Saturday, April 11, 2020

Review: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2)

Author: Katherine Arden
Started reading: March 17th 2020
Finished the book: April 10th 2020
Pages: 363
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Fairy Tale
Published: December 5th 2017
Source: Bought the book
Goodread score: 4.37
My score:
The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

My thoughts
I felt like quitting after the first book. It was at times confusing and felt very slow to me. The people in my bookclub assured me that the second book was much better and that the first book was just a build-up for this amazing story.
I'm so glad that I listened and read this book. I actually binged the final 150 pages in one morning. Definitely worth reading!

  • The first book: Reading this book, I'm kinda sad that I didn't like the first book as much. It's always a different feeling when you're pumped to read the second book and I didn't feel like that going into book two. This book was so much better; from 3 stars to 5 stars is a huge difference. I do feel like the lower rating for the first book, makes me appreciate this second book so much more. I have to give credits to the people in my bookclub, because, yes, the first book was a build-up towards this awesome book.
  • Characters: I love the character development. Especially Vasya who is even wilder and braver and totally true to herself. Her family has a hard time accepting her, but she won't change who she is and I admire that a lot.
  • Ending: The final part of the book was so good. From page 200 and up, you can feel the tension building and I was questioning things that were happening. I had no idea how this plot would turn out and the ending was thrilling and full of action.
  • Understanding: This story was overall much easier to understand. I also liked the explanation about Russian names at the end of this book. That was one of the things that confused me so much in the first book. I feel like the explanation given there, should be at the start of all 3 books in this series. It just makes it easier to read and you understand better what is happening with the changing names.


Because of this book, I'm really curious about the third book in this series. To all the people who didn't really like book one, I want to say; Try book two! It's worlds better, I promise.

Other opinions on this book
"A sensual, beautifully written, and emotionally stirring fantasy. Fairy tales don't get better than this."
- Publishers Weekly

"Arden once again delivers an engaging fantasy that mixed Russian folklore and history with delightful worldbuilding and lively characters."
- Library Journal

Memorable quotes from this book
"Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet."

Thanks for reading!
Which of the two covers do you like best?


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~ Esther