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.
"Intricately crafted, gorgeously rendered...full of heart, history, and enchantment." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
BookPage: Best Book of 2018: Science Fiction & Fantasy
In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami's babka and the low rumble of their Tati's prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell - despite their mother's warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods.
As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true...and could save them all.
"With luscious and hypnotic prose, Rena Rossner tells a gripping, powerful story of family, sisterhood, and two young women trying to find their way in the world." --Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles and Circe
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)|
About the Author
Rena Rossner lives in Israel, where she works as a literary agent. All eight of her great grandparents immigrated to America to escape the pogroms, from towns like Dubossary and Kupel. It is their story, together with her love of Jewish mythology and fantasy, which inspired her to write The Sisters of the Winter Wood.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Sisters of the Winter Wood based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Fairytale set in Tsarist Ukraine with added shapeshifters goblins and real life villains. Two strong but very different sisters are up against history and fantasy! Blends well and if you don’t watch out you might learn something!
Really enjoyed being immersed in culture and the story! I loved the differences between the two sisters and how they relay their stories to the reader. Just shy of 5 stars for me because the ending felt inauthentic in a way I can't exactly describe. Maybe it just wrapped up to quickly? I feel like the entire story delved deep on so many levels, and then the ending sort of skimmed the surface. It didn't go quite deep enough for my liking. I would like to have *felt* more at the end. But it was a delightful story and really well done. Loved! Would definitely recommend!
Two sisters, two very different people, they share a love of nature, and love one another fiercely. When their parents are called away it’s up to the sisters to look out for each other in a world which has become a very dangerous place. This is a historical fantasy about the beginning of the pogroms against the Jews in eastern Europe. It has fantasy/magical elements in the form of shapeshifters and Goblins. It’s part love story, part survival story, but to me its most important message is self-acceptance. I liked how the two sisters narrations were done. By having one speak in prose and the other in verse, I think it helps to reinforce how different they are. There are a lot of Hebrew, Yiddish and Ukrainian words throughout, and I found them a little distracting. Sometimes you can figure out their meanings from the context of the sentence, if not there is a glossary at the back of the book. For me, it was an interesting, imaginative read.
The Sisters of the Winter Wood was lyrical, lush, and magical. Told in alternating prose and verse, this book is utterly enchanting. Rossner’s debut novel is an intricate melding of history, folklore, and fairytales that makes you almost believe that there might just be magic in this world. At its heart, The Sisters of the Winter Wood is a story about sisters and the strength of love. Laya and Liba were such incredibly vibrant characters. Although the change between each viewpoint was a bit jarring at first, the way in which the author wrote each character’s point of view ultimately enhanced my understanding of them. It made each sister’s voice that much more distinct. The emphasis on their sisterly bond and the exploration of what it means to be family were stronger because both sisters felt so realistic and nuanced. This was a very quick read with some great pacing. I loved how the coming-of-age tale was tied in with both a retelling of The Goblin Market and folklore. It felt very fresh and unique. However, towards the end it was a bit too fast as everything got wrapped up. But, if my main problem with a book is that it was too short and I wanted more, that’s not really a negative. Also, I’d highly recommend reading the author’s note at the end. It added an extra layer of depth to the novel by adding some historical context. The Sisters of the Winter Wood was at once utterly enchanting and entirely realistic. I’d recommend to YA fans who are looking for something similar to The Bear and the Nightingale or Spinning Silver. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any additional books by Rossner in the future. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Part Fiddler on the Roof, part THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, THE SISTERS OF THE WINTER WOOD was a magical read. I especially loved how steeped it was in Jewish faith, history, and culture. We need more books of, by, and for various people of faith.