- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 2 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: December 5, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0746QQHYP
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Girl in the Tower: A Novel Audiobook – Unabridged
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When last we left Vasilisa Petrovna in The Bear and the Nightingale she had left Leznaya Semlya on her beloved Solovey, the magnificent and magical stallion son of the great horse of Morozko. As the story in The Girl in the Tower opens we find ourselves in Moscow, with Vasya's sister Olya, and eventually again meet her brother Sasha and even the shameful priest who had harmed Leznaya Semlya's delicate balance between the old ways and the new. It takes a deliciously long while for us to find out what happened with Vasya arriving at the home among the tree grove that is Morozko's.
There is no magic. Things are. Or they are not.
In many ways, The Girl in the Tower is a deeper and more complex story than The Bear and the Nightingale. The complexity is both due to the interweaving of more folklore (we see other famous 'monsters' from the pantheon) than just that of Morozko in this book, but also deeper because of questions about mortality, immortality, love, truth, and magic. The relationship between Vasya and Morozko deepens and we find that Death is surprisingly kind. Vasya must deal with further strife in terms of how everyone, at times even Morozko want her to be. But the two most important male figures in her life- Morozko and her brother Sasha, seem to find some way, some space, to allow Vasya to always be herself, even as they fear for her safety. Their fears are well justified. Torn between fates that would be anathema to her- two different towers with both implying differing horrors if you are Vasya, she is also caught between Death and Deathless, for a time.
There was a passage in the first book in which Solovey rebuts Vasya's saying he is not a bird with the comment "You do not know what you are; can you know what I am?" Although, yes, we can call Vasya a witch, I'm not sure, still, even at the end of this book, that we know exactly what Vasya is or what has been passed down to her from Tamara's mother to Tamara, then to Marina to Vasya and even Masha. We are left with strong suspicions, however. It will be interesting to see what Vasya can rebuild from what she has destroyed. And what little Masha will become.
This was a masterful second novel and an entirely satisfying middle book in the Winternight trilogy. I cannot wait to see what Katherine Arden has in store for us in the final book, "The Winter of the Witch."
The events that happened in the Bear and the Nightingale left Vasilisa Petrovna orphaned and branded as a witch by the people in her small village. She was given two options to choose from: spend the rest of her life in a covenant or allow her older sister to match her with a Moscovite prince. Both of which would imprison her in a tower and cut her off from the things she loves most - the wilderness and her freedom.
Not wanting to burden her brother Alyosha and her younger step-sister Irinka with her bad reputation, Vasya felt she had nothing left in Lesnaya Zemlya. So, with the help of Morozko (the frost demon) and her beloved stallion Solovey, she decides to become a traveler disguised as a boy so that she may explore the world and live freely.
"Thus Vasilisa Petrovna, murderer, savior, lost child, rode away from the house in the fir-grove. The first day ran on as an adventure might, with home behind and the whole world before them."
However, her travels don't go as smoothly as she may have hoped. When she comes across bandits that have been terrorizing the countryside by burning villages and abducting young girls, 'Vasilii Petrovitch' successfully tracks them down and pulls off a daring rescue, which earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow.
Being in Moscow has reunited Vasya with her sister Olga, the Princess of Serpukhov and her brother Alexsandr, a well known traveling monk. Together they try to keep Vasilisa's gender a secret from their cousin Dmitrii Ivanovitch, the Grand Prince, so that they may remain in his good graces. However, the bandits were never the real problem, its who was commanding them. The kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces, and Vasilisa is the only one who can stop it - will they let a wild girl, branded as a witch, save them?
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden is the second book of her Winternight trilogy. This a fantasy retelling of the Russian fairy tale Vasilisa the brave/beautiful.
This book begins where the first leaves off, so it was very easy for me to get lost in the story again. Katherine Arden's writing is poetic - its beautifully descriptive and full of emotion. While The Bear and the Nightingale had more of a slower pace (being the introductory book), The Girl in the Tower reads much more quickly.
There aren't a lot of new characters given in this book, most of them are ones we've already met in part one. However, we get to know them all so much better, which I really enjoyed! I loved seeing not only how Vasilisa grows and changes, but her siblings and even the frost-demon himself, too. They all go through trails and have issues of their own to deal with, Vasilisa especially; she learns quit a few lessons the hard way. One of the newer characters in this story is Marya, Olga's daughter, and I really hope to see more of her in the third book. There are a few mysteries from book one that are revieled in this part, giving us even more of an understanding of her family.
There was no romance in book one, but in this book there was just a touch of it, which I didn't mind. I actually really enjoyed it, and I'm excited to see where that goes.
Overall, I feel this is the perfect sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale. There's tons of action and its full of fairy tale creatures and adventures. Thankfully, just like the first book, The Girl in the Tower doesn't end on a cliffhanger. We end with Vasilisa set out on another adventure. One I can't wait to read about!
**** I received an eBook copy of this title via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Random House publishing! ****
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This is the direct sequel to “The Bear and the Nightingale”, and resumes where the latter left off, following...Read more