Monday, 31 December 2018

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

The Girl in the Tower
by Katherine Arden

Summary: 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...
It took me the longest time to get into this one, with many false starts, but when it finally did hook was brilliant. It was a different sort of wonderful than the first book was, but I loved it.

The world Katherine Arden has created is one of the richest and most distinctive I've read in years, and I'm in love with the way she has woven folklore into the story.

And the characters...I love them, they're all so interesting and complex -- even Vasya's horse had his own unique, and lovable, personality. Vasya was an excellent character in the first book, but I think I liked her even more in this one.

I can't really think of what more to say about the book except that I loved it and it firmly cemented this series as one of my favourite book series ever. I'd rate it 5 stars out of 5 -- in spite of the slow start, it definitely didn't suffer from middle book syndrome.

I cannot wait to read the third book (one of the only reasons I'm glad it took me so long to finish this one is that I don't have too long to wait, thankfully).


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