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The Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden

18 reviews

emakay's review

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adventurous emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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morganphoenix's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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katierehbehn's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

This book truly wanted me to feel pain and it SUCCEEDED. 

I’m not ready to say goodbye to my Vasya but the end was so perfect and Solovey came back so I am grateful🥺

The expressions of love in this novel are beautiful (romantic and familial) and Vasya’s character arc is an absolute marvel.

That hopeful ending has me all up in my feelings and I’ve adored the path that Vasya has been able to make for herself. 

I simply won’t be emotional available for the next week because of this trilogy😭

This is truly the Spirited Away x Howl’s Moving Castle lovechild of my dreams

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larhod's review

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adventurous dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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chloemakesbooks's review against another edition

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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sarahsbooklife's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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fionac326's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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ehmannky's review

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dark emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

A wonderful end to the series. Winter of the Witch delves straight into the action, without any of the slow build up to Vasya's main plot that the previous two books did. And it starts out intense, with Vasya nearly killed by a mob spurred on by the corrupted priest Konstantin. I did kind of miss the meticulous world-building, but this is probably the most focused of the series in terms of plot. But I forgive much because I loved the relationship between Morozko and Vasya getting the room to really grow. Also, Vasya's PTSD from the beginning of the book was rendered so vividly and painfully, and I liked seeing a protagonist struggle with doing what she had to do with that disorder. It just makes her feel all the more real and brave. 

The only thing I didn't particularly love was that it felt that there were essentially two parts that felt like an ending-one part in the middle and the other was the actual end of the book. I don't want to spoil it, but I felt that after one of the major forces of antagonism in Vasya's life are defeated, there was a 50 ish page gap where the book felt like it sort of stalled. Overall, I didn't hate it and I get thematically why this split exists and the meaning behind showing that "defeating evil" is not enough for a victory in a complex world, but it felt odd in a book that's so action-focused to have this weird lull roughly 2/3rds of the way through.

Overall, extremely satisfied with this series and its ending, and good god
Spoiler was it satisfying to see Konstantin die. Still not sure how I feel about Solovey being resurrected in the last 10 pages of the book, but it is a very fairy tale twist so I did appreciate it.

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grambo's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful tense
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

It's not always the case that the latter books in a series are better than the first ones. I had trouble with The Bear and the Nightingale because the snail's pace to start, and the overwhelming depth of the world-building. But that was all in service of the final books in the series. The Winter of the Witch was incredible, and I wish there were 10 more.

Overall, this series benefited from extremely well-developed characters and rich world-building. The combination of the Russian folklore-inspired world + ties to real historical events gave this book SO much dimension. And I loved all the characters, which never happens! Vasya is the toughest b*tch around. <3 And Arden's writing is really something: I will never get sick of reading about Vasya freezing to death in the Russian winter. I want 17 follow-up novellas following her adventures with Morozko, and her niece training with Baba Yaga, and Solovey hanging out with Miss Firebird lady. There was so much in this world left to be explored. 

For this book in particular: You probably couldn't have asked for a better wrap-up. The author addressed so many loose ends, the scope and stakes felt appropriately BIG, and I like the way the romance was handled. Vasya is such a dope protagonist. For realz, Katherine Arden: pls write more.

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mscalls's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5


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