Series: Winternight Trilogy #2
Published by: Ebury Digital
ISBN 13: 9781101885963
Published: December 2017
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Lists: Favourites and Recommended
Related Reviews: The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1)
This was everything I could have hoped for, and more. In this one, Arden jumps around a little more with the timeline; we follow a character until they run into another and then we backtrack to see what the appearing character has been up to these past weeks or however long. If this was a feature also in the first book, I didn’t notice it as much as in this one – and it worked. Arden handles this delicately and well, and it adds to the story.
We left Vasya at the end of the first book with no father or stepmother, and having witnessed magic that will only strengthen the fear of others, for she does things a person of good religion would not do (in these new times), and especially not a woman.
So she strikes out from her home, knowing there is nothing left there for her anymore. Morozko once promised her a worthy dowry, and she claims part of it to instead be a traveller, despite the weather and the dangers on the road. As dangerous as winter is, at least it means he is there following and helping her even when she doesn’t realise it at the time, which is a very good thing when things get quickly out of hand no matter where she turns.
It helps that she’s often mistaken for a boy, due to her underfed looks and the fact she, like everyone else, is bundled in furs against the elements. She is dressed thus as she comes across one of the countless villages that has been pillaged and robbed of their girls, and decides to track the bandits back to their camp for the night to steal the girls back. She runs into her former brother (now a holy man), who is with the Prince, and the charade of her gender must continue for her own safety, for the ego of the prince who would not take kindly to being tricked, and so she won’t end up in a convent or married and kept in a tower like her older sister.
In this there are gods, a niece who must be taught the ways of the spirits that keep their homes safe, a great fire, a few great challenges of bravery wit and talent, and of course, the encounters between Vasya and Morozko – both who are easily confused and hurt by their missteps.
I can not wait for the next book. I love this series more than I can say.