BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Title: The Girl in the Tower
Author: Katherine Arden
Publication: December 5 2017
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 383

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.


In the winter one of my book clubs chose to read The Bear and the Nightingale, which is the first book in this series.  I loved the first one so much that I asked for the second book, this one, for Christmas.  I purchased the third installment myself.  They sat on my to be read pile for months.  I decided to read it now because one of my sisters who is adopted and from Russia was coming home for a visit.  I purchased the first book in the series for her as a Christmas present and she absolutely loved it.  I wanted to get her the second book so she can continue the series.  I was excited to read it.

Vasya’s story continues exactly where the last book left off.  Like it was like turning a page to the next chapter.  The author did it seamlessly.  Vasya wants to see the world, so she decides to find the Frost King-Morozko.  Her trusty steed Solovey leads her right to his door as she is slowly losing her ability to see his house.  She tells him that she cannot marry him but could she have some of the doweries that he was going to give her to have for her travels to see the world.  He gets angry but in the end, does give her some.  Thus begins an adventure for Vasya that she could only imagine.  My oh my….this book was intense. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.  I couldn’t even begin to guess what was going to happen next.  The bombs that the author dropped left me shocked.  Especially the one about Vasya’s niece being able to see the creatures like Vasya can.

The whole book I wanted Vasya to win.  I cheered her on the whole way.  She is tough, strong, and very smart.  I was happy that some of the side characters in the first book came back, especially her brother Sasha.  He had such a small bit part in the first book but left in such a way that I needed to know what happened to him.  I am excited to read the third book and will probably read that sooner rather than later.  I know I say that about most books, but I have GOT to know what happens to Vasya.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of Russian Fairy Tales and most of her “supernatural” characters are based on Russian Folklore.  I hope this author writes other stuff as I will definitely read it. 


Pick up your copy of The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Read list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from Katherine Arden on her website HERE.

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