018 – Started Reading
December 22, 2018 – Shelved as: buddy-reads
December 29, 2018 – Finished Reading
January 8, 2019 – Shelved as: romance

Comments Showing 1-44 of 44 (44 new)

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Anula You lucky ducky! :D I liked the 1st, I really enjoyed the 2nd, now I can't wait for "what happens now?!" in the 3rd...
PS. Not to mention that I just NEED to read/know more about Morozko <3


Jeremy Gerberding hi sup


Jeremy Gerberding dad


Melanie Anula wrote: "You lucky ducky! :D I liked the 1st, I really enjoyed the 2nd, now I can't wait for "what happens now?!" in the 3rd...
PS. Not to mention that I just NEED to read/know more about Morozko <3"


Hehehe, yes to ALL of this, Anula! I know this book is going to be magical perfection, but I'm not ready to say goodbye! 💕xx


Stacy Oh wow!!! Happy reading!!! I’m so excited to read this one! There are sooo many good books coming out this winter!


Melanie Stacy wrote: "Oh wow!!! Happy reading!!! I’m so excited to read this one! There are sooo many good books coming out this winter!"

Right? My poor wallet, haha! But I know this one is going to be so wroth it for both of us! And I hope you're having the happiest of reading currently, Stacy! 💖xx


Vera I’m currently reading it as well. Such a treat. I loved the first two books and super excited about this one.
Happy reading! 📚💕


Lizzy (Bent Bookworm) Yessssss I just finished this and it is AMAZING and the trilogy is among my favorite books of all time.


ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω I seriously need to pick up this series this winter. Your reviews of the first two books make it sound like an absolutely wonderful trilogy!


message 10: by cami (new) - rated it 5 stars

cami I’m so JEALOUS!!! I NEED!!!!!!!!!!


Smera's Shelf I enjoyed the first one but the second one was awsome.


message 12: by Sumit (new)

Sumit RK Fantastic Review, Melanie. .As always 👌


message 13: by Vera (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vera What a beautiful review Melanie! I absolutely loved reading it. I adored this entire series and your reviews of it make me so happy.!❤️


message 14: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel Hawk You’re review is perfect! I love this and you very much 💜💜💜


Colleen Great review, Melanie! This really is a wonderful series! It's become one of my favorites as well.💞


Melanie Vera wrote: "I’m currently reading it as well. Such a treat. I loved the first two books and super excited about this one.
Happy reading! 📚💕"


Awh! That five star warms my heart! I hope you're having the happiest of reading currently, love! 💖xx


Melanie Lizzy (Bent Bookworm) wrote: "Yessssss I just finished this and it is AMAZING and the trilogy is among my favorite books of all time."

My heart! This series is so damn... breathtaking! I hope you're currently having the happiest of reading, love! 💖xx


Melanie ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω wrote: "I seriously need to pick up this series this winter. Your reviews of the first two books make it sound like an absolutely wonderful trilogy!"

Awh! These kind words! I hope you love them, sweetheart! But I hope you're having the happiest of reading currently! 💖xx


Melanie cami wrote: "I’m so JEALOUS!!! I NEED!!!!!!!!!!"

Read it, love it, gush with me forever, Cami! 💖xx


Melanie Smera Mohan wrote: "I enjoyed the first one but the second one was awsome."

I don't know why the first one is my favorite, but it still is, even after this one! But they are all so amazing, truly! 💖xx


Melanie Sumit wrote: "Fantastic Review, Melanie. .As always 👌"

Awh, Sumit! You are too kind, love. I hope the new year is treating you kindly! And I hope you're having the happiest of reading! 💖xx


Melanie Vera wrote: "What a beautiful review Melanie! I absolutely loved reading it. I adored this entire series and your reviews of it make me so happy.!❤️"

Awh, thank you so much, Vera! I am so blessed to call you my friend! I hope you're having the happiest of reading! 💖xx


Melanie Mel wrote: "You’re review is perfect! I love this and you very much 💜💜💜"

Hey, I love you more MORE THAN WORDS! And... everyday, I ask all the higher powers how I got lucky enough for you to be my book twin! The actual blessings! I hope you're having happy reading, sweetheart! 💖xx


Melanie Colleen wrote: "Great review, Melanie! This really is a wonderful series! It's become one of my favorites as well.💞"

Awh, thank you so much, Colleen! It truly is just something so magical! But I hope you're currently having the happiest of reading, love! 💖xx


Pershay Green I like you book melanie


Pershay Green I like you book melanie


message 27: by SALO (new)

SALO truchaso eserio en español mucho mejor


message 28: by SALO (new)

SALO nou


message 29: by SALO (new)

SALO jajajajjjjjjá


Pershay Green Ok I like you story you story is the best


Pershay Green Hi


Pershay Green Hi


message 33: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa I'm halfway done with this now... I'm taking my time, trying to savor every page. I need more Vasilisa!!


Holly I absolutely agree. So sad for this series to be over, so happy to have read it.


Melanie Lisa wrote: "I'm halfway done with this now... I'm taking my time, trying to savor every page. I need more Vasilisa!!"

Yessss! This is the biggest mood! I felt like I really was slow reading this one, just because I was so not ready to say goodbye! 💖xx


Melanie Holly wrote: "I absolutely agree. So sad for this series to be over, so happy to have read it."

Right? Ahh! I loved your review, Holly! And I agree, I bet this will make my best of 2019, too! 💖xx


Maureen Nailed it!


Elyse  Walters FANTASTIC ......................Thank you Melanie!!! xox


message 39: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Yes, I am so sorry now that it is over.


Melanie Maureen wrote: "Nailed it!"

Thank you, bb! 💕xx


Melanie Elyse (semi hiatus) wrote: "FANTASTIC ......................Thank you Melanie!!! xox"

Awh, thank YOU, sweetheart! 💕xx


Melanie Laura wrote: "Yes, I am so sorry now that it is over."

Mood, love... big, big, big mood! 💕xx


*April Williams* salo said jajajajajjjjjj


*April Williams* pooooo


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