The Girl in the Tower

The Girl in the Tower

A Novel

eBook - 2018
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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: New York : Del Rey, [2018]
ISBN: 9781101885970
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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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.

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!

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.

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!

Jan 17, 2019

Although I didn't love this one as much as the first book, Arden's writing continues to be absolutely on point. I've never been more interested in medieval Russia than when I read this series! Vasya is still very much Vasya, although starting to grow up and realize the consequences of her actions (albeit still being a bit...uhm...brash). I don't even know what to touch on and what to avoid for spoilers, so I'll say this: There's an ending that made me a little teary. There's also still unanswered questions, including one major new one, that makes me think the third story might be Vasya....with Masha? Maybe. The conquering of the villain was, once again, almost incidental to the overall story of magic in medieval Russia (and the question of whether it's possible to be true to yourself vs become what others expect you to be, and the good and bad sides to both of those). If you liked the first book (The Bear and the Nightingale) you should pick this one up.

Oct 09, 2018

3.5 stars. I think I enjoyed this more than the first. I listened to this on audiobook whilst doing household chores which was easy to do as this is not a book with any great depths. I do find all the different demons/gods a bit hard to keep track of and feel that they are convenient inclusions to get Vasilia out of a situation and for the author to move the story forward, rather than meaningful characters. I will listen to the final book of the trilogy and sum up then.

Sep 06, 2018

5 Stars - I highly recommend if you enjoyed The Bear and the Nightingale!

This book picks up right where the first one left off. I don't want to give any spoilers!

When I started this book, it was just a little bit hard to get into. There is a change of setting, which took me a bit of time to adjust to. However, at about 25% through the book, it really took off for me, and I was really invested in the next chapter of the story. This chapter of the story is a bit more political and societal than the last one was, but I really enjoyed that part of it. Again, I marveled at how Arden wove together folklore with historical fiction. Her writing was just as full of detail and magic as in the first book. I am just as in love with Vasya as ever. What a wonderfully headstrong character. I love Solovey. I love Vasya's brothers. I love Morozko. Goodness. I'm SO excited to get my hands on the last book in the series. :) :) :)

PimaLib_ChristineR Aug 04, 2018

I loved The Bear and the Nightingale, but this took my feels to a whole 'nother level. I have never been so mad at myself for finishing a book before the next one was available. If you've read The Bear, you may feel, like many, that Vasya's brother Sasha and sister Olga were introduced, only to have them move off to Moscow and nary a peep is heard of them the rest of the story. Well here they are folks.

Vasya has decided she wants to see the world, and with her horse, Solovey, she sets out to do that. But as she travels she discovers that villages are being burnt to the ground and the girl children stolen away by raiders. Dressed as a boy, Vasya (which is the diminutive form for both the female and male form of her name), helps free some of the children and helps Moscow's Grand Prince track the raiders. From there she is invited to Moscow, and with her brother along, she decides she wants to see the city and see her sister, Olga, who is married to one of the lesser princes of the city. I know that sounds like I'm giving a lot of plot, but that is seriously just the start of the book! This book is so rich with plot, and layers, within layers, of intrigue and repercussions.

One of those layers is that Vasya loves living as a boy but she knows that she cannot keep up the charade for long in a society where the men take steam baths with each other. Vasya knows that her only options are a convent or marriage and she doesn't want either one, and so makes no decision at all. Arden does a beautiful job of explaining the historical treatment of women at this time in Moscow, where highborn women are literally born in a tower and expected to stay there until they are married and move to their husband's tower. If they were ever seen out in public, such as to attend a special church service, they would be heavily veiled. The suffocation Vasya feels at the very notion of this is so well conveyed as to make the reader feel her panic when she considers her future.

The characters of Vasya, the frost-demon Morozko, Sacha, and even Vasya's horse, are even more developed here. Never did one character sound like another.

This should satisfy lovers of fantasy, of traditional fairy tales, of strong women leads, of YA fiction, general fiction and historical fiction equally. Possibly the best book I've read this year.

Aug 03, 2018

Amazing....magical...very engaging read.

Jun 28, 2018

I have really enjoyed these stories. who knew that a Russian Fairy tale would make such a great story.. Ready for book 3.

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