The Winternight Trilogy
The Bear and the Nightingale (Book 1)
The Girl in the Tower (Book 2)
The Winter of the Witch (Book 3)
By: Katherine Arden
My Rating: FIVE out of FIVE Stars
Best for: 14 and up
Oh wow oh wow oh wow oh wow…
The Winternight Trilogy is gush worthy. I’ll try to avoid crossing into obnoxious hyperbole–but man, this series was fun to read.
Deep in the winter woods of very old Russia lives a Lord and his family. While the snow falls, the children gather around the oven in the warm kitchen to hear the old stories. The Winter King. The River Prince. The Snow Princess. Baba Yaga. The Eater. The dead who walk. The Fire Bird. As long as they receive their tributes of crusts of bread left on the hearth and crumbs sprinkled in the water, they will protect. Don’t forget, because if you do…
But they’re just stories, told to keep children in line. Just stories.
The Winternight Trilogy is a magical fantasy fairy tale with lyrical prose that will make your toes cold and your heart warm. The story is a slow-build arc in three parts that will pull through and won’t let go until you’re left giving a slow-clap standing ovation at the end. The main character is a every bit a HERo, and you’ll easily fall in love with her AND her supporting cast. You’re especially going to love her horse…
Magic. Love. War. Tradition. Roles. Family. Children. Freedom. Religion. Defiance. Courage. Fear. Bravery.
Cheers. Tears. Cheers.
The Winternight Trilogy is based in historical fact and expertly mixed with traditional Russian culture, tradition, and mythology. After you’ve read The Bear and the Nightingale you’ll be shocked it was Katherine Arden’s debut novel.
As for content, there are no language concerns, but there is quite a bit of violence throughout and one PG-13 sex scene in book 3. There are some LEGIT scary moments–you’ll won’t want to be alone in the dark for those. Women are not treated kindly in this story per the time period, and Orthodox Christianity is used as the justification for bad things. The book is marketed as adult fantasy, but I’d be comfortable recommending it for 14 and up.
The Winternight Trilogy was brilliant. Finding gems like this is why I read. You’re going to enjoy it too.