Book Review: The Girl in The Tower

You know a book is well written when you are so engrossed in it that you don’t even realise when you reached the last page.

The Girl in The Tower starts where The Bear and The Nightingale ended.

After the death of her father and step-mother, Vasya leaves home to escape death in the hands of the villagers or a life in convent. She embarks upon an adventurous journey on her horse and reaches the abode of the Winter King. From there she moves ahead, dressed as a boy, to see the world. Her journey takes her to Moscow with her brother Sasha.

In Moscow is Vasya’s elder sister Olga, who is happily managing her household. Her daughter also sees the Domovoi and ghosts, just like Vasya. In Moscow begins another struggle for Vasya as she must protect her identity at all costs because the Prince of Moscow thinks very highly of the boy Vasilii and giving up her identity now would cause immense trouble for her brother and sister.

The novel starts same as the first part, with a Russian folktale, full of supernatural elements, which Olga narrates to other women and children of her Tower. The narrative is fast and interesting. The story builds with every page and before long you are dying to know what’s next for Vasya.

Vasya, as a character has really grown from a headstrong, stubborn girl to a wise young woman without losing her sense of independence. She is a woman in a man’s world and she keeps fighting the constraints put on her by the medieval Russian society.

The brilliance in Katherine Arden’s writing is such that you will find yourself riding and walking with Vasya, feeling devastated with her, angry for her and rooting for her all the way to the end. And also, a special mention for our very own Frost Demon. How can one not fall for him? For he is powerful, he is frost and he is vulnerable too. The way he takes care of Vasya and protects her is enough to melt anyone’s heart.

And now, I am impatiently waiting for third book of the series.

My rating: 4.8/5


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