The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Kindle/Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

I’ve been eager to continue my Winternight Trilogy adventure since becoming enamored of The Bear and the Nightingale.  Sure, ninety plus degree weather was not necessarily the right temperature to be reading about the bitter winters of Russia in this beautiful fairytale, however it did not deter me from enjoying the first installment any less. This follow up book answered so many of my lingering questions following The Bear and the Nightingale, especially regarding the fate of Olga, Sasha, and Vasya.  While its predecessor was indeed dark, The Girl in the Tower took overwhelming doom and gloom to a whole other level. A new enemy comes unexpectedly into Vasya’s life, who threatens everything she holds dear from her family to her adopted lifestyle.  We also find Vasya growing as she tastes more freedom than she thought feasible while on the road.  This freedom comes with more risks than she could possible imagine, resulting in several devastating chapters that leave both her and her family struggling to cope.  While there were many loose ends left unresolved at the end of this heart wrenching novel, the ending had an air of finality about it that made me question as to if this was really part of a trilogy or in fact a duology. Rest assured, Arden most definitely has the concluding installment scheduled for release in 2019.  Overall, while much darker than The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower continues to add elegant and eloquent depth to a literary world that had already captured the reader’s imagination.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • Who is Midnight and who sent her?
  • Why did Midnight send Vasya toward a rendezvous with Sasha?
  • What happened to all the girls that Kasyan stole from the villages? How did he discover his power? Is he truly gone?
  • Konstantin had a significantly limited role compared to what I’d expected upon him showing up in one of the first few chapters. How will he fulfill his prophecy? Based on the prophecy I assume his role will be expanded upon in the next book.
  • What would have happened if Vasya had not been discovered as a girl? Will Dmitrii be able to accept who she is? He still gave her a dark look in their last moments together.
  • Will Vasya run into the girls she rescued that know her name again?
  • What did the red streak through the sky mean?
  • Will Olga be able to completely forgive Vasya for saving her life at the cost of her child’s?
  • What did Marya’s prophesy mean? What bird will she love more than her mother?  Vasya?

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