Reviews

The Girl in the Tower, by Katherine Arden

manon_00's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

zagoraca's review against another edition

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3.0

Missing some of the magic from the first one. First 50% was pretty hard to get through, kept with it for my love for Vasya. Also, I'm getting tired of all these beautifully written books coming out with super weird/old love interests. Isn't it creepy? Doesn't anyone else think so? Ick.

the_librarian_witch's review against another edition

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5.0

This sequel to The Bear And The Nightingale does not disappoint!

Though different in a few ways, this charming, magical story still holds the same enchantment as the first in the series.
In this installment, however, we get more adventure, more action, more daring, and much more bravery!

This time we get to follow Vasya as she leaves all that she knows behind and travels across the deadly frozen landscape of Russia. Running from the memory of her dead father and a village accusing her of being a witch, Vasya finds hope in her dream of freedom.
Refusing to be confined by marriage or a convent Vasya disguises herself as a boy and rides her horse off into the woods and towards adventure!

And there was so much adventure in this book!

We get to brave snowstorms, fight bandits, race horses, encounter even more spirits, meet The Grand Prince of Moscow, be reunited with lost family, and attempt to save the Kingdom from danger.

And of course there's plenty more of Morozko the winter demon/God too!

This is less of a cosy tale of family, snow and folklore such as The Bear And The Nightingale, and more of a grand, daring, frosty adventure.
It still contains plenty of magic, but has a healthy dose of danger too!

If you enjoyed the first book in this series then I think you'll be more than thrilled with The Girl In The Tower!
Get ready for magic, folklore, adventure, and lots of snow!

meg358's review against another edition

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3.0

Pros: atmospheric depiction of pre-Czarist Russia

Cons: the plot is predictable to the point where the reveal is a relief, because only afterward does the story seem to move forward. Also, Vasilisa annoys the hell out of me.

Seems silly to not finish the trilogy, but for now I’m putting it on hold until I can stomach more of Vasya’s selfish naïveté.

ldcornell's review against another edition

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4.0

This is a grand adventure tale, with folk tales and fantasy as important components. It is the second book in the trilogy, so the reader is already familiar with Vasilisa.

Vasilisa has been driven from her home, leaving her two choices for a young woman: marriage or the convent. Instead, she dresses herself as a boy and sets off on adventures with Solovey, a stallion who can speak as men. Morozko, the frost-demon, is her protector ... perhaps.

Eventually, she ends up in medieval Moscow ... a small city, at best ... where the survival of all is threatened.

I find the depictions of life in medieval Russia to be fascinating. Perhaps this is because so much of that country's early history and folklore never made it into American popular culture. (We have The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, but not so much Alexander Afanasyev.)

agameofbooks's review against another edition

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5.0

I am completely and utterly in love with this series.

Vasya has broken free from herold village and can now finally travel the world with her beautiful stallion Solovey. With the protection of the frost-demon Morozko she makes it all the way to Moscow and is reunited with her sister Olga and her brother Sasha. And they all lived happily ever after. The end.

Well, not exactly. Vasya has to lie and tell everyone that she is a boy to ensure that she is allowed into Moscow (girls don't travel by themselves - they would lose all their virtue). A whole scheme unfurls, which is of course ended by the sudden announcement that vasya isn't a boy at all. She falls fro grace and the Grand Prince of Moscow wishes to trial her as a witch.

There is so much excitement and love in this book that I just could not stop reading. The feeling of magic filters through everything, and it just had me captivated all throughout.

I'm taking a shot break and will be reading an ARC first, but after that I will be diving right into the third book in this trilogy. I can't wait!

shhhh__sam's review against another edition

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5.0

Please see my review for book one because it generally explains the extreme levels of love I feel for Vanya and this series. There are lots of exclamation marks.

More specifically about this book, do you remember when you were a little kid watching Mulan and she disguised herself as a boy and you thought it was the coolest and most badass thing you’ve ever seen?? Imagine feeling that again as an adult reading a book and you’ll know what to expect from this book. Additionally, you’ll get more action and danger, even more terrible terrible men, ghosts (!), some delicious romance thrills, and heart-wrenching sibling love.

5/5 stars, will read again for sure

camtheobscure's review against another edition

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5.0

When I begin grad studies I just might minor in medieval Russia because of this series. That is all.

loreofthebooks's review against another edition

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4.0

Just as the first one was, this is as darkly magical and tantalizing. Arden continues to weave a gorgeous tapestry of magic and realism together, blending it into a wonderful world filled with magic -- and a sense of adventure.

Vasya is as wonderful as ever, strong, and stubborn. She is an amazing character and full of life, she makes each page exciting as her adventure continues in this book. I don't want to say too much about it, as there are some great moments in this book readers will experience. All I can say is if you liked or even loved the first one, this one is just as good.

Arden keeps the atmosphere of the first book in this one, although I feel the pace of this one was slightly quicker than the last. Honestly, it was amazing. You'll feel as if you're sucked into that world, and more than that, you're not going to want to leave it at all.

I am so excited for the third one to come out!

gwalt118's review against another edition

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4.0

Historical fantasy is one of my new favorite genres. I flew through Arden's second novel in this trilogy, and I absolutely cannot wait for her next book to release later this year (2018). Even if you don't like fantasy novels, give this trilogy a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Beautiful writing, exciting story, marvelous characters.