I’d like to get out there that I thoroughly enjoyed this series’ unique setting and beautiful writing. As far as I can tell, it’s pretty universally beloved.
But for me, the same problems that cropped up in the first novels are on full display. Arden is a wonderful writer and her prose bounces from page to page. Winter of the Witch is equal parts heartbreaking and moving.
But there is something about the story. Something I can’t nail down, which is why I’m hesitant to praise the book overall. The bear from the first novel is back as the big bad. But he’s not the big bad? Human nature is? It’s hard to maintain this world of fairys and demons if when humans stop believing in them, they disappear. Except for the big bad. Why doesn’t he have to disappear? And the book’s grounded reality makes me think that the overall goal for our hero Vasya, a world where humankind and cheryti can live in harmony, is ultimately doomed based on history. Since the book is set in actual historical events.
Anyways, the plot of the story climaxes around the middle of the novel, and then has another climax at the end. And neither are that satisfying. After an explosive, horrifying opening, the novel treaded water for the rest of the book for me. Despite a sexy, sexy, sex scene. Woof.
2.5 out of 4 stars. I guarantee most of you will disagree.