Monday 9 October 2017

Book Review: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight #2) by Katherine Arden

Title: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight #2)
Author: Katherine Arden
Publisher: Ebury/Del Rey
Publication Date: 25 Jan 2018
Pages: 384
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy/Folklore
Source: ARC via NetGalley

For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark: marriage or a life in a convent. Vasya will choose a third way: magic...

The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.

Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior's training, recognises this 'boy' as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical...
(Goodreads Synopsis)

When I requested The Girl in the Tower from NetGalley, I somehow missed that it was the second in a series, and I haven't read the first book. I therefore approached it with some trepidation, worried that I wouldn't be able to follow the story. Luckily, that wasn't a problem. While it would have added value to know some of the past events to which the characters referred, it was still possible to enjoy this book without knowing them. In fact, I completely fell in love with it. (Okay, I confess, I fell in love with Morozko). The world building was great, and the blending of Russian folklore into the tale perfectly handled. I loved all the characters and became invested in their stories right from the start. This is definitely a book I'd like to own, and I will certainly go back and read the first book now too. I am keen to see how it will all end in book three! In conclusion, this is a beautiful, captivating tale for lovers of folklore-inspired fantasy and one of my top reads for 2017.

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