The Bear and the Nightingale meets Frostblood in this lushly romantic and intensely imaginative historical fantasy from the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore!
When Katya loses control of her power to freeze, her villagers banish her to the palace of the terrifying Prince Sasha in Kiev. Expecting punishment, she is surprised to find instead that Sasha is just like her—with the ability to summon fire. Sasha offers Katya friendship and the chance to embrace her power rather than fear it.
But outside the walls of Kiev, Sasha’s enemies are organizing an army of people bent on taking over the entire world.
Together, Katya’s and Sasha’s powers are a fearsome weapon. But as their enemies draw nearer, will fire and frost be enough to save the world? Or will Katya and Sasha lose everything they hold dear?
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Jessica Leake is the author of the adult novels Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun, both with Skyhorse. She worked for years as a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn’t stop writing. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four young children, lots of chickens, and two dogs who keep everyone in line. Beyond a Darkened Shore is her YA debut and is followed by Through the White Wood. Visit her at www.jessicaleake.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
THROUGH THE WHITE WOOD is a story of a girl who comes into her own against all odds and the prince who helps to balance her world. Russian culture and a mix of their folklore are woven through the story with a richness that historical and fairy tale fans will enjoy. Readers who enjoy character driven stories as well as romance will also find much to love here. Definitely a story not to be missed! These characters are easy to relate to and likable from the beginning. Katya is exceptionally powerful, but very insecure. Her childhood was rough and then her worst fears come to pass, inflicting more wounds on her heart. She is constantly fighting her fears and doubts, which I think most of us can relate to in one way or another. She also is trying to figure out her place in the world and in her new situation at the palace. I enjoyed seeing how she slowly develops over time and that she is still figuring things out as this story ends. Sasha is very much the opposite of Katya. He has been groomed to be the prince and, even with his troubling past and the dangers he and his kingdom faces, he still carries himself with confidence, strength, and the ability to make tough choices. He has some vulnerabilities too, which allowed him to connect in some ways to Katya. I loved how he counters Katya and how they fit together with their personalities, strengths, and with their powers. I also really enjoyed this fantasy world that is really a part of ancient history with the author's twists and magical elements added in. The Russian culture with their way of life, clothing, and mannerisms added a richness to this story that I appreciated and found interesting. The way the author weaves in different folklore and how different individuals came to posses these powerful abilities was also interesting. I definitely wouldn't mind visiting this story-book world again. My one complaint would be that I wanted more chemistry from the romance and more development in that area. I kind of felt like these two hardly spoke to each other and then were in love and I wanted there to be a lot more "meat" per se to their relationship before love developed. I still enjoyed the romance and the sweetness of it regardless. And I could have handled even more cultural and magical development. In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end! With the rich setting, magical aspects, character development, a motley crew, and romance, there's not much more readers can ask for. I'm looking forward to more from this author! Content: Some violence but clean. Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author through Prism Book Tours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
While the author's first book was a good and interesting read, this one fell flat for me. The story of a girl with frost powers in her veins, who is being sent to the Grand Prince of Kiev to deal with, the plot feels similar in structure to Beyond the Darkened Shore in that it has two supernatural people chosen for a prophecy. Katya, much like Ciara, does not know the reach of her powers, and moreover, she is afraid to use them after an accident had her killing a significant part of her village. Vladimir, aka Sasha, the prince, is a victim of bad propaganda, and she initially fears him, and later thinks he cares only for her powers. Together, though, they have to unlock their powers and work together to defeat his enemies. Now, a large part of the reason why I didn't like this book as much as I hoped to was the fact that even with an interesting setting and storyline, it fails at engaging the reader. The pacing is glacial, and takes weird detours that don't do much for the plot; I pretty much speed-read the last quarter of the book because my patience was gone by that point. The dialogue of this one also comes across as more stilted and formal, and the character interactions suffer as a result. I was also confused at one point about which language they were supposed to be speaking in Constantinople! The romance particularly lacked any chemistry, and it just felt forced; they are opposite powers so obviously they just have to complement each other! Katya's initial hesitance to him, as well as her continued fear of pursuing anything with him is barely resolved at the end, and Sasha takes up like a cookie cutter role of being the love interest. The few good things about this book is that the base was actually good, and the historical aspects included were interesting; I just wish it had did more with those in the plot itself than being decorative elements. Oh, and Lief and Ciara make an appearance in the book, which was delightful in a way; they had a presence much more that the actual protagonists of the book, to be honest! The big fight at the end was a bit thrilling but since I had lost patience with the book by that time, I didn't enjoy it well enough.
THROUGH THE WHITE WOOD follows Katya, a young woman who has a power of ice and is feared by many. From the time she was a baby and left in the woods throughout her life, she has been ever-conscious of her dangerous power. After a tragedy occurs involving her uncontrollable ability, Katya is sent to the prince for sentencing. Rumors swirl that the prince is amassing an army of people with special abilities to fight against rival kingdoms, as well as of the terrible things he has done. Once Katya arrives, she finds that Prince Vladimir (a.k.a. Sasha) is not who she expected, and she is to be trained but ultimately, she can decide whether to fight. The invading armies are getting closer to the capital of Kiev by the day and Katya is ever aware that she will soon need to make a difficult decision. First, however, she must learn to understand and control her powers which she fears, and this is no easy task. What I loved: The world is full of various magical beings and this was absolutely fascinating. I also really enjoyed not only Katya and Sasha’s characters but also the many side characters that appear in the book. The idea of the powers was fascinating with the different elements and how flexibly they could be used, and even more information about these would have been interesting. The ending is also a little open, and I am hoping there will be another book along these lines to continue this unique story. What left me wanting more: The romance felt a little forced. While they do spend time together, the connection between them was not grown as much as I would have liked to witness. Perhaps this is because Katya is consumed by her powers and their potential dangers and so the romance creeps up on her. I would have liked some more scenes to build this up. There is also a lot going on in this world. While the information given was adequate to follow the story, I would have loved even more context and historical building for how the world has come to be this way/about the prince’s powers, and more along these lines. Final verdict: Overall, this was an engaging and fascinating read that consumed my YA fantasy-loving heart. This book is great for lovers of magic, YA fantasy and adventure, and fairytale retellings. I would definitely love to meet these characters again in future books. Please note that I received an ARC from the author. All opinions are my own.