Through the White Wood
By: Jessica Leake
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 9th, 2019
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.
There are countless monsters in this world. Some with fangs, some who skitter in the darkness just out of sight, some who wear human skin but whose hearts have turned dark as forest shadows.
And as my fellow villagers dragged me, bound by rough rope, from the cellar of the elder, I knew that these men and women I’d grown up with—they thought of me as a monster, too.
I wasn’t sure they were wrong.
“Haul her to her feet,” said Anatoly, the village elder, with arms crossed over his black fur coat.
Yury and Peter wrapped strong arms around me, and I tried to wrench out of their grasp, stumbling in the deep snow. “Her skin has turned to ice,” Yury answered, his lip curled in disgust.
“Then pull her by the rope,” Anatoly said, irritation clear in his gruff voice.
The rope grew taut as they forcibly brought me to a standing position. I was still exhausted from my long flight through the woods, but as the sleigh that would take me away suddenly came into view, pulled by magnificent white horses, I strained against my bonds. The ice, my only defense, spread all over my body.
A group of villagers had assembled to watch the sleigh arrive, and I made a pitiful sound low in my throat as I caught sight of Babushka.
“Babushka, please,” I cried out as I fought more wildly against the men who held me captive.
Her ruddy face was stern, the red-and-orange kerchief on her head colorful against the backdrop of the smoky wooden huts. Dedushka, who would normally be by her side, was painfully absent. The fact that it was entirely my fault he was missing tore through me, like a blade in my chest.
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.
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