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The Girl in the Tower

(Winternight Trilogy #2)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  22,105 ratings  ·  3,461 reviews
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 t
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published December 5th 2017 by Del Rey
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Katherine Arden Read the book!!!!! It comes out on December 5 2017 and ALL SHALL BE REVEALED

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Emily May
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.

Magical. Dark. Beautiful. Fans of The Bear and the Nightingale should love this sequel at least as much as its predecessor.

The Girl in the Tower contains everything I loved about the first book, but I feel like Vasya has really grown as a character. She's still as spirited as always, but older and wiser,
شيماء ✨
me, contemplating my life choices from now on: would this make Vasilia Petrovna proud of me?

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

1.) The Bear and the Nightingale ★★★★★

“Vasilisa Petrovna, murderer, savior, lost child, rode away from the house in the fir-grove.”

Hi, my name is Melanie and I’m in love with a frost demon. You guys, please stop sleeping on this series. This is the best historical fantasy I’ve ever read in my entire life. And all of the Russian folklore is actual perfection. This is the type of book that reminds me that literature c
Miranda Reads
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-series
4.5 stars.
“Has the world run dry of warriors?' She asked...

'There were no heroes,' said Vasya between her teeth. 'There was only me.”
Vasya lives in a time where women were not given many choices.
A woman married. Or she became a nun. Or she died. That was what being a woman meant.
Wanting neither of the three, Vasya chooses to remake herself to create her own, fourth option.

She takes up the mantle of a warrior and sets off to do something about her dismal country.

What she didn't count on,
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To see this review and others please visit

Brave Vasya, older and wild as ever, is faced with a choice to either marry or live in a convent as a nun. Neither choice seems applicable to her and she would rather die riding in the frozen wintry forest than be stuck living a life that doesn’t fit her. She’s been deemed a witch and questions still loom regarding her father’s death. Vasya needs to discover who she is and as she embarks on a journey alone with her horse Solov
Amalia Gavea
‘’Think of me sometimes’’, he returned, ‘’When the snowdrops have bloomed and the snow has melted.’’

Moving on to the 2nd book of the trilogy immediately after finishing the 1st volume was a no-brainer and from the very first pages, I knew that this would prove to be an exciting journey. Well, ‘’exciting’’ is an understatement actually. In my opinion, this was a rollercoaster of images, of characters and emotions. It was better than that the 1st part of the Winternight series and its atmosphere
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
All the stars! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Medieval Moscow

The Girl in the Tower (2017), a medieval Russian fantasy, continues the story of Vasilisa (Vasya), a young woman whose story began in Katherine Arden’s debut novel The Bear and the Nightingale, one of my favorite fantasies from early 2017. That makes it a hard act to follow, but there’s no sophomore slump here. The Girl in the Tower is an even stronger novel, more sure-footed and compelling in its telling, and with mo
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if ‘the bear and the nightingale’ is a comforting fairytale read right before falling asleep, then ‘the girl in the tower’ is an epic legend that is shared among friends sat around a fireplace. both are tales, rich in wonder and mystery; but where the first books strength is in its quiet enchantment, this sequel draws on its sense of daring adventure.

i think those who thought TBATN was too boring and slow will be quite pleased with TGITT, as this was the book that kept on giving. not only does
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best fantasy 2018! what will happen?

"You are immortal, and perhaps I seem small to you," she said at last fiercely. "But my life is not your game.”

this book is that rare second-in-a-trilogy novel that aspires to be more than just a bridge of clockwatching filler between two points. it actually does what the second-in-a-trilogy book should do, but rarely accomplishes - it progresses the action and allows the character some elbow room in which to grow
Elyse Walters
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Book Two in a Trilogy.....
"The Girl in the Tower", is the sequel to "The Bear and the Nightingale".

Once again, author Katherine Arden has done something really extraordinary--
she gives us an historical fiction medieval Russian Fairy Tale.....Incredibly creative and breathtaking.
The history itself is educational and fascinating....also barbarous-and complex. It's dangerous times: villages are burning - and people have been killed.

From start to
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Vasya is a child no more.

Disguised as a boy, she wanders the forest, set to become a traveler and explore the world she was once kept away from. Unfortunately, the world can be dangerous and the people cruel even to a boy.

