Katherine Arden’s “The Girl in the Tower” (The Winternight Trilogy #2) – A Review.

34050917Story   ★★ 
Writing ★★  
Cover   Mystery ★★★

PROS:Captivating 
      Well written
      Beautiful characters 
      Vivid imagery and descriptions 

CONS: None!


Not sure if anyone still stops by this little corner of the web, but I am back! Hopefully for a longer period, as my life is slowly getting back together after the last 4 tumultuous months. To ease back into blogging, I thought reviewing a sequel would be very much appropriate. So here I am.

If you remember, at the beginning of this year, I had reviewed The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden. I loved every page of it, and I looked forward to the sequel. Usually, with sequels come questions, and apprehensions. For example, would you love the sequel as much as you did the first book? Would the author stay true to the story or go on a tangent in the middle of it? Would the ending be disappointing? Or would you have something to look forward to (and ultimately hope for) after the last words are read? All of these are totally warranted. As a reader, we all make a commitment. We commit our time, our emotions and our thoughts to the book and the story. It is thus normal that we expect things in return.

The Girl in the Tower, the second book of The Winternight Trilogy, continues on with the story of Vasya, in the same magical tone as told in the first book. Vasya, now older and a bit wiser, is left if the choice of marry or spend her life in a convent as a nun. Neither option seem to agree with this Vasya, who is only left with one option: flee before she can be forced into a life she doesn’t wish for. As in The Bear and the Nightingale, Vasya seeks help – even unconsciously – from Morozko, the winter god. With Solovey, the horse Morozko gifts her, she goes on to travel through Russia dressed as a boy, and hoping to see the parts she has never been to. Her journey leads her to the rescue of three young girls from bandits, and later back to her favorite brother Sasha, and their cousin: the Grand Prince of Moscow – Dmitri, who thinks of her to be his cousin Vasilii – a man. This deception, although not intentional, leads Vasya into much more trouble, as her true identity eventually gets revealed to all, putting her, Sasha and her sister Olga at risk.

Throughout the book, we can note Katherine Arden’s beautiful use of prose, and travel to old Russia through Vasya’s eyes. Each page is a turner, with intrigues lying around, and the battle between ‘old’ Rus and new Russia unveiling in this fantasy. We get a glimpse of the life during that time, especially of the place women held in society, and how they were treated. If The Bear and the Nothingale had some flaws, I can confidently say that this sequel was even better than the first part. I found The Girl in the Tower to be more complex and more nuanced, and I think fans of the first part will love this second part, where history, fantasy and magic cohabit together in harmony.

 

Thank you to NetGalley, and Random House Publishing Group – Ballatine and Del Rey for an ARC of The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, in exchange for an honest review.


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FOLLOW KATHERINE ARDEN: Website
MORE INFO
 Language: English
 Genre:Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism
 ISBN: 9781101885963
 Release date: December 05, 2017
 Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Ballatine
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