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The Winter of the Witch - Book 3 of WinterNight Trilogy

by Anantha Rusum
(Pune, India)

Author: Katherine Arden

“Tell the story of Frost, Dunyashka. Tell us of the frost-demon, the winter-king Karachun.”

As the tale ends, it leaves us bereft, begging for more. More of Vasya, more of Morozko and more of all the Cheryti who befriend us in our journey with Vasya in her epic adventure across the Russian lands.

The third installment is action packed with Vasya trying to gain control of the circumstances around her. Ousted from Moscow for being a witch, she has to travel to far, dark lands to seek her allies. In the course of her journey, she meets different people and makes powerful friends and enemies.

With Moscow on the verge of war against Tartars, there is another undercurrent sweeping in the nation of a possible conflict between men and Cheryti. Pulled in different directions, Vasya has to struggle hard to keep her sanity and derive the purpose of her own life and of everyone surrounding her.

As the story progresses, there are many interesting characters we meet, there is a very nice twist in the end, I still have a smile on my face when I am writing this down that I have walked away with a favorite character who I never thought would be one, till I reached the end of the series !!

The book highlights the historic battle of Kulikovo when Russia fought as one nation under the leadership of Dmitrii Ivanovich to oust the Tartars. It also highlights the fact that Christianity and paganism, despite being rival practices, coexisted in medieval Russia until the revolution. I really admire the author for bringing this fine balance, not demeaning religion over paganism or vice-versa. I loved the scenes when the true men of God come face to face with the nature spirits and the witches, and how they dealt with each other.

There were times where I did feel we could have seen more of Morozko, more of Sasha and more of Dmitrii, but nevertheless, this trilogy casts a magical spell on the reader.

And as J.K.Rowling says
“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”
Do not miss this trilogy folks. Especially if you are a Potterhead or like the fantasy of similar kind. Go, bask yourself into the glory of Russian history and folklore, and play some mischief with the cheryti. May the devil be with you :)

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