If you found The Bear and the Nightingale marvellous, you should have no problem being swept away by this sequel. It contains more action than its predecessor, but it remains a slow-paced character-driven story, fortunately with a lesser focus on religion.

The part where Vasya
Diane S ☔
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 I have never been a fantasy reader, not sure if this is even considered fantasy. I have, however, always enjoyed history and ancient myths. I like to consider these books folklore and legend brought to life, but may be fooling myself. Either way I fell in love with book one, eagerly awaited this book two, fell into both with immense interest and joy.

Medieval Russia, superstitions at the forefront, many believe but few can see these creatures of ancient myth. Those who can risk being labeled

Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen

An adventure Vasya started in book 1 continues in The Girl from the Tower. More action, more folklore, more romance, more political intrigues - book two suppresses its predecessor in every aspect or is it?

One of the most amazing things i loved about the bear and the nightingale - its darkness. Without a doubt the book was a visibly darker interpretation of Russian folklore, which made the story aliv


Fairy tales were passed from generation to generation through their telling, oral traditions, lessons, cautionary tales. Most fairy tales were born this way, through stories told generation after generation, and then eventually put to print. The original versions of these fairy tales, the ones that we were typically raised on, are not the Disneyfied ones that we think of, cleansed of sex, rape, incest, murder, but still contain a darker side. To balance that darker side, typic
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, fantasy
I adore the world Katherine Arden has created here. The things I loved, loved, loved about the first part of this series are still all here:

- brilliant characters with believable interactions,
- sibling relationships that are complicated and true,
- an atmosphere so all-encompassing that it makes you forget your own surroundings,
- wonderfully immersive descriptions,
- a surprising and wonderful way to construct sentences that just sound like nobody else (in the best possible way) while still retain
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

"Close your eyes," he said into her ear. "Come with me."
She did so, and suddenly she saw what he saw. She was the wind, the clouds gathering in the smoky sky, the thick snow of deep winter. She was nothing. She was everything.

✨ I wish I had thought of a way to create a magical gem in which I'd have kept all the beautiful words because let's face it, my ability to write a review has been seriously fading these past months.

I want to say that Katherine Arden's writing is so gorgeous and enchantin
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 stars for this beautiful, medieval Russian fantasy!
The story of Vasya continues! Orphaned, and exiled from her village in the woods following her fathers death, she longs to see the world, and to not be put in the traditional role of wife, that would be for young girls of her age. She takes off on her magical horse, dressed as a boy.
There are such dynamic characters in this story. I was very taken by this second book of the trilogy!

A very grateful thank you to Random House for sending this bo
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We return to the entrancing and magical world of Vasya in medieval Russia. A grief stricken Vasya mourns the loss of Dunya and her father, wanders the icy forests, unable to return to her family home of Lesnaya Zemlya, branded a witch by the locals, threatened with marriage and the convent, choices that are anathema to her. She is naive to the ways of the world, men, political intrigue, ghosts, the fire bird, sorcerers, Moscow and more but she is hungry to see and know more than the small corner ...more
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Beautifully realised follow up to the magical The Bear and the Nightingale, this book builds and expands on both the world and characters we all loved so much in the first instalment.

After a quick flash of Vasya fleeing into the woods after the events at the end of the last book, we are taken into the world of her sister, Olga. If, like me, you worry that the focus has been switched, fear not... we are soon back with our heroine and her faithful horse, Solovey, determined to escape the confines
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So this is how one follows up a great book with a great sequel... while reading my mickey-taking brain cells were fully awake, yet I can find no reason to criticize this book, except for its name, which has the word 'Girl' in its title.

The story progresses seamlessly. Vasya does the type of things that even the most rebellious of princesses would balk at. She wants to be free, and so she disguises herself as a guy and makes her way into the world.

