The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden
Publication: December 5th, 2017
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
The magical adventure began in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
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I can’t really explain this magical book but I love this series a lot. Vasya has to pretend to be a boy to survive in the world and while Morozko tries to stop her he ultimately can’t control her. He just wants her safe but he is growing to love her. She accidentally comes across some bandits and helps to save some kids. In the meantime, the Prince and Sasha are trying to find those same bandits. Vasya has to lie to the prince and her brother and sister help to keep her safe. That is just the start of Vasya’s crazy life in book two. This plot was twisted and fun.
Vasya is now a woman just trying to survive in a world where women are not treated the best (sound familiar??) She wants adventure and to be free of the handcuffs society wants to put her in. Morozko/The Winter King is still sexy and I just need him to spread his cold beauty my way. I loved Sasha. He was a bit overbearing and protective at times but he was a really loyal brother. Olga was a little difficult to like because she wanted to put Vasya in a box just like everyone else. The characters are dreamy and they pop off the page.
A whimsical journey just like book one. I love Arden’s writing so much and how magical her books make me feel. I get completely lost in the stunning prose and fantasy elements that mixes Russian folklore and history. The character’s jump off the page and the plot will leave you breathless. Plus the subtle romance that is building keeps my heart pounding with a need for more. I am eagerly awaiting the conclusion to the Winternight trilogy.
“Think of me sometimes,” he returned. “When the snowdrops have bloomed and the snow has melted.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, surprising her. She nodded, swallowed, and said, “I’m just so tired—” He nodded. “I know. But you are brave, Vasya.” He hesitated, then bent forward and gently kissed her on the mouth.
His answer was not in words, but his hands, perhaps, spoke for him when his fingertips found the pulse behind her jaw. She did not move. His eyes were cold and still: pale stars to make her lost. “Vasya,” he said again, low and—almost ragged, into her ear. “Perhaps I am not so wise as you would have me, for all my years in this world. I do not know what you should choose. Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.
“It is all I have,” he said. Then he slid his fingers through her hair and kissed her.
She had never been kissed before, not thus. Not long and—deliberately. She didn’t know how—but he taught her. Not with words, no: with his mouth, and his fingertips, and a feeling that did not have words.
“Vasya, there is nowhere to go.” She smiled. “There is the whole world, brother. I have Solovey.”
“No. You cannot fade; you are immortal.” Vasya reached for him, caught his shoulders between her hands. On swift impulse, she reached up and kissed him. “Live,” she said. “You said you loved me. Live.” She had surprised him. He stared into her eyes, old as winter, young as new-fallen snow, and then suddenly he bent his head and kissed her back.