This book was truly magical and perfect for me. I couldn't stop reading for a second unless I HAD to.
The story follows right where we left off at the end of The Bear and the Nightingale, and it actually starts off on other point of views for a decent amount of time.
Vasya is still the passionate, strong, and great female protagonist that appeared in the first book. Though you can see how she's changed because of the experiences and plot of the first book.
One of my favorite parts was the continuous emphasis on the Russian folklore we learned about in the first book, and while it wasn't the complete forefront, it added to the plots in the sequel.
I love how the title fits into this story because the whole time I was questioning who it was, and then when I realized and got confirmation later on.. UGH IT WAS PERFECT. I didn't expect it to be such an important aspect to the story. It's barely even mentioned unless you catch a few of the hints throughout the book.
Overall, my favorite part of the story was the relationships and interactions Vasya had with her family, other characters, and most importantly Morozko! *cue my love for my favorite frost demon* I just wanted to give Vasya the biggest hug basically the entire length of the novel, but I am so excited to see how this series comes to a close. Sadly, I'm not going to go into depth on the relationships much because I don't want to spoil who and what happens.
Now as a huge historical nerd, this series and sequel were a joy to me. They really warmed my history nerd of a heart, and this story is very unique because usually in Russian history the novels we read take place in the 1800-1900's. Though in this case, Arden takes us to the Golden Horde period (I believe) where the Russian civilization is under the rule of the Mongol Empire. A slight *wink wink nudge nudge* because this becomes central sort of to this installments plot.
With how little information is given from this time period, I'm no scholar, but I'd give Arden high praise for the historically accuracy of the series. You can tell she did major research for the book.