The Girl in the Tower

The Girl in the Tower

Large Print - 2017
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"Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch. Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey. But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself."--Online description.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2017.
Edition: Large print edition.
Series:
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781432845308
1432845306
Call Number: ARDEN
Characteristics: large print
577 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Subjects: Fantasy fiction.
Russia -- Fiction.
Large type books.
Spirits -- Fiction.
Villages -- Fiction.
Magic -- Fiction.
Young women -- Fiction.
Good and evil -- Fiction.

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PimaLib_ChristineR Aug 04, 2018

I loved The Bear and the Nightingale, but this took my feels to a whole 'nother level. I have never been so mad at myself for finishing a book before the next one was available. If you've read The Bear, you may feel, like many, that Vasya's brother Sasha and sister Olga were introduced, only to have them move off to Moscow and nary a peep is heard of them the rest of the story. Well here they are folks.

Vasya has decided she wants to see the world, and with her horse, Solovey, she sets out to do that. But as she travels she discovers that villages are being burnt to the ground and the girl children stolen away by raiders. Dressed as a boy, Vasya (which is the diminutive form for both the female and male form of her name), helps free some of the children and helps Moscow's Grand Prince track the raiders. From there she is invited to Moscow, and with her brother along, she decides she wants to see the city and see her sister, Olga, who is married to one of the lesser princes of the city. I know that sounds like I'm giving a lot of plot, but that is seriously just the start of the book! This book is so rich with plot, and layers, within layers, of intrigue and repercussions.

One of those layers is that Vasya loves living as a boy but she knows that she cannot keep up the charade for long in a society where the men take steam baths with each other. Vasya knows that her only options are a convent or marriage and she doesn't want either one, and so makes no decision at all. Arden does a beautiful job of explaining the historical treatment of women at this time in Moscow, where highborn women are literally born in a tower and expected to stay there until they are married and move to their husband's tower. If they were ever seen out in public, such as to attend a special church service, they would be heavily veiled. The suffocation Vasya feels at the very notion of this is so well conveyed as to make the reader feel her panic when she considers her future.

The characters of Vasya, the frost-demon Morozko, Sacha, and even Vasya's horse, are even more developed here. Never did one character sound like another.

This should satisfy lovers of fantasy, of traditional fairy tales, of strong women leads, of YA fiction, general fiction and historical fiction equally. Possibly the best book I've read this year.

s
Squid_1
Aug 03, 2018

Amazing....magical...very engaging read.

r
Rachelc24
Jun 28, 2018

I have really enjoyed these stories. who knew that a Russian Fairy tale would make such a great story.. Ready for book 3.

j
jclarkie
May 22, 2018

Great book #2. Hate to wait until January 2019 for book #3 :(

TSCPL_Miranda Apr 15, 2018

As powerful and beautifully written as the first in the trilogy! Vasya's story kept me spellbound from start to finish. I can't wait to read the third installment later this year.

g
geniegu859
Apr 03, 2018

Great story! It can be read as a stand alone novel but best if one has first read "The Bear and and Nightingale", the authors' first book. The story takes place in a bitter cold winter in Russia. Vasilisa was forced to make choices that would take her on a perilous journey. Dressed as a boy, she put her family at risk while attempting to save them. Action packed and full of impossible situations, this book is a real page turner, a great adult fairy tale! Don't miss this one.

b
booknrrd
Jan 09, 2018

A great continuation of the series. I loved it! I highly recommend this series to people interested in fantasy or folk tales or even historical fiction. It's set in medieval Russia.

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