You are immortal and perhaps I seem small to you but my life is not your game.
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
The books I love the most are always the most difficult to write reviews about. It’s quite funny because although it’s the hardest to put to words how much I loved the book I always end up having the most to discuss and the reviews end up being lengthy. Girl In The Tower is no exception to this rule because I loved it.
To start I need to back up and let you know my feelings on The Bear & The Nightingale so you can have a more clear grasp on how important it is that I oh so enjoyed Girl. Bear was a slower story. It was a dive into this story and seep yourself in the folklore type of read. And I know you’re thinking “but that’s your jam Milana” and yes that is true my readers but either I read it in the wrong mainframe or it truly was just a slower read I didn’t resonate with as much as I would have normally. Because of this I put off reading Girl In The Tower for 3 years. Three years! Many fellow book bloggers and friends urged me to read this book (you know who you are *cough Hollis, cough Kath, cough Triss* hahaha) and I kept pushing it aside.
Here we are today and let me tell you I was ready for this story. It was what I wanted from book 1. It is everything I ever wanted in a folklore re-telling. Arden has a beautiful voice that can craft some of the most gorgeous sentences I have ever feasted my eyes upon. I relate to so many of the thoughts her characters have it makes me feel at home.
I carve things of wood because things made by effort are more real than things made by wishing.
Vasya is one of the most amazing characters I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Her growth and journey in this book made me want to climb inside of the pages to maybe be allowed to sit on top of Solovey and go for a jaunt with her through the woods she loves. Along with Vasya we got to see some incredible growth in her sister, Olya, her brother, Sasha and our favourite character – Morozko. I make that open mouthed achy emoji with my face when I think about Morozko. Think of me when you choose that emoji from now on.
I cannot delve into the storyline because I do not want to give anything way. You must experience this book for yourself. If you haven’t read book 1 and are hesitant please do read it and enjoy it’s slower pace because you’ll be breathless while reading Girl. You have the following to look forward to: magic, beautifully re-woven myths, a brilliant horse, amazing female characters, a frost demon you’ll want to betroth yourself to and an amazing story.
Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen.
The quote above made me tear up as I typed it. I can’t with this book. Please read it. Love it. Enjoy it. This is one of those books I could re-read for the first time again. Thank you Katherine Arden for writing and for connecting so many of us with your words.