Friday, September 28, 2018

3 Wine Glass #Review of The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

Title:The Sisters of the Winter Wood
Author: Rena Rossner
Format: 464 pages
Published: September 25th, 2018 by Redhook
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Lexi
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses 
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.

Lexi’s Thoughts:
The Sisters of the Winter Wood is very much a coming-of-age, character driven, dark fairy tale with many elements to love. 
The two sisters, Liba and Laya, grew up in a small village, secluded both by their Jewish heritage and their parents secret ability to transform into animals. A death in the family means their parents leave them home alone and from day one, the sisters are faced with unfamiliar magic and people that they are ill equipped for. The sisters grow into their own shifter abilities while they experience love and real fear for the first time. 

This book is tagged as adult fantasy but I found it to read very YA. Which is wonderful, if you’re expecting it. The tropes these young teens find themselves in are very common in YA fantasy. And the story is very focused on them finding love, becoming comfortable in their own skins, and learning who they really are. Again, a wonderful message, if you’re expecting it. 

The authors note at the end was beautiful. The history she used to write The Sisters of the Winter Wood is tragic and Rossner’s ability to weave real facts into the fiction is well done. If only that had been more of the focus instead of the teens ability to find themselves. 

If you enjoy YA fantasy romance then you will love this book. If you enjoy a skilled author using historical facts to strengthen their fantasy, you will love this book. If you enjoy tales of young women coming into their own and discovering their true power, you will love this book. 

Now that you truly know what to expect, go forth and read!

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