The Girl in the Tower Review

  • Author: Katherine Arden
  • Series: Winternight Trilogy #2
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 346 pages
  • Dates read: 07.05.19 – 10.05.19
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Challenge: 2019 Sequels and ONTD Challenge May Theme “A book set in a country you’ve never been to. (Russia)”

I mean what can I say!

When I read The Bear and the Nightingale last year, I felt underwhelmed and I didn’t really have the desire to pick up the next book BUT I am so happy that I did!

This book was, by far, better than the first novel and it expanded on what I liked from the first novel but elevated it and made it better.

Firstly, I was so much more invested in Vasya’s story this time around. I found her a bit annoying in the first book but this time I fully understand who she is and what she stands for. I related to her on such a deep level and I really wanted to see her succeed and live the life she wants to lead. Her character development was amazing!

I loved how action-packed this story was. The scenes which involved fighting were so exhilarating to read about and I found myself on the edge of my seat. I felt the stakes were a lot higher this time around and it made the plot incredibly engaging. You didn’t know what was going to happen or where the plot was going to twist and turn next and it was incredibly satisfying. 

Arden’s prose was so beautifully written and she really encompassed what it would feel like to live in medieval Russia. The way she writes about winter is amazing! I also really enjoyed the more formal kind of dialogue that the characters use between one another.

I was relieved to read that the little folklore creatures still had a prominent role within the story. My worry was that she would favour a more political story and give less screen time, if you will, to the chyteri. They still featured greatly and helped in advancing the plot which made me very happy.

My favourite part of the book was definitely the discussion of what a woman’s role is supposed to be at the time and how Vasya is trying to break away from that. It was heart-breaking to read how the women suffered and were treated as objects to the male characters. And how the women are raised to expect this boring life without fun and adventure. I really enjoyed reading Vasya’s inner monologue of her wanting more from life, it was so uplifting to read about a female character wanting to explore the world around her!

Final note: I love Solovey and Vasya’s friendship. What a duo!

The next book I will be reviewing will be The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel. This is a random read that I just decided to pick up at the library. Fingers crossed it’s good!