A review by allomancersam
The Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden


5 Stars

Well that was an absolute emotional rollercoaster and I am rather exhausted

I picked up this series during the wait for the Shadow and Bone adaptation, which, tbh, I don't really go there (I read SoC and CK a few years ago but never got around to the trilogy) but Ben Barnes is hot and I want to see the crows etc etc. Anyway, I was promised that this would hit all the Russian folklore, powerful mc, enemies to lovers needs that I was having.

It did

But why, oh why, did NO ONE warn me about the family relationships? BatN starts with Vasya's older four siblings gathering around for a story and then it never lets up?? She has the best dynamic with each and every one of them??? And don't get me started on her extended family as well. Cousins? Yep. Niece and nephews?? YES. Family is vitally important to me and this series absolutely delivered.

Anyway, this book wrecked me

Spoiler thoughts:
Spoiler*SASHA. He was my actual favorite, and I am sad forever. His death is definitely foreshadowed properly, so it's not like I didn't see it coming (clearly, given my reading updates...) but I still sobbed. His and Vasya's relationship was my favorite of all of her siblings (sorry Alyosha) and I am not okay.
**ALSO, this is how you have an effective character death that doesn't feel cheap @ [b:Crooked Kingdom|22299763|Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)|Leigh Bardugo|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1456172607l/22299763._SY75_.jpg|42090179]
*Konstantin is such a fascinating character, and I was back to feeling bad for him in this one. I was afraid when I started this series that it would turn into Christianity bashing, and the priest being a big villain made me very wary, but it was handled so well. There's such care and kindness to all faith and I appreciated that so much. Konstantin in particular loses his faith as he becomes more villainous, and his flaws and shortcomings are because he's human, not because he's religious.
**His relationship with Medved was also so interesting?? The way that it humanized Medved a little bit, the way that Konstantin sacrificed himself to bind him? Reclaiming his own humanity and faith in the process?? I have so many feelings
*SOLOVEY. I'm still crying. I'm forever glad that he was came back to life.
*Okay, let's talk about Vasya/Morozko. This relationship was the big draw for me to even start this series. Like, a vaguely enemies to lovers winter king/maiden ship and it's endgame?? It delivered on all fronts. I love so much how she makes him more human, how she makes him feel, and he teaches her, how they balance each other. Good stuff
**THOSE chapters were also excellent, enough said