The Girl in The Tower

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Feb 2018

Member Reviews

The Girl in the Tower continues the tale of Vasya and the fantastic adventure introduced to us in superb The Bear and the Nightingale. The Girl in the Tower is as good as Arden's first book. The writing and storytelling is still as magical as ever and the world building will immerse you in Arden's Russian fairy tale. If you have read the first book then you must read this one. If you haven't read the first book then you definitely should!
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This series feels to me kind of like Tolstoy's works had a baby with Tolkien's - there is a fantastic feeling of an epic fantasy-ish adventure set on the backdrop of a Russia that is written in a way that makes it feel like historical fiction.

This combination really hit the spot for me for a bunch of reasons...
- there was something about the writing that I just can't put my finger on that made it feel like a traditional fairy tale - all lush and magical

- I am fascinated by the books set where a society is moving from the old beliefs to Christianity, and we get to see the tension between the two - the people almost converted but still a bit afraid to upset their...

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«The Girl in the Tower» was an even better continuation to Vasya’s adventures. It felt much more fast paced than the first book and Katherine Arden’s lyrical writing did not stop to amaze me page after page.

There were so many passages that I wanted to highlight just for the sake of beautiful descriptions, like this one:

«Moscow, just past midwinter, and the haze of thousand fires rose to meet a smothering sky. To the west a little light lingered, but in the east the clouds mounded up, bruise-colored in the livid dusk, buckling with unfallen snow.

Two rivers gashed the skin of the Russian forest, and Moscow lay at their joining, atop a pine-clad hill».


Instantly, I could picture the...

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Vasya really is a great protagonist and Arden keeps you on the edge of your seat. There's just enough unknown about this world of fairy tale alive that you're not sure how the human politics will interact with it. I found myself quite confused sometimes with the politics in a way that the folklore did not confuse me so that's interesting.
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I really enjoyed Girl in the Tower - it was hugely atmospheric and really well plotted, I read it very quickly.

A lot of reviews are from people who are were already big fans of The Bear and the Nightingale and were eagerly anticipating Girl in the Tower. Though I'd heard of Bear and the Nightingale I'd never read it, and didn't initially realise Girl in the Tower was the second in a trilogy. I'd seen online that it could be read as a standalone so decided to read them out of order and put that to the test!

Knowing nothing about the series or characters, I didn't find it hard to follow what was happening in the least. It's easy to understand what's...

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Actual rating 4.5/5 stars.

This is the second instalment in the Winternight trilogy. Based on Russian folk lore and fairy tale, this follows Vasya as she traverses her tricky world of court politics and religion. Born of a prophecy and markedly different from other young girls, she refuses to allow the conventions of society and the historical time period she is born into dictate her actions or her future. Especially when bandits are pillaging villages and there is a vast world to go and explore!

Vasya is such a compelling character. I adore reading of fictional females breaking the bonds of historical and societal restraints, and she is by far one of my favourites to do so. She is such a...

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Last year's The Bear and the Nightingale was one of my favourite reads of the year: a feel-good adventure story about a young girl overcoming a threat to her village with the help of the fairies and other mythical beings that live near her Russian home. The Girl in the Tower (review copy from Penguin Random House) is the sequel, and second book in the trilogy.

The Girl in the Tower picks up straight after the events of the first book. Mourning her family and lacking a place in the world, Vasya decides to try her luck in the world, riding out dressed as a boy and with a pocket full of silver. She finds herself on the trail of bandits burning villages, before accidentally meeting up...

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The highly anticipated sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale does not disappoint. The second book in Arden's Winternight series achieves the rare and amazing feat of actually being better than its predecessor. 

In this book we see more of the grown up Vasya, and she takes more of a hero's journey, having left the comfort of her village she now ventures out in to the world, with the intent to explore. She is an active, courageous heroine, always seeking to do good. 

In order to survive in her society Vasya must assume the identity of a boy, 'Vasilii' in order to roam free in a world which restricts the behaviours of women. In this role she can be an active hero, and...

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I enjoyed The Bear and the Nightingale when I read it almost exactly a year ago and I remember my excitement on discovering that it was actually the first in a planned trilogy. We haven’t had to wait too long for the second book, The Girl in the Tower, and I’m pleased to say that I loved it even more than the first.

Katherine Arden’s books are a wonderful mixture of history, folklore and fairytales with an atmospheric and wintry Russian setting. If you haven’t read The Bear and the Nightingale yet, I would highly recommend starting with that one – and I should warn you that there may be spoilers for the first book in the rest of this post.

At the beginning of The Girl in the Tower, our...

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First, a smol tip - if you have trouble recalling what went down in the first book, go and reread that, or read a summary of it, because, boy, was I lost at the beginning of this! The first few chapters concentrate on Sascha and Olga, and Vasya, the only character besides Morozko that I could recall fairly well, is barely even mentioned. I was... massively confused, y'all. I didn't know why we were forced to start the novel by reading about two characters who were not even that significant in The Bear and the Nightingale, and I was totally lost trying to remember what went down in book one.

