Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale is one of my top reads for 2017 and I was super excited when I was invited to review the sequel! And then my heart broke when the NetGalley page said that my email wasn't included. But luckily, I managed to contact the person who invited me to review and get the ecopy!

The Girl in the Tower picks up where The Bear and the Nightingale leaves off. Vasya has managed to subdue the Bear, but the villagers still think that she's a witch. Desperate not to be sent to a convent or married off, Vasya runs away with her horse, Solovey. Disguising herself as a boy, she runs into her beloved brother Sasha and ends up in the middle of fight between the Grand Prince of Moscow and the bandits burning down the city.

A lot of sequels fail to live up to the first book but The Girl in the Tower is just as fascinating and absorbing. Most of the key characters from the first book - Vasya, Solovey who is the best horse ever, and Morozko the frost demon - are here and minor characters like Sasha get their day in the sun. I love the fact that I recognised Sasha and the other characters because they were in the first book, so their appearance and expanded role felt natural.

Oh and by the way, Konstantin (the priest) appears too. He doesn't have as big a role as he did in The Bear and the Nightingale, but he is still as misguidedly evil and irredeemable as ever.

Another thing: I'm not a big fan of romance so I liked that there were no forced romances or love triangles in this. Vasya makes the choice to leave to avoid getting married and I'm glad the book doesn't sabotage that decision by having her fall in love. There is something between her and Morozko, but it's a doomed romance and I like that they didn't force it. Plus it sort of carried over from the previous book (though it wasn't as obvious so I didn't talk about it in my review) so I didn't find it weird.

If you loved (or even just liked - although I don't believe that's possible) The Bear and the Nightingale, you need to pick up The Girl in the Tower. The series continues to enchant and although you can read both as standalone novels, many elements of the first book were so naturally carried over and developed in the second in a way that made The Girl in the Tower even more of a delight to read.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. The gushing was voluntary.


  1. I haven't yet read The Bear and the Nightingale, but I'm determined to do it this year. I can't wait to read this one too!

    1. Hope you enjoy both books! They're both really good!


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