Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

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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.


Title: The Girl in the Tower
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Hardcover
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Am I breathing?!

After reading The Bear and the Nightingale, I absolutely needed to get my hands on this beauty. If it’s possible, I think I enjoyed it even more. While the first was a slow-build story taking place over sixteen years, this book takes place almost immediately after the events of The Bear and the Nightingale, and the action doesn’t stop.

This one was a little different, but it still had that atmospheric winter-read quality that had me feeling the cold air on my skin, tasting the food, and feeling the heartbreak. Instead of the isolated Northern Russia location, this book takes place primarily in Moscow. There was a stronger focus on the relationship between Vasya and Morozko (whom I adore). There was also a greater sense of adventure and more seemed to be at stake in this story.

Katherine Arden’s characterization is absolutely brilliant. Some characters that disappeared in the middle of the first book return, and it’s interesting to see how they’re grown, just as Vasya has. I loved seeing the bond between siblings. Also, what’s not to love about talking horses?!

I don’t think I can wait almost a full year for the next book, and I have a feeling that it will completely shatter me.

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