Another Monday equals another book review.
Today’s review is all around Katherine Arden’s much anticipated sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower. As the saying goes, with great anticipation comes with great responsibility, or something like that, so I went into The Girl in the Tower with high than normal expectations.
Did The Girl in the Tower live up to the world Arden created in her last novel? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
_ _ _
The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden
Publisher: Del Rey (December 5, 2017)
Print Length: 363 pages
Audiobook Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
Narrator: Kathleen Gati
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.
Another atmospheric entry in The Winternight Trilogy.
Once again Adren is able to create a vivid depiction of medieval Russia with rich characters and a strong foundation of fairy tales.
Reading how Vasya is growing into her own, both as a woman and as a ‘witch’ is incredibly interesting. She’s starting to shed the whine I felt she had in The Bear and the Nightingale, going so far as to take her niece under her care. Unfortunately, I don’t much care for Olga and Sasha’s treatment of Vasya. They are quick to blame their younger sister for their misfortunes, and while some of it could be argued as Vasya’s fault, I felt that it made both of the characters come across as immature.
The greatest strength The Girl in the Tower has is its continual reliance on dark Russian fairy tales. Sometimes, while I read, I will make notes on points in a novel I either want to touch on or research further. More than once during my reading of The Girl in the Tower I found myself jotting down this or that in order to further engross myself in the world Arden was creating by research the tales that were inspiring Vasya, Morozko, and the fire bird.
Unlike in my review for The Bear and The Nightingale, I’m actually rather glad I chose to listen to the audiobook version of The Girl in the Tower. While my criticism of having to rewind passages due to description still stands, there was even more Russian influence in this novel compared to its predecessor, and as such I think it helped me enjoy it more.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
_ _ _
And there is my review for The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. Do you have an atmospheric fairy tale, Russian or otherwise, that you think I should check out? Leave it as a comment below and help my TBR grow.