Girl in the Tower was *ENCHANTING*

*Received this book off Netgalley in exchange for an honest review- but the  gushing you’re about to see is all me*

girl in the towerAnd dark, and scary and made me feel all tingly. For anyone that doesn’t remember all the way back to December, I fell absolutely head over heels for Bear and the Nightingale, the first in the Winternight Trilogy. So when I received a last minute ARC for the second one, there was actual screaming, guys. And when I got to the end of this, well, let’s just say this raised my love to practically fever pitch.


Straightaway I was plunged into Arden’s atmospheric world. With stunning visuals, chuckle-worthy dialogue and mysteries building, I found myself sucked straight back in. Most of my notes devolved to just “WOW” and “AMAZING” pretty quickly. Cos let me tell you, everything about Arden’s writing is wonderful. The haunting style made me shivery and weak at the knees.

From the outset, I felt a creeping sense of dread and that didn’t let up until the crazy-dramatic end. You know that cliché “I hadn’t realised I’d been holding my breath”- well I exhaled (loudly) when I got to the end and I hadn’t realised I’d been holding my breath- so there you go, proof it actually happens. I was so absorbed in the good old fashioned storytelling that I didn’t notice. Nor I did I notice the night ticking away until it was Crazy O Clock in the morning and the story was done (whoops).

Timeless and magical, the plot loops round, playing with strands of the story and then joining the threads. When I could finally see the full tapestry, my face cracked into a smile of pure joy– it’s been a while since I’ve seen chronology twisted so successfully. This seemingly slight touch allowed minor characters to step more into the spotlight, which was excellently done. Carefully, characterisation through the eyes of others and through the smallest of gestures, brought the world more vividly to life. Little things, like the humorous horse character, made my toes curl in pleasure.

And speaking of pleasure, the romance in this book melted my heart. There were only hints of romance in the previous book and, even though I discussed it offline, I’d been scared of scaring it away- but man I wanted this. I don’t know where it’s going, since there’s a terrifying combination of miscommunication and magic involved, but I’m loving the slow build so far. Arden sure knows how to take her time.

I also loved the direction Vasya took in this book. She’s certainly grown into an increasingly wonderful heroine. As with the last book, I loved her unconventionality, her cleverness and how unusual she was (including her looks). She’s such a great role model for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider. And what made her even more powerful was the presence of a truly killer villain. He both mirrored her and reflected back her goodness with darkness… and I won’t say any more for fear of spoilers. But he’s a good un (well, technically bad 😉 )

What was incredible was how much more complexity and scope there was to Girl in the Tower. There were multiple layers to the story and I felt like there was so much more under the surface, waiting to be discovered. I honestly don’t feel like one review could do it justice (I can already see that I would benefit from rereading this story). One thing I will say that I enjoyed the most about this book was the elements of appearance vs reality. The hidden world of folklore, tucked out of sight for most people, gave the impression that there was more to this reality than meets the eye. I really appreciated how that theme bled into the narrative, the character’s gestures even and the portrayal of different beliefs. I marvelled how the unseen and the seen blurred together at moments, in a way that screamed UNCANNY and UNSETTLING. I revelled in what could be regarded as a clash of civilisations.

Ultimately, this book took everything about the first book and made it better. No middle book syndrome here- only pure, unadulterated bliss. I’d read a few reviews and thought “pff could it be better?”- the answer is yes, yes it could and it was. And I must say it was perfect with hot chocolate and Bailey’s after an exhausting day 😉

Rating: 5/5 bananas

small bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall banana

Have you read this or the first one? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

73 thoughts on “Girl in the Tower was *ENCHANTING*

  1. OMG I had no idea this was the sequel to the Winternight trilogy. I still haven’t read the first book but ONLY heard good things about it and definitely will pick it up once I am allowed to buy new books again haha I am glad you loved this book so much, that just makes the series as whole even more promising for me ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Are you reading a book or doing some other “adult” activity?

    On a slightly more serious note, what is it that determines if you do the whole bold/unbold thing for a post or not? You’ll go for a while, all unbold, then bam, we get a post like this. And I know it’s not just reviews, ’cause you did it with your politicked’out post too. Just curious if there’s a method to your madness…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. haha?!?! (ohh I think I get it… dude, really not that kind of book 😉 )

      Oh that’s usually determined by length- longer posts with no break up in text are a struggle to follow 😉 (plus, as might be obvious from reviews which are more quote heavy, I like to mix it up and some books get “special treatment” 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I suspect I’ll be having to buy this series this year. Every time you mention the Bear and the Nightingale I swear I can picture the most euphoric facial expression ever. I imagine this will only be heightened now that you are in love with the second part. 😉

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  4. Aaaahhhh I cannot wait for my copy to arrive! I was looking forward to reading it already, but all the amazing reviews for it are making me even. more. excited!! And adding baileys hot chocolate? That sounds like perfection!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I had to skim read through your review because I HAVENT READ THE FIRST ONE YET T-T I KNOW IKNOW I HAVE IT BUT LIKE I keep postponing it because its too precious to even begin HAHA But seeing the seal of approval of bananas make me happy ❤

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  6. A creeping sense of dread….that sounds so seriously good. I like books that manage to create an atmosphere like that. And oh, how I love it when you get enthusiastic for something! It really shows through in your reviews, and that is really meant as a complient! Glad you enjoyed it so much 😀😀

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  7. Yes yes yes! You’ve said everything that I thought/felt about the book, but my review was a big emotional fan girl bleurgh whereas yours is all eloquent and cohesive! Wasn’t it different to the first novel – but in a totally brilliant way?

