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5 Reasons To Read The Girl In The Tower It's Even Better Than The Bear And The Nightingale

When I read The Bear and the NightingaleI definitely liked it (you can find the review here), but I knew that the series was not opening up its full potential. But I decided to stick with it, because I was sure it would bloom by the second book. And it did! I loved The Girl in the Tower. So here are…

5 Reasons To Read The Girl In The Tower

The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2)

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★★★★✬  4.5 stars


The Girl in the Tower carries on where The Bear and The Nightingale left off. Vasya, a rebellious girl, needs to flee her homeland, because after the events of the first book, she is regarded as a witch, feared and loathed, and she is worried for her own life. She can think of no other place to flee to than to Morozko, the frost god. However… Things get even darker than in the first book, but also? Much more adventurous! As Vasya now becomes the traveling adventurer maiden she was cut out to be.

Vasya Is A Great Model Of Female Power

Vasya is such an amazing woman! Sure, she’s a tomboy, she’s rash and doesn’t quite think things through, but also? She’s brave, she’s daring, and through her character and her experiences, we get to see the obstacles women had to face before our times. I have always known that life for women was tough, back in the day. We all know that. But do we ever think just how tough? How limited the self expression and the life, when you’re trapped in a tower, and that’s normal? When you can’t ever say what you want to say, or even feel what you want to feel? Not speaking of the boredom and dullness of such a life. Vasya was a great contrast. She fought, she ran, she rescued. She burned and destroyed. Vasya is the true strong female heroine and I love her for that.

The Slow-Burn Romance

To be honest? I was very curious what would become of the romance in this story. This is not the kind of book, nor is Katherine the kind of writer, I feel, who would subject you to flowery love stories. I wouldn’t have expected ANY romance in this series at all – apart from the fact that the story was set up from the first book and it was sort of leading up somewhere. And I was so curious about where it would lead! I have to say, I am extremely satisfied with the outcome. I’m not a romance fan, so this was just perfect for me. Subtle and reasonable. I will not say more, for fear of spoilers!

The Pace And The Suspense

This book has done what the first one hasn’t – namely, it has suspense! If The Bear and the Nightingale was slow at times, you could only say this book was rolling, and always on edge. At one point, I had to stop reading, because I just didn’t want to find out what was next – it was too much. Had to put the book down for a day or two!

This Book Is More Adult

You can clearly feel that Vasya is no child anymore in this book. If things were a little soft around the edge in The Bear and the Nightingale, they are not so in The Girl in the Tower. The book is much more adult, both in the tone, and the darkness it tells about. I’m normally very sensitive to darkness in books, but this was just right. The ideas it helps express just absolutely worked with it.

Being A Strong Woman Can Be So Many Different Things

You’d think that if Vasya, a strong and fighting woman, is in the spotlight here, this book says that the strength is only in fighting? WRONG! I was pleasantly surprised to see extremely strong and capable female characters who were symbolizing the other side of femininity – the soft, submissive side, namely – Vasya’s sister Olga. She is no rebel, she does what she’s told, she submits to her life and bears her cross with her head held high. But it’s no weakness! Olga displays incredible strength in the face of adversity, and she only bears that kind of life because that’s the way she can protect everyone she loves, keep her responsibilities. I couldn’t claim that either one of these women – Vasya or Olga – is portrayed as the right one! That’s the whole brilliance – both are right ways to live. Your strength lies in who you are, and there are many ways to be strong. Because of this, the book feels like a song to the many kinds of femininity there can be.


I know I loved this book and it was very easy for me to follow. However, I’ve grown up close to Russia and I’ve been exposed to Russian fairytales and mythologies from an early age. I’ve heard from some Westerners that some of the mythologies are hard to follow and maybe not explained enough – if I hadn’t know the fairytale about Koshchei the Deathless, I might have had trouble following too. So if you don’t have any background, just read the glossary at the back first.

I thank Del Rey and Katherine Arden for giving me a copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. You can buy the book here at Book Depository and buying using this link supports the blog.

Have you read The Bear and the Nightingale? Are you planning to read The Girl in the Tower?

