Dec 8, 2017

Book Review: The Girl in the Tower

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

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.

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When I read The Bear and the Nightingale, I fell absolutely in love with this Russian fairy tale and Ms. Arden's writing.  I really didn't think that she would be able to top that first book.  Boy was I very happily wrong.   

I was immediately swept back in time to  medieval Rus when Christianity was replacing earlier pagan beliefs.  Vasya is a wild and free maiden who was never meant to fit into the narrow confines that women were shoved into.  Instead she decides to ride away on her horse and find adventure.  And does she ever.

Again Vasya's character really spoke to me.  She refused to compromise and get married as proper young girls should.  Instead she masquerades as a boy, saves some children and comes to the attention of the Grand Prince of Moscow.  As long as her disguise held, she was happy but all good things come to an end.  She is found out and to save her family, she agrees to marry.  She has such a good heart and love is really her guiding light.

I very highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairy tales. It is perfect for readers of all ages though there is violence as there is in any good tale.  This book will grab you from very first page all the way through to the satisfying conclusion. 

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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