The Girl in the Tower

The Girl in the Tower

Winternight Trilogy, Book 2

eBook - 2017
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A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the backwoods of Russia to the court of Moscow, in the exhilarating sequel to Katherine Arden’s bestselling debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale.
Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.
Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.
But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.
Praise for The Girl in the Tower
“[A] magical story set in an alluring Russia.”Paste
“Arden’s lush, lyrical writing cultivates an intoxicating, visceral atmosphere, and her marvelous sense of pacing carries the novel along at a propulsive clip. A masterfully told story of folklore, history, and magic with a spellbinding heroine at the heart of it all.”Booklist (starred review)
“[A] sensual, beautifully written, and emotionally stirring fantasy . . . Fairy tales don’t get better than this.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[Katherine] Arden once again delivers an engaging fantasy that mixes Russian folklore and history with delightful worldbuilding and lively characters.”Library Journal
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

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LoganLib_Sheridan Feb 02, 2021

This book definitely took the opportunity to run with the foundations the first book set up and delve deeper. There is more gender issues, more war between Gods, and more or Vasya's grandmother. We learn about knew players in the game we didn't even know existed.

I think it was interesting because the first book could almost work as a standalone and so can this one. I think there is much to be said about giving authors chances as this wonderfully trilogy could have very easily been left as a duology or even a standalone.

I think we get more sibling relationships in this book which is wonderful to see. I love the exasperation shared between Olya and Sasha as I feel like this is just what siblings do: get exasperated with each other. They love her but they have a sense of propriety and don't know where she fits in their world.

Konstantin's inclusion in this book was also interesting as we can see that he is becoming confused by what he has learnt from Vasya and is easily led astray. Vasya told him she tried to help him and no it is up to him.

I think this is a very good metaphor for feminism. He learned about how 'the old gods' (feminism) affect him but is not able to fully process this and turns to Vasya for help but she tells him she has tried and it is not her responsibility (it really isn't). He is then easily persuaded by this books villian (the patriarchy).

a
ASlizak
Jan 29, 2021

Another great Russian fairytale from Katherine Arden! To be honest, this book didn’t capture me as completely as the first book did (I found this one a little more difficult to follow in terms of characters) but it was still a great, well-rounded story. I love how the author strives for historical, linguistic, and fairytale accuracy and she blends them together really well. I look forward to the third book in the series!

a
a2mayer
Dec 02, 2020

A beautifully woven Russian fairy-tale. This second installment of the Winternight trilogy did not disappoint. I was a little unsure when I started reading because this book is set in Moscow and not the countryside which I loved from The Bear and the Nightingale. But I was soon captivated with the spellbinding narrative and a host of new magical creatures. I’m looking forward to book three!

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

Though I did miss the insular feeling of the first book which took place primarily in Vasya's village, the new expanded world did fit the grander storyline of this sequel. It was nice to catch all the Russian folklore hints before the story really wove them together and still winding up surprised at the fresh spin Arden puts on them.

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

Though I did miss the insular feeling of the first book which took place primarily in Vasya's village, the new expanded world did fit the grander storyline of this sequel. It was nice to catch all the Russian folklore hints before the story really wove them together and still winding up surprised at the fresh spin Arden puts on them.

e
EljayJohnson
Mar 19, 2020

The adventures of brave, infuriating, maturing, reckless, confused Vasya continue in book 2 of the Winternight Trilogy. Arden has created a vibrant and magical world, combining folk and fairy tale, history, and lyrical feminism. It's filled with monsters and family and ghosts and love and a remarkable coming-of-age story to boot. I love it. Only missed 5 stars because of an overlong beginning of aimless wandering - necessary to the furthering of the story but a little tiresome to read.

d
DazzlingMoonlight
Oct 18, 2019

A beautifully imagined combination of Russian folklore and historical fiction. This is the second book in the Winternight trilogy that gets better with each novel. Join Vasilisa on her heroic conclusion in The Winter of the Witch. Enchanting to read, even more impressive to listen to on audio.

j
julia_sedai
Aug 22, 2019

I really liked it! It took me a while to remember all the things from the first book so I had to look on Google. The story continues and it was great. Entertaining, well-written, moving. Vasya is an interesting character, who has her own strengths and weaknesses that I think most people can relate to. And of course the winter-king <3 I also thought the villain was well done, even if predictable.

Once again I was reading about Russian winter in the middle of summer. I'm excited to read the next one!

p
Palomino
Jul 23, 2019

Beautifully written, rich in imagination, that horse cracks me up. It's a story I've never read before, which is unusual in fantasy /fairytale genre. You must read book 1 first.

f
finn75
Feb 20, 2019

This is a welcome sequel to one of my favourite fantasy books. It carries on the tale of our heroine as she struggles to find a place for herself in a society that fears magic and wayward women!

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Notices

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m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

Sexual Content: Some light sexual talk, but nothing graphic. Vasya is assaulted, kissed against her will, at a late point in the novel.

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

Violence: Some graphic description of victims and scenes of graphic fighting.

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

Coarse Language: Women are referred to as bitches about three times in the novel.

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

Violence: Some graphic scenes of victims and fighting.

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

Coarse Language: Women are referred to as bitches about three times in the book; some sexual talk, but nothing graphic.

Quotes

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m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

“But yes,” he said wearily. “As I could, I loved you. Now will you go? Live.”
“I, too,” she said. “In a childish way, as girls love heroes that come in the night, I loved you.”

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

“But yes,” he said wearily. “As I could, I loved you. Now will you go? Live.”
“I, too,” she said. “In a childish way, as girls love heroes that come in the night, I loved you.”

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

“I carve things of wood because things made by effort are more real than things made by wishing.”

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”

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m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

miraellie thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

m
miraellie
Apr 20, 2020

miraellie thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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