Can we take a moment to discuss something? Second installments are always hard. We, as readers, expect authors to write (yet another) book which blows our minds as much as the first one – because that’s why we’re here = we loved the first one so much we just had to have the second.
That being said – Katherine Arden is a magician.
She took The Bear and the Nightingale and one upped herself. With an already concrete foundation, she built on it with even more depth from her characters. This installment starts us on a journey, where Vasya (the female MC) has chosen to see the world and leave her village-home forever. After the pivotal loss of her father and the threatening gossip of Vasya being a witch, we travel with her (and Solovey) through forests, across river roads, and into the great city of Moscow. All the old, familiar characters are still there – the ones we love and the ones we hate – along with some new introductions to the storyline.
Arden’s writing has a certain poeticism to it that, IMO, catapults this series into a whole different realm than YA. She weaves Russian history, folklore, romance, character growth, and flawless worldbuilding like a master.
The Girl in the Tower has OFFICIALLY made me a die hard Katherine Arden fan. I was already there with The Bear and the Nightingale – which I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone who loves fantasy, myth, stories of old, and the lush layering of history over fiction. I can’t wait to finish out the Winternight Trilogy with the release of The Winter of the Witch in 2019.
Final Spine Study :: Yes. Just, yes.