This book has my whole heart.
I mean, how can something so amazing as this book exist without the rest of the world loving it as much as I do? This book is truly a hidden gem.
I read The Bear and The Nightingale earlier this year and I really liked it. I decided not to read the sequel right away because I tend to have really bad experiences with binge reading a series, especially fantasy.
I am really glad I put it off till now, because I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much if I had read it then. Also I have to wait less for The Winter of The Witch to release!
If you haven’t already read the books, you should. It is so, so worth it.
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.
This book starts right where The Bear and The Nightingale ended, with Vasya running away dressed up as a boy towards a new future. A future where ,as a boy, she may do as she pleases and explore the world as she wishes.
However, the world is a dangerous place and Vasya must go through much hardship, and she will be tested.
I really loved Vasya in this book, maybe because the book was about her journey to the world beyond her village. She was so brave and flawed and just wanted tonbe loved and accepted as who she was, without having society decide it for her.
It really was empowering to see her choose for herself, and the book doesn’t force feminism and equality on you, to the point where it is just too overwhelming and you’re feel like you’ve heard this a thousand times before. It just fit into the story.
I don’t think this book could be what it is, if it wasn’t for Katherine Arden’s writing which was lyrical and just pure magic. It reminded me so much of Laini Taylor, the way it flowed.
I really, really need more people to read this book, this series. It’s like hot chocolate for your soul. I need the next book to come out as soon as possible!