Blog Tour & ARC Review | Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake

Magical Blend of Folklore and Fantasy

POSTED ON April 11, 2019 BY Austine IN Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway

Blog Tour & ARC Review | Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake

Good morning, Knights! Today the tour for Through the White Wood is making its rounds to a few more blogs including NovelKnight for my review! This was the first book I read by Jessica Leake but it certainly won’t be the last!

Blog Tour & ARC Review | Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake
Through the White Wood
by Jessica Leake
Published on April 9, 2019 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 416
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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.

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This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mini Review

Knight's Judgment
Writing Style

As the first book I’ve read by Jessica Leake, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Through the White Wood. I’d heard good things about the previous book (I believe they’re companions?) so I had somewhat high expectations for this one.

My initial impression reminded me a bit of reading The Cold is In Her Bones earlier this year, the blend of folklore with fiction, all while giving the feel of a magical history that our records forgot. On that front, I think this book excelled. This was a world I wanted to explore further, beyond Katya’s story.

That said, I think this storytelling style also distanced me from the characters. I lost the tension and combined with the slower pace of the story, I felt like I was being lulled into a fantasy-filled dream, the king that comes from listening to a tale before bed. Which isn’t a bad thing. I enjoyed this book, but I felt like the characters didn’t show a desire to follow through with each decision so much as the plot prescribed it and they eventually came around. I found this especially true with Katya.

I kind of got a bit of a Frozen feel from Through the White Wood, and Katya’s struggle with questioning if she’s a monster or not.

Then everything became very predictable. The romance took center stage and I was never really behind it? Not that I might romance-centric stories but something seemed. . . off with Katya and Sasha’s relationship. Can’t put my finger on it.

And all this sounds like I didn’t like the book but, in truth, I did enjoy it ultimately. The setting held me captive in the story and I couldn’t help but go along with it. I’m not really sure how Through the White Wood compares to Beyond a Darkened Shore but I’m looking forward to finding out!


Other Books in the Series

Blog Tour & ARC Review | Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake

Beyond a Darkened Shore
by Jessica Leake
Published on April 9, 2019 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 416
Genres: FantasyYoung Adult

The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

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About Jessica Leake

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


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2 winners will receive a copy of Through the White Wood (US only)
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
Ends April 17th

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