I have something wonderful to share with you today. I was lucky enough to be given the chance to read an ARC of The Sisters of the Winter Wood and I am going to be sharing my review now.
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I am sure it comes as no surprise that I loved The Sisters of the Winter Wood, as I have a soft spot for fairy tale retellings. But The Sisters of the Winter Wood is definitely something special and is incredibly unique.
Title: The Sisters of the Winter Wood
Author: Rena Rossner
Synopsis: Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner’s debut fantasy invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods.
Raised in a small village surrounded by vast forests, Liba and Laya have lived a peaceful sheltered life – even if they’ve heard of troubling times for Jews elsewhere. When their parents travel to visit their dying grandfather, the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods.
But before they leave, Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are true. She must guard this secret carefully, even from her beloved sister.
Soon a troupe of mysterious men appear in town and Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And these are not the only dangers lurking in the woods…
The sisters will need each other if they are to become the women they need to be – and save their people from the dark forces that draw closer.
Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic Realism, Fairy Tales, Retellings,
Publication Date: 25th September 2018
Rating: 5 stars
Content Warnings: n/a
Review: The Sisters of the Winter Wood got off to a truly amazing start, I love the way that the story switches between the sister’s points of view. Both Liba and Laya are really interesting and I also love the differences between their prose, steady and descriptive Liba and poetic and flighty Laya. This was really unique and I really loved it.
There were so many amazing fairytales woven in to the story, it was wonderful to see familiar favourites as well as finding new ones I now want to read more about. The Sisters of the Winter Wood was a beautifully written and darkly enchanting fantasy tale, which I just did not want to put down.
The character development of the two sisters is a big focus in the book, and I love both of the sisters and how different they are. It’s so interesting to see how the two sisters cope, in their own way, with their parents leaving them alone in their house. I felt a kinship with Liba, as an older sibling myself, and the lengths as which she goes to hold everything together and to protect her younger sister. But I also felt a kinship to the impulsive Laya too.
There is a real darkness to the tale which I found really enchanting, you feel compelled towards it, just as Laya is compelled towards Fedir. The fact that the two sisters were both experiencing their first loves, in very different ways, and yet in parallel, was a really great way to drawn the narratives together. It was wonderful to highlight the differences between us all.
I loved the fairytale elements to the tale, they really added a richness to the world of the Winter Wood. But the elements of reality, which were also woven in to the story made The Sisters of the Winter Wood really incredible. It’s really interesting to have a window in to a Jewish family, and the Jewish community of the town. For me, the message I took away from The Sisters of the Winter Wood, is that is it sometimes what we don’t say that can cause the most hurt. This was definitely to be a recurring theme throughout the book.
Overall, I absolutely loved The Sisters of the Winter Wood and I would definitely recommend it to any fantasy fans, and especially those who love fairytale retellings. You can find The Sisters of the Winter Wood over on Amazon*.
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I received a eARC of The Sisters of the Winter Wood via NetGalley, all opinions and words are my own.