It took me longer than I had planned to get around to this second book in the Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale, but after this one, I’m going to dive right in to the final book!!
TITLE: The Girl in the Tower
SYNOPSIS: After fleeing her rural home amid accusations of witchcraft, Vasilia Petrovna sets out into medieval Rus’ to become a traveler with the help of a powerful winter god, Morozko. Rather than give up her freedom and either marry or become a nun, she chooses to dress like a man and see the world with her magnificent horse, Solovey. However, when Vasya stumbles across a series of burned and raided villages and decides to help their surviving inhabitants, her path soon intersects with those of people who know her—and her hidden identity. Vasya must find a way to confront the shadowy threat menacing the Russian people, while also preserving her disguise, at the risk of being trapped back into the life of a girl without freedom.
THOUGHTS: This second novel in the #Winternight trilogy had many of the same elements I loved about the first: the rich historical backdrop that actually affects the plot, the stirring emotional moments, the romance, the high-spirited heroine. The plot is high-stakes, the writing very readable. I’m not sure I was quite as deeply enthralled as I was by The Bear And The Nightingale and the book could admittedly be a bit predictable, but nonetheless I quite enjoyed it. Again, Arden does a great job of using the historical setting and women’s limited freedoms in the context to set up Vasya’s conflicts: as a highborn woman, she is meant to live in the terem, a silent, segregated tower; but, as a brave and adventurous girl, she is unsuited to this life, and thus her problems ensue. Overall, this historical fantasy trilogy is a fun, easy read.