Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
Reviews / November 27, 2017

Mark my words, Katherine Arden is definitely going places. Early this year, she enchanted me with her lovely debut The Bear and the Nightingale, and now she has done it again with its follow-up The Girl in the Tower, which I thought was just as good—if not better—than its predecessor. The story continues the journey of brave Vasya, a young woman with a gift that grants her a special connection with the wilderness and the spirits that dwell within. But in the small Russian village where she lives, her abilities and strange behaviors eventually give rise to rumors that she is a witch, made worse by the town’s zealous priest who holds a grudge against her. Now she has been driven out of her community, her options reduced to either letting her older sister arrange a marriage for her, or spending the rest of her life in a convent. Neither are acceptable to Vasya, so in the end she decides to take her fate in her own hands and attempts to forge a third path. Disguising herself as a boy, Vasya takes to the road with Solovey, her trusty horse. Her adventures are cut short, however, when she encounters a…

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Reviews / January 4, 2017

The Bear and the Nightingale is one of those gorgeous nuggets of a book that you simply devour.  As soon as I read the synopsis, I wanted this book, in fact, lets be honest, as soon as I saw the cover – I wanted this book – which might sound fickle, because you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover after all.  However, fickle or not, the inside of this book is more than a match for the outer packaging. This is definitely my sort of book.  The writing is really quite beautiful, the author almost hypnotises you, she lulls you into a false sense of security with a beginning that draws you slowly in with the promise of folklore, myth, icy forests and fairytales retold and then before you know it the temperature has dropped further, menace is in the air and threatening shadows lurk in the darkest corners. As we begin the story we make the acquaintance of the Vladimirovich family.  Pyotr the father, a hard but fair man for the times in which he lives, he is thought well of by the people in the village.  He loves his wife and is devastated when he loses her in…