As a person who generally isn't a huge fantasy fan, I made the mistake of avoiding the Winternight trilogy originally. However, after reading both The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower and realizing that the real treasure in these books is the folklore (much more my style), the characters, and the setting, I was hooked.
Truthfully, I probably enjoyed this, the second book in the trilogy, more than the first. The plot felt like it moved at a quicker pace (which makes sense, as the second book in the series doesn't have to do the hard work of the first in performing introductions). The last 1/3 or so of the book had so much going on that my reading became frenetic as I wanted to find out where the ending would leave Vasya and her family. The author's writing style has a lyrical, intense style that is both beautiful and immersive. I eagerly await the last installment in this series and finding out how the author wraps up Vasya's story.