Book Review | The Winter of the Witch (The Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

Title: The Winter of the Witch
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Publisher: Del Rey
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.” (Goodreads)

The Winter of the Witch was one of my most anticipated reads for 2019 and it did not disappoint. We are swept back into this magical world right where The Girl in the Tower left off. Vasya is trying to make peace with what happened to Moscow the night before while trying to keep her family safe as an angry mob wants her tried for witchcraft. Katherine Arden’s writing is once again captivating and brings to life this world and the characters we have grown to love.

We find ourselves back at recognizable places such as Moscow and the forest but we also are drawn into new magical worlds that feel like a dream. Her world building is breathtaking and imaginative as always.

New and familiar characters come back for this epic conclusion. Vasya is still growing in the beginning and by the end she is finding her purpose which is satisfying to see. She is always full of real human emotions as Katherine has a way of making each character come to life. I even grew to like Medved, the bear, and I didn’t think that was possible. Many of the characters are met with tough decisions they must make and sometimes those decisions lead to fateful consequences.

This book gave me so many emotions and tears were shed multiple times as well as a few laughs here and there. Although I am sad to see this wonderful world end, The Winter of the Witch is a great ending to a beloved series.


Book Review | The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

Title: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2)
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: December 5th, 2017
Publisher: Del Rey
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“In The Girl in the Tower, Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, she has only two options left: marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.

But after she prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.” (Goodreads)

Edit: This was a reread and I still enjoyed it a lot!

The Girl in the Tower continues to follow Vasya as she tries to find her place in the world without losing herself in the process. Along the way she finds herself disguised as a boy and helping the Grand Prince of Moscow defend the city.

Honestly, I loved this book more than the first. Katherine Arden is such a wonderful story teller and her characters are always so conscious of their actions and sometimes make horrible decisions which is so real and refreshing. Vasya has grown as a character since The Bear and the Nightingale but still has kept true to herself even when the odds are stacked against her.

The world building, as always, is detailed and the pace of the book is well done. I didn’t want to put it down for anything! I am so glad this series was recommended because it has become one of my favorites. It is great to have books written about other fairy tales than the usual ones. Besides, who doesn’t love Morozko?

Weekly Update | 8-21-22

Hello Lovely Bookworms!

This week was filled with school and chickens!

School has been going great for my first grader. I think we are finding our groove for the homeschooling program and she seems to be enjoying it. She still isn’t a fan of language arts but I told her she can’t be a good reader like me without it. 😂

The chicken coop got cleaned out yesterday and their run is now mowed. It’s a lot of work! But, they bring joy and I could sit out there for an hour and just watch them. It’s the simple things isn’t it?

Other than that, reading has been going well. I’m not quite where I wanted to be with my September arcs though. I still have six left but at least they are for the last half of the month.

I hope you all have been having a great weekend!

  • Funny Feelings by Tarah Dewitt ⭐⭐
  • I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (🎧) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2) by Brigid Kemmerer (arc) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • In the Weeds (Lovelight #2) by B.K. Borison (arc/🎧) ⭐⭐
  • Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin (🎧) ⭐⭐
  • The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) by Stephanie Garber (arc) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Empty Smiles (Small Spaces #4) by Katherine Arden (🎧) ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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Weekly Update | 2-6-22

Hello Lovely Bookworms!

I feel like my weeks are starting to feel normal once again and it feels great!

I will say that it started off a little rocky and Monday was just not my day. Ever since the dreaded plague started a couple of years ago buying groceries sucks a lot! Monday was one of those days I was reminded why. Three stories didn’t have what I needed and it puts a damper on my budget as well as meal planning. It’s so hard! I had a coupon for Chipotle and usually every one around me has weird hours or are out of random things. Monday was a day I saw one open until 10pm and had everything! I was so happy. I leave my house at 3:40pm and get there at 4:00pm which is when my online order time was. They were closed…someone was sweeping up…They looked at me like I was crazy but I had placed an order online and luckily it was sitting on the shelf ready to go and they gave it to me. I would have been fuming if I drove all that way with gas being the price it is for me not to get food, haha. I just couldn’t win that day!

