“A magical, lush debut with fierce sisterly love at its core. Alternating chapters in both poetry and prose tell the story of Liba and Laya, two sisters that discover their family history is something straight out of a fairy tale: Liba, like her father is part bear, and Laya, like her mother is part swan. As each sister navigates their new abilities of transformation, so too must they learn how to protect each other when a mysterious group of merchants arrive in their village, selling magical fruit and spinning malicious, deadly lies. Sisters of the Winter Wood is a lush reworking of Christina Rossetti's The Goblin Market, but with deep characterization, historical details, and a magical setting, it is also utterly original. I was swept away in Rossner's book and you will be too! ”Kelly, Mysterious Galaxy Books
"With luscious and hypnotic prose, Rena Rossner tells a gripping, powerful story of family, sisterhood, and two young women trying to find their way in the world." --Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles and Circe
An imaginative historical fantasy steeped in rich Jewish culture, Rena Rossner's debut invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods.
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.
Praise for The Sisters of the Winter Wood:
Publishers Weekly: Best Book of 2018: SF/Fantasy/Horror BookPage: Best Book of 2018: Science Fiction & Fantasy
"Intricately crafted, gorgeously rendered...full of heart, history, and enchantment." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A richly detailed story of Jewish identity and sisterhood... emotionally charged, full of sharp historical detail and well-deployed Yiddish phrases...Ambitious and surprising." --Kirkus