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The Girl in The Tower: (Winternight Trilogy)…

The Girl in The Tower: (Winternight Trilogy) (edition 2018)

by Katherine Arden (Author)

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6058824,416 (4.42)64
Title:The Girl in The Tower: (Winternight Trilogy)
Authors:Katherine Arden (Author)
Info:Del Rey (2018), 384 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden



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English (89)  Dutch (1)  All languages (90)
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
I loved this book, the second in the Midnight series, almost as much as Number 1, The Bear and The Nightingale. By the time I was into the second half, there was no putting it down! Vasya still makes a wonderful, exciting, hero. Arden does such a great job capturing the times from the folk/fairy tales set in Medieval Russia, You almost expect Ivan the Terrible to be in it. ( )
  EllenH | Jun 17, 2019 |
After having read The Bear and the Nightingale - the first book of the Winternight trilogy, I was eager to get my hands on this second installment of the trilogy. In the first book, we were introduced to Vasya, a fearless, bold and fiercely independent young maiden who had inherited her grandmother's sensitivity to the ancient creatures of folklore. She was facing the fate of so many medieval Russ maidens - either accept betrothal or enter the convent - lest she become a burden on her family's resources. Neither option appealed and off into the world she rode, dressed as a young lad, sitting atop her otherworldly steed, Solovey. Thus ended book I.

In this second installment, we find our cross-dressing maid, wandering the earth, living by her wits, seeking adventure with Solovey. Not just once, Morozko, the Winterking (or Jack Frost as many know him), has come to her aid and delivered Vasya from certain death. At one point Vasya and Solovey, after having been pursued by bandits, happen upon a burned out village. The survivors tell tale of a marauding band of Tatars who kidnapped three of their village's young girls. Vasya vows to try and help...and the saga continues.

I loved the first book and was captivated by the second. The strength of this young maid in the face of adversity, calling upon the ancients spirits for aid and delivering her enemies to the Grim Reaper, turns the tables on all the male dominated fairy-tale literature. Arden's writing paints a rich picture of medieval Russland and Muscovy. One feels the penetrating cold of this tundra landscape as much as that of the stare of an icy opponent. And what about that amazing stallion, Solovey, who understands and conveys to Vasya his cautioning thoughts?

This is a great epic tale which I wholeheartedly commend to lovers of great adventures and rich fairytales.

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. ( )
  KateBaxter | May 30, 2019 |
Much more focused, and better written than the first book in the Winternight Trilogy. You can definitely sense Arden is more confident here, compared to the Bear and the Nightingale. We're already familiar with Vasya, who continues to be a compelling protagonist, and we're already familiar with medieval times Russia, which continues to be a compelling setting. This whole era is rich with big personalities, atmospheric environments and a fascinating history that is largely undocumented compared to many other parts of the World. Because of this, Arden grants herself a ton of freedom to play around with myth, religion, culture, architecture, faith and all the big things that make a great story. If I have a complaint, it may be that the book is too short. I wanted more and I rarely feel this way. Can't wait for the third book in this series. ( )
  hskey | May 24, 2019 |
I’ll say this, The Girl in the Tower nears perfection.

The Bear and the Nightingale was a fine novel, but I felt it was laying the groundwork for the setting and the characters. Whimsical magic was on full display, immersing the reader in a world that was likely very foreign to them, but it may have been too much. The result was a good story, but it didn’t quite have the cohesion that this follow-up does.

I’m not a big fan of Fantasy, but Arden sells me completely with The Girl in the Tower. The setting is as gorgeous as it was in the first book; the author really brings this frigid landscape to life. The characters are well defined. I especially love how Arden displays her protagonist as a strong woman, but one who still has some flaws. The language is engaging and navigable. The plot moves along at a great pace. With the characters well defined, the fairy tale established, and the story evolved, The Girl in the Tower is given the room to just be fabulous. It really does come close to being perfect.

Now here's where I deviate from the mainstream: I find action incredibly boring. I generally enjoy stories for their characters and their dialogue, sometimes their language or devices, but almost never for their action. When a fight breaks out, I tune out. (Strange, right?) That's exactly what happened when I reached the climax of this novel—my attention waned considerably. I stopped caring. It’s no fault of Arden or this novel—I’m the abnormal one—but its inclusion did leave me wanting. And if you’ve read either of the first two books in this series, then you likely know action plays a big part.

Even considering this one hiccup—something most readers would probably embrace—I felt The Girl in the Tower was one of the better stories I’ve read in the last few years. I cannot think of one Fantasy novel I’ve ever enjoyed nearly as much as this one. I’m already anticipating the third, but I may have to wait—novels such as these are best enjoyed when the windows are frost-touched. ( )
  chrisblocker | May 4, 2019 |
I love these books! I love Vasya, Marya, Morozko, Olga, Sasha, Solovey (I love that horses are legit characters), and the chyerti. I love the magic and the romance. I love how strongly the book evokes the harshness of winter in medieval Muscovy. I love the feminism and how it plays into the title of the book in multiple ways. You really could not be anything aside from a nun or a wife in this setting. You were trapped indoors for your entire life after puberty. Vasya's desires are totally reasonable, but in this period, what she wants is considered impossible and she's deemed to be a witch. I'm excited to read the third one! ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
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The storm haze shrouds the sky
Spinning snowy whirlwinds
Now it howls like a beast
Now cries like a child
Suddenly rustles the rotten thatch
On our run-down roof
Now like a late traveler
It knocks at our window. - A.S. Pushkin
To Dad and Beth with love and gratitude
First words
A girl rode a bay horse through a forest late at night.
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Lucht, gevuld in nevelvlagen,
Sneeuw die opstuift, wervelwind;
Hoor hem als een roofdier klagen,
Dan weer huilen als een kind
Hoor hem ritselen daar buiten
Op het strodak van ons huis
Dan weer tikt hij op de ruiten.
Als een zwerver, eindelijk thuis.

A.S. Poesjkin
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Book description
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.
Haiku summary
Vasilisa, with
the winter wind in her hair,
travels to Moscow.

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"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"--… (more)

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