Only there's a twist. I'll let you read the book
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Katherine Arden's fusion of an icy folkloric fantasy and historical fiction set in medieval Russia captivated me (and many other readers) in The Bear and the Nightingale. The Girl in the Tower is a worthy sequel to Arden's spellbinding debut and Vasya, Morozko and the wonders of Arden's world are all here and full imagined, but the stakes are raised, the pace quickened, the political machinations deeper and the overall mood darker and more ominous. It couldn't be anything other than a 5 star rea ...more
Candace Robinson
This was an excellent follow up to the first book! I liked it just the same, or maybe better! There was more of Vasya in this one, which I was excited to see. Nothing stands in her way when she wants to do something, and sometimes this can cause consequences. It all makes her appear more human, though. The sibling bond between her, Sasha, and Olga felt perfectly real. Loved them! My main pet peeve was that there wasn't enough of the Frost Demon. I want to know more about Morozko because he is am ...more

Here comes the party-pooper.

Yeah, that’s me.

While reading Bear and the Nightingale I was charmed with the story and Vasya and couldn’t wait to dive into book two. After finishing the second book, I’m still not sure what to make of this story. It started in an interesting twist, but when it came to the new Vasya and her role…… I couldn’t get into Vasya’s new role fully as it felt like a weakly based one, like an unfinished painting. Sometimes it even felt silly and simple. Next struggle I had
kath | novelandfolk
Re-read 2018 thoughts:

Morozko is my book husband. That is all.

I really missed Alyosha, but Sasha is a more than fair replacement. Everyone deserves an older brother like Sasha.

Original review:

Ohh guys, this beautiful book. It was everything I hoped for and more after falling in love with The Bear and the Nightingale earlier this year. It brings into sharp focus many things only hinted at in BEAR, and is packed with action, intrigue, and yes, even some R O M A N C E (I can't spoil the surprise
4.5 / 5 ~

Another brilliant novel by Katherine Arden. After reading three books of hers, I’m beginning to think there’s nothing she can’t write well.

The writing, as expected, was flawless and lyrical. Though, unlike the first novel in the series, this installment moved at a much quicker pace. And although I enjoyed the slow pace of The Bear and the Nightingale, the faster pace in The Girl in the Tower was more fitting since more happened. Or, at least, I felt like more happened. I mean there’s
Lucy Langford
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I raced through the rest of this book today- it was highly addictive and impossible to put down!

This is the second book to The Bear and the Nightingale trilogy. This book delved more into political unease and action, however the Russian folklore we were introduced to in the first book does appear and it was such a treat for the imagination.

The first 50 pages of the book I was thinking that this wasn't for me- it focused on what was happening in Moscow with political unrest and bandits tha
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 of the Winternight Trilogy, The Girl In the Tower, is a solid sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale. The story of Vasya continues as she makes her way through the forest and to Moscow on her great adventure. She must dress like and present herself as a boy to travel unhindered. Vasya kept me angry through a lot of it. Her poor decisions get her into trouble time after time. Yes, she is her own woman, she's independent and strong, but if only she showed a little thought before she plunged ...more
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beneath the trees swaying in the darkness, peering from behind cringing shadows, inhuman eyes are watching and waiting. Something evil is stirring in medieval Russia, burning villages, snatching girl children and spiriting them away leaving no trace. Beware a bird with a woman's face, a priest with a bitter soul, a tower made of bones, and a staircase without an end.

After fleeing from the only options given her - marrying or joining a nunnery - Vasya is a traveler now. Still seeing what others
Elise (TheBookishActress)
after book one, I HAVE to read this book. immediately.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books
The second book in the trilogy and every bit as good as the first!

Again Arden serves up big helpings of Russian folklore and fairy tales and adds a dash of her own magic to the mix. Vasya is still the same great character, trying to avoid her fate of marriage or a convent in a time when, for women, there was nothing else. Her best friend is Solovey, her horse , and their conversations are wonderful.

There is a lot of action in this book, lots of fighting and sudden death. Tension too when Vasya
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A note to everyone who trips and falls upon my Goodreads page. First, welcome. Let us read and discuss all the books together. Second, Goodreads is wondrous, but contacting me through my Goodreads DMs is a good way to ensure a long wait for a reply. Your best bet is Twitter or Instagram (arden_katherine) on both.

Happy reading.

Born in Texas, Katherine studied French and Russian at Middlebury Coll

Other books in the series

Winternight Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1)
  • The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy, #3)
“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.” 107 likes
Witch. The word drifted across his mind. We call such women so, because we have no other name.” 65 likes
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