Series: Winternight Book 2
Length: 400 pages
Audiobook Length: 13 hours and 2 minutes
First Published: 2017
In the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale, after being branded a witch, Vasya has left home dressed as a boy to seek adventure with the help of the Frost Demon, Morozko. When a chance encounter with bandits leads Vasya into the graces of the Grand Prince of Moscow, Vasya is reunited with her older brother and sister. Caught up in the political intrigues and with a growing threat to Russia, Vasya and her family must continue to deceive everyone about her true identity.
I immediately fell in love with Katherine Arden’s gorgeous historical fantasy series, and the enchanting writing continues in the sequel. Not only does The Girl in the Tower give you an unputdownable story, but also layers in a complex discussion of gender roles and expectations and explores a romance between Vasya and Morozko.
Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.
Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.
But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.
Quotes from The Girl in the Tower
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.
I carve things of wood because things made by effort are more real than things made by wishing.
There is no magic. Things are. Or they are not.
Mornings are wiser than evenings.
About Katherine Arden
Katherine Arden is the author of the Winternight Trilogy: The Bear and The Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, and The Winter of the Witch. She has lived in Russia and France, and studied both Russian and French Literature in college. She currently lives in Vermont. Visit the author’s website →