A gorgeous, snowy adventure, set in the wilds of Siberia, full of magic and wonder, for junior readers.
Born in a Soviet prison camp, Lina has never seen the world outside until the night she escapes with her best friend, Bogdan. As the pair journey across a snowy wilderness, they are pursued by a vengeful sorceress and her pack of shadow wolves. The children will need every ounce of courage – and a whisper of magic – if they are to survive…
This books tells us about Lina, who grew up in a Soviet labour camp with her mother. She escapes with her best friend Bogdan, and together they try to get to Moscow and find Lina’s grandmother. Along the way they are however hindered by the sourceres Svetlana and her pack of shadow wolves…
The atmosphere in this book was superb. You could really feel the cold of the Siberian wilderness (and reading it during a storm whilst curled up with a blanket was lovely). Also, the magic is just wonderful and so interesting. It is the friendships that will keep you reading though. Lina is a feisty girl, whilst also being kind and gentle. She and the clever and loyal Bogdan were just a joy to read about, as was their cute tag along spirit.
The writing in this is lovely, as were the illustrations, making it an overall beautiful read. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate that cover? Why do middle grade books get all the nice covers?
However, this wasn’t a perfect read for sure. It was quite cheese at parts, and there were some things that didn’t make all that much sense to me. Also, I was told this would be an emotional read but I can’t say I felt that at any point. Sure, it wasn’t the happiest of endings, but I still didn’t feel all that much.
Overall, this was an enjoyable, fast paced, wintery read I highly recommend if middle grade is your thing.