YA Book Review

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (The Winternight Trilogy #2) (A Day of NetGalley Reviews)

The Book:

side+crop+of+paperback+image+TSTME (1)Book Title: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight #2)

Book Author: Katherine Arden

Page Count: 352

Publishing Date: December 5th, 2017

Publisher: Del Rey

Date Read: October 23rd, 2017

Synopsis: The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingalecontinues 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.

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The Review:

The Girl in the Tower is mystical and intriguing. As a continuation of Vasya’s story, it was engaging and flowed nicely. If you loved The Bear and the Nightingale, you will love this one.

My first thoughts for this one were of slight boredom and confusion (and my review may reflect said thoughts). It took me about 30% of the book before I really got in to it. It relied heavily on knowledge of Russian folk tales and gave little explanation. But, having thought about it some more, I found that I could put those thoughts aside when looking at the story as a whole.

Between book 1 and book 2, the story did seem to flow pretty seamlessly. My initial thoughts on book 1 were that I would have liked to have more Russian folklore and less Christianity. Book 2 gave me the same thoughts, and I realized that this is meant to weigh heavily in the story to show the oppression of the Russian culture. This is what drove the story and drove Vasya to fight for the things she believed in. This is what made the appearance of Morozco, and the folklore creatures so important and fascinating!

Once the plot picked up for me, it had some interesting twists. I was introduced to a few more creatures, and another character from Russian folklore. It had moments of magic and intrigue, and some engaging characters.

Vasya still held the lead in the story. She was brave and determined. She was caring and stubborn, and still made some dumb choices. She was engaging and fascinating though.

Vasya’s siblings, Olga and Sasha, were wildly different from book 1. They had clashing beliefs compared to Vasya. They were unique in their own way, but sometimes still annoyed me with their choices.

I still don’t feel like I enjoyed this one as much as the first. I enjoyed it enough to look forward to book 3 when it is released, but it just doesn’t get the rating that I gave book 1. It had really nice moments of mysticism and excitement, and had action and unpredictable plot twists, but I would have liked it to have more world and history building, and more enjoyable characters. I also realized that I couldn’t enjoy this one as much because of my lack of knowledge of the Russian folktales. That is why I was able to think a little more positively about the book when putting my confused thoughts aside (my initial rating was at a 2).


Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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21 thoughts on “The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (The Winternight Trilogy #2) (A Day of NetGalley Reviews)

    1. The series has an intriguing premise with regards to Russian folklore and mythical creatures, but book 2 just started off too slow for me, and then seemed to rely too heavily on existing knowledge of the folklore instead of giving the reader more information on it. You will have to let me know what you think if you decide to read them!


  1. I’m really excited about this one, but was declined on Netgalley 😦 Just got to wait until January when the hardback is published in the U.K.! The first one wasn’t perfect but I loved it – looking forward to this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Huh. Very interesting review, Darque. I’ve heard the first book on my TBR for quite a while and I was super eager to get to this one, too. You made some interesting points about how you really have to know the folk tales. I guess I’ll have to study up before I read it. XD Wonderful review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice review! I’m actually a bit opposite in the fact I liked this one a bit better than book 1. The first just seemed so slow to me and this one seemed to have a faster pace although I will admit to beginning the book thinking what the heck am I reading?? But I don’t remember it being quite so long for that ooohhh I see momennt.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think if you decide to get in to the series that it may be a good idea to brush up on some Russian folklore. Koschei the Deathless plays a big part in book 2, and book 1 is obviously about Vasilisa the beautiful. I plan on doing this and then re-reading both books before book 3 comes out to see if I like them any better.


  5. I think I gave book 1 4 stars. It was good while I was reading it, but I felt it was a little too heavy on the christianity take over and I had wanted more russian folklore. After I had read and reviewed it I kind of forgot a lot of it, so book 2 was kind of hard to get in to.


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