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The Girl in the Tower

Winternight, Book 2
Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
Series: Winternight Trilogy, Book 2
Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (219 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, read by Kathleen Gati.

For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark: marriage or a life in a convent. Vasya will choose a third way: magic....

The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile, bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.

Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior's training, recognises this 'boy' as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret, as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical....

©2018 Katherine Arden (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good sequel

enjoyed the story. All the magic of the first book. but slightly spoiled by the delivery, which was Siri-esque

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A beautifully written fairy tale for adults

You need to read book1 first but this continues a brilliant story, beautifully written. My only disappointment was that the third book isn't out until 2019!

2 people found this helpful

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More magic

Another beautifully written and magical story - I can’t wait for the last part of this trilogy. If you like fairytales just close your eyes and be transported to Russia in the winter. Thank you Audible and Katherine and Kathleen, just wonderful.

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Love the story, narrator sounds electronic

Really loved the first book, but the voice of the narrator is really electronic, found it very hard to listen to, such a shame as the story is great!!

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Totally gripping

This is the second book
Of the Trilogy. I read the Bear and the Nightingale and loved it. As I had a lot of driving to do I got the The Girl in the Tower on audible and enjoyed it even more. It is beautifully told.

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It’s simple.

If you enjoyed The Bear and the Nightingale then you will enjoy this. Vasya, in her attempts to avoid be thrown into a convent is on a collision course with an immortal monster whilst battling the sexism of her time. I love this series, roll on book 3.

Narration was also great.

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Great sequel

Once again I listened to this as an audiobook. I even got up to 1.5x speed because I wanted to “read faster”.

I loved this book and continue to love the characters and the world. I was intrigued and interested throughout.

I didn’t give this 5 stars likely because the novelty of the world from the first book was lost, especially as this has much less folklore and more politics which was still fun. I think I will leave it a bit before finishing the trilogy so I can be enchanted again by the unique setting and world.

Definitely enjoyed this read and the story was fun too. Vasilisa is getting older and her life harder. It’s hard to witness but I have a feeling her character in the 3rd book will be better for it!

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An enjoyable story continues

Really enjoyed the first book, this one develops the story and characters in a new setting. Deep and rich storytelling, narrated beautifully.

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The Girl in the Tower

I put off reading this book for months. I loved the first book so much and I couldn't dream how Arden could pull off a second book that was anywhere near as good as the first. At some point, I finally knew I could put it off no longer, so I pulled out the first book again and did a reread. Oh. My. Gosh. I loved it even more the the 2nd time, so my anxiety (yes I sometimes have anxiety over books....don't judge me for that I won't judge you because you don't! #justsaying). I forced myself to start this book.

At 20% I was just...well....heck....what can I say...I was surprised....I was honestly loving it even more. I knew there was no way the 2nd book could be even has as wonderful as the first...yet somehow it was turning out EVEN BETTER!!!! I was terrified to ask my friends who loved the first book to read it...to see if they would feel the same way....I spent page after page wanting to rush and ask them to read this and the need to keep silent so I didn't jinx it...At about 30% the need to share my love won out...I let the world know I was in love! I was crushed with myself...I KNEW I had ruined it and jinxed the novel...that it would all go downhill quickly...At 70%I couldn't believe all of the emotions I was feeling...at 75% I had to stop reading and take a half day off from reading...I couldn't slow down enough to make sure I didn't miss anything...I was just loving it so much that I wanted to race heedlessly to the end...so I forced myself to set it aside for most of the day to calm myself...

What can I say? There's no way I can express all the wonder in this book. No way to explain why this is so much better than the first book. I don't even know why....well...sure...I mean, there's the part of spending more time with Vasya...and the Winter King...But seriously...I just can't do a review to put all of my feelings into words...So different from the first book...but also so much the same...less of a made-up fairytale feel and more of a real-life fairytale....yes perhaps that's it...instead of just wanting a warm cozy fire nearby reading the first book, this book I found myself snuggling deep within the covers...of both the book and my bed...Every time that Morozko spoke I felt the kiss of the cool fresh air of first light on cold winter's morn...

See, I am rambling...I am like some over stimulated child that has had too many sweets and too much excitement all in one day...

I loved this book so very much that I am ALREADY having anxiety through the roof about the third book...I just want to keep these characters near...I woke up with morning (after staying up past midnight to finish this novel!) knowing I had dreamt of horses and domovoi...

I just want to be one of those crazed fans and run out and meet Katherine Arden and thank her for the beauty she has brought into my world. For making me believe...well...in all the wonderful things this book brings to me...that magic does exist....that love is the greatest gift...that there are those that will sacrifice anything for the right cause....that loyalty can't be bought...nor sold...that kindness matters...the list goes on and on....and honey oat cakes...I want to bake her honey oat cakes over an open flame...and FFS I don't even know what those are!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Loved the language and the imagery.

I read the first book in the trilogy and couldn't wait to download this. The complicated names and language challenge the reader and I loved the author's explanations of the Russian words/tales. This created vivid images with a good balance of historic licence, fantasy & human emotion.

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  • Yuen May
  • 04-04-20

It just sucks you in.

I enjoyed the first (audio) book. And it's always comforting to hear the same narrator for a series.
My goodness though, this second one. I am eager to start on the next/last book. But I shall be so sorry to finish this trilogy.

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  • Lulu
  • 28-11-19

waited a whole year for it..I was not disappointed

I was dying to get my hands on this book for almost a year and a half ...and it did not disappoint !! a masterpiece in which my favorite author and the best story teller cam together in one work of art and fantasy 💞💞 the story was very engaging to the point that i could not sit still without knowing what's next !! i love it and i love vasia and the snow demon and the love story that ignited between them 😍💖😭😭

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  • Yasnah
  • 10-10-19

Fairy tales within a fairy tale

I often do not like the middle books in trilogies or series - they usually feel like story fillers, not a proper story in itself. The Girl in the Tower is one of the few exceptions.

The story continues immediately after the first book. Or rather, it starts somewhere around the last third or quarter of the first book, but in Moscow, following Vasya's two older siblings, Olga and Sasha. We get a few more different perspectives in this book compared to the first, and Katherine Arden's medieval Russia became grander, bloodier, and slightly more cruel.

Vasya's stubborn challenge on medieval gender roles features prominently in this book. Understandable as Vasya is now sixteen but still wild and headstrong, refusing to live her life walled in either by marriage or the convent. Also more prominent in this book is romance, or rather strong hints of it. I didn't mind either, but the one thing that I missed more of was the old spirits. There are a couple of domovois and banniks, and even a new dvorovoi, but these encounters are few and far between. They are fading in Moscow, but not gone. The struggle between old golds and new carries on.

Yes, this book is a continuation of the first, and is a foreshadowing of the next. But it is also a book in itself. There is another story in this story about fairy tales; and that one (arguably) began and ended in this book. And that is why The Girl in the Tower, despite being in the middle of a trilogy, can stand on its own.

Kathleen Gati's voice remains soft and dreamy. I realise now that the prose itself is lyrical, and perhaps the narrator is building from that. But now she also had hard edges and shrill panic and breathless excitement. Much improved.

Although I love the first book more (largely because I love the girl Vasya more than the teen one), I don't think I loved a middle book as much as I loved this one. If you've read The Bear and the Nightingale, you know you need to read The Girl in the Tower. Get this. Now.

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  • Nichola
  • 23-02-18

I wished it would never end

Newly discovered for me, a stunning trilogy... how will I be able to wait a whole year for the final part?