A mix of ancient Russian culture, magic and romance... Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake (Review & #Giveaway) #ThroughtheWhiteWoodTour

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

I've been a fan of this author for some time. Read my
review of her newest and enter the tour giveaway below...

Through the White Wood
By Jessica Leake
Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 416 Pages
April 9th 2019 by HarperTeen


The Bear and the Nightingale meets Frostblood in this romantic 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?

Inspired by Russian mythology, this lushly romantic, intensely imaginative, and fiercely dramatic story is about learning to fight for yourself, even when the world is falling down around you.

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My Review

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.

Other Books in the Series

Beyond a Darkened Shore
By Jessica Leake
Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 384 Pages
April 10th 2018 by HarperTeen


The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle, the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love...even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

Praise for the Book

"Beyond a Darkened Shore is thrilling and romantic. This is a must-read for lovers of fantasy, mythology, and folklore." - Kody KeplingerNew York Times bestselling author of The DUFF and Run

“With undead armies, flesh-eating spirit horses, and a powerful heroine, fantasy, romance, and historical-fiction readers will have a great time.” - Booklist

“While Morrigan and Odin are terrifying, raven-haired Ciara is the star. Beautiful, strong, and independent, she is the perfect warrior princess. Epic historical fantasy filled with deadly creatures, simmering romance, and nonstop action.” - Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Jessica Leake is the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore as well as the adult novels Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four young children, lots of chickens, and two dogs who keep everyone in line. Visit her at www.jessicaleake.com.

Tour Schedule

Tour-Wide Giveaway

2 winners will receive a copy of Through the White Wood (US only)
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
Ends April 17th

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Have you read either of these books? Will you be reading this one? Any thoughts on my review?

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