The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner @renarossner | @kurtsprings1 #review @fantasy

Author: Rena Rossner

Book: The Sisters of the Winter Wood

Published: September 2018

Publisher: Redhook

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Paperback



Liba and Laya have lived their whole lives in a remote forest village on the border of Ukraine and Moldova. They grew up on their Mami’s honey-scented babka and Tati’s prayers. The two girls are left vulnerable when their parents are called to their father’s home village. When a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya, among others, falls under their spell. These men aren’t the only danger lurking in the woods. When people start disappearing, suspicion falls on the Jewish community. Dark forces are closing in on their village, and Liba and Laya discover a magical heritage they never knew existed. Old Fairy tales are true and could save them all.


The Sisters of the Winter Wood is set in a Jewish community in Eastern Europe. Liba and Laya are two sisters who could not be more different. Liba is darker and more solidly built, while Laya is fair-colored and lighter. The reader finds early on that they’ve inherited the ability to change. Liba can become a bear like her Tati, and Laya can become a swan like her Mami. They just have to learn to use their abilities, if the dark forces stirring up trouble give them time.

Rena Rossner’s The Sisters of the Winter Wood proved a page-turner for me. I enjoyed the interplay between the sisters and the other characters. Rena Rossner based her story on Jewish, Russian, and Ukrainian folklore and storytelling, and is quite captivating.

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