THINGS I LIKED:

- Vasya was freaking FIERCE in The Girl in the Tower. She set out on...

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I find it difficult to write my thoughts on this one after loving the first one so much... and having so much trouble with the second. I think a lot of the fairytale elements were taken out in this one, and things got a lot more political. The way Vasya is treated made me deeply uncomfortable, and I was confused about her actions quite often. The best moments for me were between Morozko and Vasya (though her actions there still confused me), and when Vasya starts teaching her little niece about the different beings and helping her along with the things she was seeing.

I think I will still read the third book, but this one was difficult for me.
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Have you ever read a book so rich, so vivid and so beautifully told that your heart races at the danger and excitement, you can almost feel the chill of the snow around you and the heat of the fire, and you never want it to end? This is such a book. Even if you haven't read The Bear and the Nightingale, there is enough context to make this understandable and you quickly get immersed in the richness of this luscious fairytale full of bravery, betrayal and magic. By far one of the most beautiful stories I have had the joy to read, and I hope there is more to come.
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5 Stars

thank you to netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book.

I liked reading the first book in this series and loved it and so I was excited to read this one and continue the story and see if it was as good as the first or if not better, well I can now say that this book is slightly better than the first but they are both good.

I dont want to say what the book is about as I feel that so many reviews have already done this and I will only be echoing what they have said.

Katherine Arden has done yet another great job in keeping me interested in this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed continuing the journey of the characters and feeling as though i was right there on the page...

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After the death of her father Vasya is taken in by the Frost-King but she is eager to see the world. As she travels south she comes across villages that have been raided by bandits, left to burn and the young girls taken. Meeting her warrior-monk brother and her cousin Dmitri, crown prince of Moscow, Vasya hides as a boy and helps defeat the bandits. However for a girl in medieval Russia the choices are stark, marriage or a convent, but if you believe in magic and talk to horses and spirits then you could burn as a witch. Vasya needs to save both herself and Moscow from unseen enemies.

I loved Arden's first book and this one is even better. The whirling mix of folklore and...

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This is the first review I’ve ever started BEFORE I’ve read the book... but these initial thoughts are important I think. I’m excited. Really excited. I have high expectations here. This is what happened...

Me: I will make a start on reading the 10 books I’ve had next to my bed since my daughter was born 7 months ago. I will not log into NetGalley until they have been read. Need to clear this backlog first and fix my blog so it’s all ready for the next...
Mind (interrupting me): “I wonder what Ebury Publishing / Penguin Random House UK have out at the moment... let’s take a peek. I won’t request anything...”

BAM. Katherine Arden. Vasya. The Girl In The Tower. I saw the picture of the...

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I talked about this book on my Youtube channel and reviewed it. I will add the link below, the review starts at 3:47 mins
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Last year I read The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and it was one of my favourite books of the year; The Girl in the Tower is the second book in the Winternight Trilogy.
This review contains minor spoilers for The Bear and the Nightingale.

The Girl in the Tower picks up pretty much immediately after the events of The Bear and the Nightingale - Vasya, our heroine, is accused by her village of being a witch, and is faced with imminent death or being forced to join a convent. She decides instead to choose her own path, and runs off into the forest with her magical horse, Solovey. In her travels, she meets back up with her sister Olga and brother Aleksandr, is introduced to the...

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I adore this series. Arden is an incredible writer and possesses the ability to recreate the feeling of an old Russian master with the flair of a nouveau writer.

The author combines the magic and essence of Russian folktales with the creativity of high fantasy, and lets the reader experience the darkness of old tales told in front of fires and the power of ancient myths.

At the end of the first part of the trilogy, The Bear and the Nightingale, we left Vasya grieving for her father and protected by Morozko. In this second part she decides she wants to travel the world, to discover things beyond her village. Thanks to the new local priest everyone thinks she is a witch, which means she is...

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In the Girl in the Tower, we move to Moscow – not yet the city it is today but still the home of the rulers of Rus’ and also of Vasya’s married sister, Olga. This is a vastly different world – women are confined to their luxurious homes, apart from visits to church, and politics and intrigue are at the front of everyone’s mind. Religion is of great importance – Olga is waiting for the return of her favourite brother, now a sort of warrior priest – and the old ways are nowhere to be seen. Into this world bursts Vasya who has run from her home, dressed as a boy, after tragic events have left her without most of her family and accused of witchcraft. Her actions against a group of bandits who...

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Unfortunatly, me and this book just did not get on, I started reading and liked it at first, but unfortunatly i got bored with it :( 
It just did not have - for me - have that [ull to want to read it.
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