The Sisters of the Winter Wood: Sampler Saturday

Continuing on with my series of reviewing samplers, today I am reviewing The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner.

Title: The Sister of the Winter Wood

Author: Rena Rossner

Publication Date: 25th September 2018


In a remote village surrounded by the forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sister Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed sent of their Mami’s babka and the low rumbel of their Tati’s prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya galls under their spell – despite thier mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret about a magical heritage they never knew existed.The sisters realise the old fairy tales are true … and could save them all.


I really enjoyed the Jewish culture and religion that is very prevalent in the sampler (whether or not it will fade at all as the fantasy side becomes more prevalent I don’t know). As someone who has little exposure to the Jewish community, it was nice seeing a society that it mainly Jewish, and seeing this religion presented in a way where it is not uncommon.

While I am not normally a big fan of short chapters, I enjoy the way that both sisters get to tell the whole story, as the chapters flip between them. I also enjoy the way that Liba narrates in prose while Laya narrates in poetry.

Plot wise, I think that the sampler cut of a little to softly and I am left at a point of understanding with little mystery to keep me wanting to read more. I feel that this may not make me want to buy the book when it is released, but I would keep reading.

Buy It or Burn It?

Personally I don’t think that I will be buying this book any time soon as the ending of the sampler is quite anticlimactic. I do feel though that this was due to the editing of the sampler and not the story. I may pick it up if my TBR is a little low, but it would not be something that I will be rushing to the book shop to buy.

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