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The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

The Girl in the Tower

by Katherine Arden

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Winternight (2)

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6468922,841 (4.4)67



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English (90)  Dutch (1)  All languages (91)
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Having run away from her family, Vasya is looking to be a traveller far and wide, but only as she pretends to be a boy. While she still courts danger at every turn, she often has help from the supernatural on her journey. With everything in Moscow not as it seems Vasya is pulled in to the intrigue of the Russian court. Her sibling’s world of custom and tradition proves complex to navigate as her male alter-ego, and Vasya must uncover the true nature of some of Moscow’s most powerful men.

Read the rest of my review - https://bythecoverreview.com/2019/07/22/the-girl-in-the-tower-by-katherine-arden... ( )
  bythecoverreview | Jul 22, 2019 |
After recovering from the traumatic battle in the forest, Vasya makes a deal with the Winter King to see the world for herself disguised as a boy. It is a harsh world, but Vasya is thrilled by her experiences and her freedom, but chance brings her back into contact with her family, where circumstances force her to continue the charade under the nose of Moscow. The capitol is full of delights and adventure, but there are treacherous political currents and Vasya cannot ignore the hurt she has caused her loved ones. There's also the small matter of ancient evil raising its head, threatening Vasya and the whole city.

It is so strange how often I delay reading something I know I'm going to love to pieces. 'The Girl in the Tower' is an amazing follow-up to Arden's debut 'The Bear and the Nightingale'. The characters are well-drawn, and perhaps its because of my relative unfamiliarity with this historical period, but none of my usual objections to historical fiction came up.

Arden does a good job of balancing the needs of the plot, adjusted historical realities, and maintaining the feel of genuine folklore. My only complaint is that the climactic moments of the book didn't match the power of 'Nightingale'. It's a good thing there's more already available!

Winternight Trilogy

Next: 'The Winter of the Witch'

Previous: 'The Bear and the Nightingale' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Jul 5, 2019 |
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 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Ardenprimary authorall editionscalculated
AitchCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
Last words
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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"--

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