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The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy, #2)
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June 2018: Magical Realism > The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9373 comments Four stars for the second installment of the Winternight Trilogy. The Girl in the Tower is the sequel to the Bear and the Nightingale. Set in the absolute cold depths of winter, in the forests outside Moscow, our characters return. Most notably, Vasya, our heroine, who can speak to horses, (or rather the horses can speak.) The magical realism piece of this also includes that Vasya (and others) can "see" and experiences things other characters cannot. This includes Vasya having an active experience of and relationship with the Frost King/Death. There are other mystical characters and elements involved, which add to the haunting mystique of the story. Returning characters include Vasya's brother Sasha the priest, the mad priest Constantine, and married court sister Olya.

I think I would have experienced this book quite differently, if I didn't read it in small pieces over a two plus week period. Books are best digested in deep reads that hold the story together. That said, my impulse is to say that I preferred the first installment, although I liked the second very much, and that I think it got much better and much more moving in the second half. I kept feeling like perhaps I missed things in the first half. Either because I failed to pick them up or retain them, or because they were connected to the first book, or because they were part of the eerie haunting atmosphere, of implicit not knowing... Hard to know. But I am glad to be done with it. Now starting Cocoa Beach, by Beatriz Williams. And the girl at the Savoy, by Hazel Gaynor. There are 38 books on my immediate "get to list." That is just too many. They are on an ordered list, but we will have to see how that might shake up and change.

message 2: by KateNZ (new) - added it

KateNZ | 2671 comments I’m really glad you liked it. This is on my list too - I read ‘The Bear and the Nightingale ‘ recently and loved it so am looking forward to the sequel (even more after your review). I thought I’d leave a little space before starting, though - trying not to be greedy and devour the thing in one bite like I usually do!

message 3: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments This is on my list too! I liked The Bear and the Nightingale, but also thought it read fairly well as a standalone should I never get to this book.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Love your review. I agree that books are best digested in deep reads. I often walk away feeling slightly discombobulated when it has taken me too long to read a book, knowing that if I had read it in a shorter time frame I would have taken the story in much deeper. Life just doesn't always allow us to do this.

message 5: by Hayjay315 (new)

Hayjay315 | 254 comments This series is on my must get to this year list! It's good to get your take that they are best read back to back to pick up all the details of the story.

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