The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

The Sisters of the Winter Wood: Rossner, Rena: 9780316483254 ...

In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami’s babka and the low rumble of their Tati’s prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell – despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods.

As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true…and could save them all. (taken from Amazon)

                                          Admission: I judged a book by its cover. I grabbed this one simply because the cover’s so stinking beautiful. For me, however, the cover was the high point.

Let me hasten to add: I didn’t hate it. It just wasn’t for me. I expected a fairy-tale type of story, pretty with a hint of the mysterious and dark. This book was not it. It’s good for what it is, but since it was nowhere near what I thought I’d be reading, I was underwhelmed.

This story follows two points of view: sisters Liba and Laya. They live near the edge of their Jewish village. Their father is a respected man, but their mother- who is not from the village- is disliked and looked down upon. Liba is a lot like her father, while Laya is her mother in miniature. They’re very different, but obviously love each other. When their parents have to leave on a long journey, it’s up to the two sisters to take care of each other. Things quickly go south, however.

I liked Liba okay, although there wasn’t a ton to her character. Laya annoyed the snot out of me. She was the stereotypical selfish “pretty sister.” I was not a big fan.

The pacing in the book was awkward. Not much happened at all for quite a while. Then there was the dreaded info dump. I’m not sure why none of the information was given throughout the beginning of the book, which would have made it feel much more natural and organic, but having a ton of information just kind of plunked there was a little disconcerting.  After the info dump, the book picked up and…became a romance. Oh, bother.

For those who haven’t been following my blog for long: I don’t read romance. I can handle romances in books, but not as the main plot point. It’s just not my thing. Needless to say, this new development in The Sisters of the Wild Wood was not for me. That’s not to fault the book, it’s just not my bag. However, for those who like romance, this might be a really enjoyable switch-up.

I’m bummed that I can’t write a glowing review for this one. Ultimately, this book wasn’t my thing. However, if you like romance with a small hint of fantasy, this might be for you.