Katherine Arden has done it again. The Girl in the Tower is a somewhat different followup to the Bear and the Nightengale, but Arden manages to transition from fairytale to narrative, while keeping the same magical setting. This book is intricate, and a sure winner for fans of Russian folklore and culture. I was especially drawn to these elements, having studied Russian folklore in college. At the same time, the characters remain compelling. Vasya is not just a fairytale heroine. She has desires and wants and grows up over the course of this book. It can be hard to write a middle book in a trilogy, but The Girl in the Tower definitely navigates the line between telling a new story and setting up the third book in the trilogy well. I was glad to read this book just as the third book in the series was being released, because I simply couldn't wait for more!