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    1. Aww thank you!! I loved your review- it made me so much more excited to pick it up!!! 😀 (also, I love fangirling 😉 ) Totally agree with you- I loved how it developed certain aspects (like the characters and fairy tale parts) but also took it in a totally different direction! It was awesome!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh wow, fantastic review! I haven’t read The Bear and the Nightingale just yet, but heard incredible things about it – from you, too, I remember your glowing blog posts about this book haha 🙂 I’m so happy to hear the sequel is even better than the first book… given that rarely EVER happens, hahaha 🙂 Beautiful review! 🙂

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  9. Yessss, it makes me happy, that you are excited! I am reading this book right now, but am only a quarter in.

    Good to hear, that the ‘romance’ is developing. I liked the little hints in book 1. That’s just how I like it. Not too much in your face and slowly developing. And no unnecessary drama.

    And Vasya’s horse is so adorable, he has more character traits than some YA heroe’s & heroines I’ve come across lately.
    It’s a HORSE!

    i better get back to reading 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much!!

      Oh yes, I so agree- I much prefer the slow build with romance- that way I really appreciate when it happens 😀

      hehehe yes!! You’re so right!! I love him (and that makes me think of the character, ironically called “Mare” from Red Queen… who in my opinion has less personality than Solovey 😉 )

      hehe yes!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So it turns out I REALLY need to read these books. I have heard nothing but good things about them, so I think I am going to have to add them to my TBR. Great review!!!!

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  11. I’m so excited to read this series! I was approved for this book by Netgalley only to realize that there was a first book I had yet to read (noooo!), so I unfortunately have to wait lol. Great review! Love it when you gush in these posts haha 😀

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  12. Omg!! I really need to read the 1st and get my hands on this one!! I said I’d read Bear and Nightingale at Christmas but got sidetracked! I have to read both before winter is over, lol! They don’t seem springlike and your excitement for both makes me want to jump up and down, lol!

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    1. Oh definitely do!! It’s so worth it. I understand that. I really hope you like them!! hahah yes they definitely suited this season best!! hehehe I’m glad!! 😀 I can’t help but be enthusiastic for this series!


      1. I have no words. Well, I do since I’m writing you, lol! I finally picked up The Bear and the Nightingale to read last Thurs…finished that day and immediately started The Girl in the Tower! I finished that a few hours later! Breathtaking! I’m in awe of both books, and there’s no way I can wait for book 3!! I can’t even review the books, lol. I don’t have the words. I just wanted you to know I finally read them and they were magical, fabulous and everything you said they’d be! 😘

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          1. I did!! I’m in love with them, lol. They were so brilliant! I can’t think of the last time I read 2 books in less than 24hrs, lol!! I’m glad I made you happy!! 😊😊❤❤😘😘

            Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve been looking forward to reading your review ever since I saw you posted it. I’m glad you loved it! I agree with you on all points, especially about Arden knowing how to take her time. I love that the romance wasn’t forced into a place where it had to hurry or even be explained. There’s a whole ‘nother book to get to it all!

    The only thing I don’t quite agree with you on is the evilness of the villain. I felt like in the first book evil slowly built in Constantine’s heart and you could kind of watch him become increasingly evil while still being, you know, human. I loved that he was a complicated villain, but more so that we got to know him. I felt like in this book it was kind of a big surprise at the end. “SURPRISE! I’M ACTUALLY EVIL FOR MYSTERIOUS REASONS THAT ARE ONLY SORT OF REVEALED!” I also didn’t feel like I understood his motivation. I don’t know, he just seemed kind of one-dimensional to me. I liked Constantine better.

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    1. Thank you- I’m really glad you (mostly) agree 😉 I completely agree with you about Arden’s romance and romance in books in general- I don’t need a quick payoff, just a good one! In fact, slower is better! Yes!

      Fair enough. I didn’t personally dislike Constantine as a villain- and I certainly liked how fleshed out and humanly fallible he was. However, in both books I saw him as more of a minion to the bigger bad (lesser even in this book). So I was thinking more in comparison to the “bear”- who felt more of a distant force than in this one (cos, well, he was- which isn’t always a bad thing). Personally, I liked his motivation though- and I loved how it tied in with the ghosts and the slow build up of folklore. Basically, I like it all haha 😉 But I can understand your point 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess that makes sense, how Constantine was more of a tool. And the Bear is just kind of a nameless “bad thing” with no real motivation other than “He’s bad”. Kind of like the blobby thing in A Wrinkle in Time. Or Sauron. So I see your point about THIS villain being more fleshed out. I just prefer my villains with a little more of a mixture, a la Darth Vader.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah absolutely- it’s a very typical kind of “evil force” trope and it’s fine, especially if there’s other villains, but I’m more like you in general- I like the Darth Vaders (actually scratch that I *love* the Darth Vaders!) so I see your point 🙂

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  14. I have seen of course quite a few readers saying how much they loved book 2 as well and I still wasn’t that… sure?! But you’ve completely managed to guarantee that for me and I can’t wait to dive in myself.. everything you say about it in your review… I mean, your review gave me weak knees 😀 what will the book do? Sound perfectly wonderful! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it so much! 🙂

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  15. I mean.. your review of the first book (along with every other trusted blogger who read it) had already convinced me of this series’ magic but I have yet to try them out! And knowing that the 2nd one was this good only makes me want to read it even more. It sounds so whimsical and complex and just darn beautiful! Speaking of beautiful. This review could make people drool! Thanks for sharing! Fantastic review! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Wow, this series sounds amazing!! Although I saw it popping up on lists everywhere I’d been undecided about whether to read it (I’m not sure why, perhaps I saw a lacklustre review somewhere?) but then I saw several people saying good things and slowly changed my mind… and after reading your amazing review, I don’t think I have a choice anymore 🙂 – now I’m super-excited to read it. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

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