I know that it’s all first world problems and I should be grateful but sometimes I just want to rant, ya know?

Anyways, my reading hasn’t been so good and maybe that is because of videogames, lol. But also, everything I pick up just hasn’t been meshing with me lately. I have dnfed 5 or 6 books within the last few weeks. I really hope I get a 5 star read soon.

I hope you all have been having a great weekend so far! ❤

  • The No-Show by Beth O’Leary (arc) ⭐⭐
  • All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle (arc) ⭐⭐⭐
  • The Lost Queen by Signe Pike (audiobook)

The reason for this dnf is really based on the book not pulling me in. I just wasn’t caring for the characters and it was just really slow. I hadn’t listened to it for about a week.

  • This Woven Kingdom by Taherah Mafi

The reason for this one is really just a personal preference and it won’t matter to others. I am okay with demons in certain aspects but I can’t deal with the mention of the devil and not in the sense of, “oh yeah this guy is as evil as the devil.” but it actually being the devil. Again personal preference and I know it won’t bother others.

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (audiobook)
  • Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald (arc)
  • The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi

How was your week? Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Read anything good this week? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

First Lines Friday (10/25/19)


Hello Lovely Readers!

I have decided to partake in this weekly meme!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!


“The Gravedigger’s children were troublemakers. They chased chickens through the neighbors’ yards, brandishing sticks like swords, claiming that the fowl were monsters in disguise. They went to the fields and returned with berry-stained lips, crunching seeds between their teeth.”









The book is….




I got this book in my Owlcrate last month and have been really wanting to read it since then. There are other books I needed to get to first but now October is coming to a close and I still haven’t read a spooky book! So, this is me making myself accountable by saying this book will be read before the end of the month. Mark my words!


Have you picked this one up? Do you want to read it? Let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Character Traits I Love

top ten


Hello, Lovely Bookworms!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

Honestly, this is a difficult topic for me. I guess in a way I know what I like but its always harder to describe since it isn’t super specific. I don’t know. I am just going to wing it and hope for the best!


grey line

I am going to go off of Emer @alittlehazebookblog format because it’s just easier to write out what I like versus having an actual trait point. If that makes sense.

I am not a huge villain fan. I can’t count on one hand how many I actually like. I will say that I do for the most part like them to be inherently evil. I just like them to be evil and not have some weird redemption twist at the end. Another thing I like about villains their calculations. By that I mean being manipulative and being able to feel bad for them but then on the next page hating their guts. It’s a complicated cycle for me.

Now, I am not sure if morally grey is a trait but lets go with it. I like characters that teeter on the brink of right and wrong. It makes them more realistic because not everyone is a perfect angel. Not everyone has a fantastic moral compass.

The last point brings me to my next point. I like realistic characters. It’s the one way I find myself being able to connect with them. I want them to make bad choices but at the same time I don’t want it to be so stupid it is unbelievable.

I like characters to be witty, charming, lovable, intelligent, and whatever else I find irresistible. Honestly, my mood changes from time to time and two characters may have the same traits but I may like one over the other. It’s all just a guessing game, haha. Why am I like this?

I probably like my characters to be a bit indecisive because its how I am. I change my mind constantly. I mean just read this train wreck of a post. Haha!

So yeah, I am going to end it here.


grey line

What do you like about characters? Let me know in the comments!

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Finale: NetGalley Review


thegeekishbrunette review


40381392Title: Finale (Caraval #3)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
Rating: 5 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

->Click for Synopsis<-

As the last book in the series, this had me feeling so much! A few tears were shed and the ending brought everything to a close. It was the perfect way to end a glorious series.

Finale begins weeks after Legendary ended. Tella and Scarlett are trying to figure out their life once the last game of Caraval ended. They are also trying to wrangle through their emotions for Dante and Julian. It’s hard when the revelations from the last game are still fresh.

In this book, we get PoV’s for Scarlett and Tella. Since each are going through different issues its nice to get to understand each sister and the decisions they must make to keep the ones they love safe while also keeping the empire from falling into the wrong hands. Dante and Julian are in the same boat as Tella and Scarlett. They each are trying to figure out where their feelings stand and how far they will go for love or what they are willing to give up for it.

