I wasn't a big fan of the first book in this series, The Bear and the Nightingale, so I wasn't expecting to like this one any more. I was wrong, I definitely managed to read this one faster than the first one and was more interested in what was going on. I still didn't love it, but I'm more eager to read the next book in the series than I was after I read the first one.
It still has problems that the first one had though, mainly the main character Vasilisa. All the problems in the story are caused by her herself and even though she tries to come across as a damsel that is independent enough to save herself that is definitely not true. She nearly ruins the lives of two of her siblings in this story with a lie that she didn't even need to tell. She frequently has to be rescued by the Morozko, though I do enjoy their strange relationship when they have scenes together. Sometimes I want to reach into the book and slap Vasilisa for all the stupid things that she does while I'm reading it.
I enjoy how this story builds on the time period even more. In the first book we got a look into the Russian countryside and their belief system. Now we get to see the scheming politics of Moscow.