By Adventures in Obsessive Reading 

The Sisters of the Winter Wood

Author: Rena Rossner
Page Count: 464
Rating: C
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy
Keywords: Judaism, Fairytales, Eastern Europe
Kid Appropriate: Teens

This book was certainly not what I was expecting. Rather than being an adult fantasy novel with some fairytale elements thrown in, it ended up being more of a dark fairytale following the sexual awakening of the teenage sisters living in a small village in the woods of Eastern Europe.

Overall, I ended up giving this one a three-star rating because it had some high points as well as some extreme low points. There were many moments where I almost quit reading and others where I was beyond excited, thinking that finally, the book was making a turn for the better. Below I’ll cover this dichotomy. 

First, the high points. The bond between sisters was endearing to watch as it evolved throughout our brief tale. Even the isolated village that this tale takes place in was well developed and created a great atmosphere for a haunting tale. 

Second, the low points. This should not have been advertised as an adult novel. Everything that happens in this novel is due to the juvenile nature of our main characters. A mix of cluelessness and hormonal rampages result in disaster again and again. There was also the vagueness of the time period this is taking place in. Some of the references to antisemitism and the killings in neighboring villages makes it seem like it may have been in the 1930s but with the isolation and lack of technology, it is difficult to tell.

This book is worth a go, just go in with lower expectations.

Ash Princess

Author: Laura Sebastian
Page Count: 432
Rating: B
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: YA Fantasy
Keywords: Assassination, Shame, Rebirth
Kid Appropriate: Teens and older

I went in expecting a simple YA novel about some silly princess and probably a love triangle. In the end I was pleasantly surprised. While this is reminiscent of many previous YA novels in the past five years with a wronged princess rising from the ashes of her kingdom, especially reminded my of Sara Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes, there was a great deal of political intrigue and scheming. The plans laid are beyond the rashness of many similar YA novels. Check this one out if you’re in the market for a slower YA novel that focuses on the political structure of a kingdom after siege as well as the moving parts of warfare and rebellion…with a smidge or romance.

The Name of the Wind

Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Page Count: 730
Rating: B
Format Read: 10th Anniversary Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy
Keywords: Magic, Words, Family
Kid Appropriate: Teens and older

I absolutely loved the first half of this novel. Thinking it was one of the most amazing fantasy novels I have ever read and devouring the pages with excitement. The storytelling tactic of one character telling the other a tale is one of my favorites so I expected to love this one. However, around 60% through this book it began to slow down considerably and I became disconnected from our cocky Kvothe as the originally of the tale began to fade and it felt like many other fantasy novels I have read over the years. Still worth the read but definitely did not make my favorites list like most other readers

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