Love, as you can tell, is a big topic and with love comes heartbreak. A couple love triangles which I didn’t mind. The relationships are written well and make them easy to connect with and feel the same emotions as the characters.

The bickering in this book gave me life and had me laughing before all the heartbreak that was to set in. The plot twists were unexpected and had me rereading certain sentences to make sure they actually happened. Although the main characters are present, more fates are introduced. Some bringing more disaster than others. They were intriguing and kept the plot quite interesting! Of course, this book wouldn’t be the same without my one and only, Jacks.

This book was filled with love, lust, heartbreak, and disaster. It’s hard to say goodbye to characters but everything wrapped up nicely by the end, except my feelings. I am still trying to cope with it all.

Daughter of the Pirate King: Book Review

thegeekishbrunette review


33643994Title: Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 2.5 stars

->Click for Synopsis<-

Daughter of the Pirate King follows a red-headed young woman who must track down a piece of map that her father, the Pirate King needs. She has the skills to outwit a pirate crew but she wasn’t expecting one of her captors to be charming and attractive. She will need to use all her knowledge to pull off this mission.

I have heard many good things about this book. I mean, it has pirates! Who doesn’t love a plot with pirates? Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the hype for me as I had hoped it would.

When it comes to the main character Elosa, I didn’t care for her. She reminded me of Aelin/Celeana from Throne of Glass and I didn’t like her either. I like a strong female character but at the same time I dislike when they keep talking about how strong they are. I also wasn’t interested in any of the other characters or the relationships that were being formed. I am all for enemies to lovers but this one I just couldn’t get on board with.

Since I couldn’t connect with Elosa, it made the plot less interesting for me. I also could figure out the twists before they happened which left me not engaged. I liked the pirates but even then I felt that there could have been more action.

Overall, it was just alright. I wanted to love it like everyone else but it just wasn’t for me. It lacked in too many areas for me. I don’t know if I will read the next book yet. If you have read Daughter of the Siren Queen was it better than the first?



Friday Favorites: Fictional Worlds

Book Tag

Hello, fellow book lovers!

Today’s post is a tag that was created by Something of the Book and she has a whole list of Friday Favorites to follow.

Fictional worlds are something that I love. I enjoy being able to escape to a different world each time I pick up a new book. I get to immerse myself in a new culture and learn what it is like to live in such a place. It is awesome and makes me want to pack my bags! But alas, it doesn’t work that way sadly.

Anyways, here is my list of favorite fictional worlds:

1.) Prythian (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

2.) Middle-Earth (Lord of the Rings)

3.) Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia)

4.) Azeroth (World of Warcraft)

5.) Achleva (Bloodleaf)

6.) The Witchlands (Truthwitch series)

And there you have it! My wonderful list of amazing fictional worlds. Yes, I through in a videogame world but there are books about it and it is still fictional, ha.

Do any of these make your list? Let me know!

The Governess of Penwythe Hall: NetGalley Review

40590427Title: The Governess of Penwythe Hall
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Publication Date: April 16th, 2019
Rating: 4 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

->Click for Synopsis<-

The Governess of Penwythe Hall follows Cordelia Greythorne, the governess to five children and when their father dies from an accident, she now must confront her past as her and the children head to their uncle’s house which isn’t far from her late husband’s home.

This isn’t a typical read for me as I am usually reading fantasy but I do love to read historical fiction! I guess you could say it is a guilty pleasure of mine and this book did not disappoint.

Cordelia Greythorne has a tragic past and I loved learning about it throughout the pages. She doesn’t let it get the best of her even when she is confronted with it multiple times. Jac Trethewey isn’t always seen in the greatest light by his nieces and nephews but I quickly fell in love with him because its hard not to. He is kind, loyal, and wants to do anything to protect Cordelia and the children.

The plot for the most part felt like a Hallmark movie and it’s probably why I loved it. There isn’t much romance but the relationship in the book is slow to blossom and it makes it feel authentic.

If you love historical fiction mixed with a bit of danger, a tragic past, and a man that will steal your heart then definitely check this book out!