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Evelina AvalinahsBooksMridula GuptaSuzanne @ The Bookish LibraEmma's LibraryKaren Blue Recent comment authors

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Anindita Choudhury
Anindita Choudhury

I have this ARC too. Loved the cover and the summary. Haven’t read the first boo.
Thanks for the tip on the background info, I haven’t read a lot of Russian fairytales but for a book, my uncle brought me when I was a little girl. It was a translation of Alynuska (not sure if this spelling is correct, it was in an Indian language). Your review has me excited for the read.


great post! I loved Bear and the Nightingale so can’t wait to read this very soon!!

Emma's Library
Emma's Library

I’ve recently read The Bear and The Nightingale and absolutely loved it. I thought the slower pacing worked well and it certainly helped me to get a better feel for the story. I’m definitely going to be picking up The Girl in the Tower when it comes out in the UK (that maybe a while if I wait for the paperback release).

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

You’ve definitely convinced me:-) This series has been on my TBR, it’s just a matter of finding the time. Thanks for so many good reasons to read it!


This post is EPIC!!


What a beautiful review!! I enjoyed it very much and your reasons convinced me about how awesome this book is! I’ve thought of reading The Bear and The Nightingale during winter break for a while now, but now I’m even more convinced about it! Also, I adore when a book presents more type of strong in women, you don’t have to use weapons to be strong, strength comes in all different shapes. Lovely post!❤


I have heard so many good things about this series, though I have not read it (yet). I am well versed in German folklore and Greek/Roman mythologies, but I don’t know too many Russian stories. I would love to learn more, and am glad you enjoyed this retelling.

Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

All good reasons! Adding to this, I also love the “girl disguised as a boy” trope, as common as it is. So this one was right up my alley 🙂

Lashaan Balasingam

Nice tip about reading the glossary at the end first. Probably what I’ll do if I get the chance to read this series. Love that it gets darker and more adult in the second book. And all these wonderful strong female characters make me want to read this even more! Fantastic reasons to pick this up, Evelina. 🙂 Glad to hear you enjoyed this more than the first!


Fantastic review as always!


[…] Between all this chaos, I am looking forward to buddy read a book with Evelina from Avalinah’s books during the Christmas holidays (though we don’t have Christmas holidays here in India ). […]

Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium
Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

You make this series sound so fantastic I want to slap myself for never requesting the fist book ARC! When I saw the cover “cute” came to my mind and I’m usually never in the mood for cute! UGH! Well I guess even if I didn’t read the ARC I can always read the books 🙂


Vasya is such a strong female character! I love how she fought against the oppression of women! I will say I am not familiar with any of the Russian folklore but found that I was able to follow along pretty well. With saying that, I also read the glossary BEFORE the book for both The Bear and The Girl. I familiarized myself with the terms so I was able to follow along without trouble. I will say that you bought this book more adult, whereas I thought this one read more as a young adult novel and The Bear read… Read more »


Thought not bought** whoops.


Spot on <3 You really captured this one and all that works so well! I love that you mentioned that it helps to be familiar with the folklore and fairy tales. I began researching some Russian folklore when I read Vassa in the Night, so that made a huge difference on my experience. I have found that I am a big fan of Russian fairy tales. I could not agree more that Vasya's growth made this book feel even more mature.

On a side note, not sure if I have ever mentioned it but your blog is beautiful!

Laura Thomas

Thanks for the heads up about the glossary. I still haven’t read the first book. Got it on my list for the new year though. You nailed it with the gifs for your reasons to read it. But only five? LOL

Karen Blue

I am glad to see this book (and this genre) getting so much love. I didn’t read the glossary first and I admit in the beginning of both this and the first book, I was a little lost. Then the action swoops in and I waas fangirling hard for this world. Great review!

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

Great post! I loved this book so much so I’m thrilled to see you loved it too. It actually made my list of favorite 2017 reads.

Mridula Gupta

Oh yes, totally. I wanna see more of MOrozko and Vasya. They have an amazing chemistry. And I hope the author sheds light on more of Vasya’s powers as a witch in the third and final book in this series