[ARC] Review #17: The Sisters of the Winter Wood


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 appears 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.

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It takes A LOT for me to not like a book, and I mean that when I say that. As you’ll see, most of my reviews end up 3.5 stars or higher, and rarely ever will you see something lower.

However, this book really did not interest me much after the first few chapters. I was about nearly half-way through when I decided to DNF it. I absolutely hate DNFing books because I truly believe that they’ll get better toward the end. But I’ve experienced the same thing that happened with this book before, and I wasn’t chancing boredom anymore.

Every other sentence in this book seemed to be repeating or contradicting what they’d said or thought before. Should we go to town? No, we should stay home. But home is too dangerous! So, we’ll go to town. It got tiring after seeing this happen in—what really seemed like—every chapter.

I was super excited to read this book because of the fantasy element that was being promoted. But after reaching that, it fell very short of my expectations. The characters are two different ages; one eighteen, and the other fifteen. Yet, they both seemed to develop their shifting powers at the same time? It made no sense.

And then, at the same time, it felt like every decision being made, once again, was being made in contradiction and repeating. It got really annoying, and the story altogether stopped being interesting once I couldn’t look over that.

So, with that being said, I rate this book 1 star. I had a lot of high hopes for it that fell short in the end, which I find to be really sad and upsetting.

Though, this book may not have been for it for me, I do hope that it will be it for you. I firmly believe someone can dislike a book while someone else can love it, so I’d still ask you to at least try it out before agreeing with me.

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Version 3Rena Rossner lives in Israel where she works as a Literary Agent. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars program, Trinity College Dublin and McGill University where she studied history. All eight of her great grandparents immigrated to America to escape the pogroms in Moldova, Russia, Romania and the Ukraine – from towns like Dubossary, Kupel, Riga and Bendera. It is their story, together with her love of Jewish mythology and fantasy, that inspired her to write The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

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