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The Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden

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aseaoftomes's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious 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
This is the third and final installment in the Winternight trilogy and I still loved it. 

This picks up right where Girl in the Tower left off with Vasya in Moscow after the events of the chaos of what happened. We continue to follow not only Vaysa, but her family members too - Olga and Sasha primarily. This book converges the two sides - in BitN we focused a lot on the pagan side of things, in GitT we focused more on the humanity and Christianity side and now it WotW we see the two come together and reach a place where both can coexist. 

As with the two previous books, I loved the setting and atmosphere. Since we get to deal with both the human and the chyert sides, we get to see both human and chyert lands and I loved seeing the similarities and differences between them. I just love how Katherine Arden writes her worlds.

The writing was also fine. Of the three books, I think this is one of her strongest with regards to pacing and overall writing especially with regards to plot. 

The plot was also great. Katherine Arden managed to fit a lot of different things in without it feeling disjointed or out of place. It's hard to explain much of the plot of this one because of spoilers, but I loved all of the conflict between the humans and the chyerti - that was such a huge part of the book. But also the politics and turmoil between the Rus' and the Tatars and then with Vasya and the chyerti. It was just all really interesting to watch and ultimately see how it all concluded. 

Finally, the characters. I loved Vasya in this, probably the most out of the three. She really grew into her own and I feel like we got more internal conflict from her than previously. She felt more manifested in this than previously. I also really liked both Sasha and Olga's character arcs and their growth and how their relationship with Vasya was portrayed. And of course, as always, I love the chyerti - literally all of them. They add so much to the books and they're written so well. Once again we get to meet several new spirits and they were all delightful. Morozko remains my favorite (always) and I loved watching his relationship with Vasya in this book (I love them, but you probably know that already) and looking back on where they were in the first book to where they are now and I just loved it. 

All in all, this is a really great conclusion to a great series, and I had a really great time rereading it. (As with all of the books, I read this in winter with snow outside because it adds an extra layer to the atmospheric element). 

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