Good morning all – I’m so excited to be a part of Prism’s blog tour for Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake. I have a review to share, and a giveaway, with three great prizes!
Let me start by saying that, although it wasn’t necessary to read Beyond a Darkened Shore before Through the White Wood, I wish I had. Both books take place in the same fantasy world, and some prominent characters from Leake’s first book, make an appearance in this latest.
Here’s my thoughts on Through the White Wood –
- The Setting and time period. It took place in Ukraine and then Constantinople around 1000 AD. I love books set in Medieval time: bathing in streams, heating rocks to cook, traveling by sleds, etc. Day-to-day life was harder then, but I feel like, also more rich, and simple at times.
- The mythology/folklore. Jessica Leake clearly did a lot of research on slavic folklore. There was a handful of great folklore beings such as —SPOILER ALERT— Baba Yaga.
- Lots of action! I liked that there was action right in the beginning. We didn’t have to wait long before we got a taste of Katya’s icy powers.
- The terminology. Through the White Wood wasn’t an easy story for me to slip right into. There were a handful of slavic words in the beginning of the story, that caused me to; stop reading, put the book down, grab my phone, Google the term, then return to reading. They were for minor words like shirt, and pastry, but I couldn’t enjoy the story without knowing what they were.
- The romance. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to read this book is because of the alluded to romance between Katya and Prince Sasha. I liked Katya and I liked Sasha, but most of their scenes together felt a little stiff to me. I felt like there just wasn’t enough heat.
Overall I enjoyed Through the White Wood. I’ve actually had Beyond a Darkened Shore on my shelves since last year and never got around to reading it. But now that I know that Jessica Leake excels at world-building and folklore-researching, I’m going to make a greater effort to finally read it – and soon!
Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake
Published by HarperTeen on April 9, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Katya’s power to freeze anything she touches has made her an outcast in her isolated village. And when she loses control of her ability, accidentally killing several villagers, she is banished to the palace of the terrifying Prince Sasha in Kiev.
At the castle, though, she is surprised to find that Sasha is just like her—with his own strange talent, the ability to summon fire. Instead of punishment, Sasha offers Katya friendship, and the chance to embrace her power rather than fear it.
But outside the walls of Kiev, Sasha’s enemies have organized their own army of people who can control the very earth. Bent on taking over the entire world, they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed everything.
Katya and Sasha are desperate to stop the encroaching army, and together their powers are a fearsome weapon. But as their enemies draw nearer, leaving destruction in their wake, will fire and frost be enough to save the world? Or will they lose everything they hold dear?
About the author
Once upon a time, Jessica Leake was a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn’t stop writing. She wrote and wrote until she got her first book published, and then she wrote some more. In between all that writing she had four beautiful and hilarious children with her husband (best friend and man she’s known since high school; also hilarious), moved back to her adopted hometown of Greenville, SC, built a chicken coop, and got a bunch of chickens that poop breakfast every morning. She also has two dogs to keep the chickens in line. (The dogs made her write that last bit.)