Friday, December 15, 2017

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Series: Winternight Trilogy #2
363 p.
Publisher: Del Rey
Published: 12/5/17
Source: NetGalley and Publisher for review
Amazon Affiliate Link: http://amzn.to/2Bl05sN

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege. 
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
My thoughts:

I was surprised by the first book, The Bear and the Nightingale (my review linked) and eagerly awaited this book. I have to admit that, at first I was thinking this book might suffer from second book syndrome as Vasya kept making bad choices. She is learning something totally new so that is expected, but sometimes frustrating for the reader. Still, as things moved on and I became more curious. Once she became reunited with 2 of her older siblings I was totally invested.

This story is a retelling of Russian myth (actually several), we do get a tale that feels familiar in the embodiment of death who falls for a mortal the consequences. It is also a tale of a strong girl who learned what she didn't want out of life in the first book and what she was willing to do to avoid the consequences of her decision. While we are still dealing with the echoes of that important choice she now finds she must decide on what she wants and if she is willing to fight for it. In other words she doesn't just need to know what she is moving away from but what she needs to move toward. She finds her voice and her strength from within and every bit is needed to not just survive a cunning villain but also those that felt betrayed by her choices who also, in turn, betrayed and loved her.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. If you haven't tried this series, I think you should! I really enjoy all the characters especially Vasya, Morozkzo (who will break your heart), and Slovey (her horse! I love that horse!). I also would start with the first book. While this trilogy hasn't ended, this one did not end on a cliffy, but questions linger and you are pulled into wanting the next book now. You could wait for the last book to appear, but seriously, I would just start enjoying it now.

🐎

58 comments:

  1. So lad this ended up not suffering from second book syndrome! I really want to read the first one but I was waiting to see how this would be, so glad it will be worth it to read them both now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do want to read this one! Cant wait

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am nervous about this one. I hope I love it as much as you. I waiting for the audiobook copy from the library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you will! I hope you will be on the edge of your seat as much as I was! :D

      Delete
  4. I also read and enjoyed The Girl in the Tower. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I tried to listen to book one Melissa, and either it was me or the narrator and i couldn't slip in. After reading your thoughts on this second novel, I am going to try again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed the first one, but yea... I did read it.

      Delete
  6. I'm drawn to the Russian tales part of it and I can deal a little with a character needing room to grow as long as they eventually do. I will look for book one.

    Thanks for the review, Melissa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I hope if you get it, you enjoy it as much as I have!

      Delete
  7. Russian tales are awesome, they are quite dark, but still somewhat familiar. And I'm happy this didn't suffer from second book syndrome, even if the main character did make some bad choices in the beginning.
    I also have a thing for siblings in stories, so I will need to add this series to my TBR :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh yes I heard many great things about this one and I confess that I'm curious to read it as well

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just got the first book when it was one sale. I am looking forward to getting to it because I have heard such good things about both books. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Glad that you enjoyed it. Sounds great. Never read a book by the author. Need to check her books out. Awesome review. ❤️😁

    ReplyDelete
  11. I haven't read this series but this sounds good.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're the second I know who enjoyed this one. I still have book one on my tbr pile. They sound pretty dang good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'll enjoy it when you are in the mood for a good fantasy.

      Delete
  13. This series is on my TBR, so glad to hear you enjoyed it! I hope to get to it soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. oh that Russian Girl has a sequel? is it a trilogy or just a duo

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think I have the first book somewhere... I'm going to get to ALL my books in 2018. Yup! I am! Really. I am. lol

    For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love the cover, and the focus on Russian folklore. Plus I saw good things about the first one. Might be a series I need yo try in 2018.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think you need to try this one! I have a feeling you will enjoy it.

      Delete
  17. I've not read many stories with Russian folklore. This sounds interesting. I've seen the series around, but I haven't paid a lot of attention, but now you have me interested. Adding to TBR.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that is what drew me. I do enjoy folklore and mythology I don't often see.

      Delete
  18. I'am in love with the covers of these books! & yes, the descriptions aswell. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, sounds like a really good series indeed. I'm glad you are enjoying it Melissa. Haven't tried stories before with Russian folklore so this sure sounds interesting.

    Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

    ReplyDelete
  20. Someday I need to sit down and read these books. I started The Bear and the Nightingale but had to put it down due to scheduling problems but it was good! I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least you have the first one. I really enjoyed that one too.

      Delete
  21. I like retellings, I'll have to check this one out, thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This sounds like something that I'd quite like! the characters and story-line sounds like they were done well.

    A lovely review! Sharon - Obsession with Books

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh yea!! SO glad the second book lives up to the hype!

    ReplyDelete
  24. beautiful review, I love retellings. The writing and the storytelling in this looks amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoy them as well and I do think you'll like it!

      Delete
  25. I haven't read the first one yet but I'm seriously interested in it. So glad this one didn't fall to that middle book syndrome! Great review!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As as well. I do think you'll enjoy these books.

      Delete
  26. Do you think you need to read the first before picking this one up? I do like the sound of it, fab review xxx

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

    P.s Merry Christmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, I do think you need to read this one. Especially since it is just a trilogy.

      Delete
  27. I need to read the first book. These sound so wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I was just about to ask that same question Lainy. Sounds like a read I really enjoy but I'm still loathe to begin any books that form a series ... perhaps next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure it is just a trilogy, but the 3rd book isn't out yet so you might wait for that one.

      Delete
  29. Looks like this was a great second book in the series! I love how you are encouraging me to get on this series now! I'll look into it!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have no idea how I missed your review of this book. I'm glad this one lived up to the hype. I heard it was a bit slow so that's why I pushed it on to my summer reading list (2 weeks to go!). I'm really looking forward to it. I was completely engrossed with this world plus I want to know what's going on with her siblings.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!