Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Goodreads Summary:

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingalecontinues 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.

***Thank you Random House for the advance reading copy, in exchange for an honest review!

My Thoughts:

Vasya is that wild thing, untamed, unashamed, brave and bold, that lives inside all of us. In a time when women were expected to stay at home and be a good wife or join a convent, Vasya refused. Knowing her spirit would never allow her to stay hemmed in by four walls, she went her own way, secreting herself as a boy and riding around the countryside, exploring the world as a traveler, living in the wild, all from the back of her magical horse and companion, Solovey.  When circumstances bring her to Moscow, to the company of no less than the Grand Prince of Moscow himself, her spirit remains undaunted, allowing for daring feats and challenges, that could ruin her if she is found to be a woman instead of the boy she masquerades as.  

I loved everything about this book. Its majesty, the atmosphere, the descriptions that drop you directly into the pages and the place. The characters themselves, most especially Vasya herself. She retains her wild nature, and almost seems to embody the spirit of Russia itself. This is a more mature Vasya, yet one still  in tune with natural world and all its otherworldly beings - including Morozko. And let's not forget Solovey, who has such a huge personality. I simply adored him!

 I didn't think it possible, but I loved this book even more than its predecessor, and I can't wait for the next book, The Witch!


  1. OMGosh, I should have picked the first installment as my First Book of the Year! I have it on my 2018 TBR.


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