The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
Series: The Bear and the Nightingale #2
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing
Expected publication: January 25th, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Retellings, Historical Fiction
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*
For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark: marriage or a life in a convent. Vasya
will choose a third way: magic…
The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.
Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior’s training, recognises this ‘boy’ as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical…
I love it. This is one of my favorite series. This is one of my favorite books. I just love everything about them.
This time, we are following Vasya after she runs away from home. She wants to travel and see the world, just like the free spirit she is. But Vasya was never known for thinking too much before acting, plus there’s a lot of things she doesn’t know yet and she is about to get in a lot of trouble!
She is extremely curious and that takes her to difficult and hard situations, from where she needs to be rescued by, obviously MOROZKO!
She manages to reach Moscow, which I was really excited to read about, and see Olga and Sasha! They are not the same as they were as kids and it was interesting to know them as adults. Their beliefs, how they live their life, … they all chose really different paths and this book is all about their paths meeting.
We also meet Olga’s children, especially Marya and she is the sweetest thing ever! I loved how much she was like Vasya!
This book is a lot more action-packed, there’s traveling, war, a lot of blood and bodies, etc. There’s not as much intrigue mainly because we are seeing Moscow through Vasya’s eyes, but there’s a bit and that was fascinating.
This book has a lot more Morozko as promised, but I was totally surprised by how everything was approached! I loved seeing Morozko again and his interaction with Vasya.
I’m always fascinated by these characters, and although they sometimes really annoy the crap out of me it’s mainly because they are so realistic! There’s a big difference from the first book, when they were kids, to this one with them already as adults. It’s so well developed and easy to follow their line of thought even if you don’t agree with them which a lot of times I didn’t.
I’m 100% team Vasya but sometimes that girl should really think a bit more and not be so… brisk, I guess. But Vasya will be Vasya and I love how she is. She is a really surprising and strong character. She always goes for what she wants and never really ponders if that might be the right decision. She is brave. She loves her family and would do anything for them, although sometimes she doesn’t really understand how things work. She is a totally different type of bad-ass and she is also quite stubborn, and that’s one of the things I love most to see, especially with Morozko.
Morozko is perfection and I can’t get enough of him. I love how he cares so much for her. How he really tries to always make her life easier, even if his life is in danger. He really has a soft side, which I can’t wait to see more about. I was a bit worried about him in this book tho and I need him in the next one! After that end, I don’t know what to think!
I really loved how much of Olga and Sasha we had and to see their reactions. They have a bigger understanding about Moscow than Vasya so they are more careful and tense with everything going on. But they still tried to protect her in her own way. Their family relationship is not a cute one or a perfect one. It’s realistic for the time and fascinating to see.
The plot was surprising in many ways. Although I did see the main plot twist coming since the beginning… But all around it was so exciting and gripping! And some parts really left me open-mouthed! And the writing is just amazing. I really love the writing style and how gripping and fascinating the whole story is.
I think the first book might have been more complex. It was quite different, but it was amazing and I really can’t wait for the next installment, especially after that end… Highly recommended!
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!