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Book Review: “The Girl in the Tower” (Winter Trilogy) by Katherine Arden

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When I read the first book in this trilogy, “The Bear and the Nightengale”, I fell inlove with it almost immediately. It was different from anything else I’d read, it incorporated Russian folklore and history beautifully without making it feel hokey, and the character was a seemingly ordinary, not so beautiful, disobedient girl. I loved Vasya and related to her. The mythology was amazing and I learned so much seeing as I’d never read Russian folklore before. I know the author spent time living in Russia and she must have fallen inlove with it because it shows on her pages.

“The Girl in the Tower” is the second book in the trilogy and I was really hoping it would be as wonderfully charming as the first one, and guess what…it was! Sometimes second books can feel like repeats of the first one but this one felt like the same beloved characters but a completely different story that was just as good as the first one. In this one, without giving too much away, Vasya has left her small farm hometown to see the world. She dresses as a boy, rides her magical horse, and ends up in Moscow chasing bandits that are burning up towns one by one. She saves some people, she gains the trust of the Grand Prince, she sees her beloved monk brother again and her princesses sister, and that’s all I’m going to tell you because there are twists and turns and unexpectedness all throughout. Morozko, the winter king, is back again. I like his relationship and dynamic with Vasya, though it’s a little weird. More of it was explained in this novel though and I already can’t wait to start the final one, “The Winter of the Witch”. If you have not started this series, I highly recommend it!

Morozko, the Winter King
Vasya and Morozko fanart

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