Over the last couple of years I’ve tried tried to broaden my reading horizons and pick up books with different settings and cultures from my own and I’ve come across one particular setting that I have really enjoyed which is Russian inspired reads. Most of these are fantasy books and there is just something about the atmosphere and tone of these stories that immediately had me engaged!
The Crown’s Game & The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye
The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Uprooted & Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Summer/Winter vibes and since we are coming into winter here in Australia I thought it would be nice to list some of the books I have read over the last year that give me wintry/cold/blustery/frigid vibes!!
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos
Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
One Day in December by Josie Silver
The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is books with extraordinary book titles. I have chosen 10 books from this year with interesting book titles that played a factor in making me want to pick them up! These could be books I’ve never heard of before, super hyped books or random books that immediately intrigued me because of its name.
Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Birthday by Meredith Russo
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
The month started a little flat for me and I wasn’t all that motivated in picking up any of the books from my TBR so I once again got swept into a romance/smutty series that was just an easy, fun, entertaining read for me. However, the last few weeks of the month I actually really got stuck into my TBR and managed to finish a couple of series off! I was overall very happy with the amount I was able to get through!
Whiskey Chaser by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – ⭐️5/5 stars
Sidecar Crush by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – ⭐️4.5/5 stars
Moonshine Kiss by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley – ⭐️4/5 stars
Bourbon Bliss by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley – ⭐️4/5 stars
Gin Fling by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley – ⭐️4/5 stars
Highball Rush by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley – ⭐️4/5 stars
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman – ⭐️5/5 stars
Stardust by Neil Gaiman – ⭐️4/5 stars
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan – ⭐️4/5 stars
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – ⭐️4/5 stars
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden – ⭐️4/5 stars
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan – ⭐️4.5/5 stars
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Girl in the Tower continues pretty much straight after The Bear and the Nightingale concluded. In this sequel we follow some different perspectives, Sasha and Olga who are both currently living in Moscow and we continue on with Vasya’s journey after she fled home on Solovey’s back.
I like that we get more insight into the court at Moscow and the power struggles that The Grand Prince has to deal with however, for me I am not the biggest fan of political fantasies so that element of the story kind of dragged for me.
The pace of the story started off really fast, which I enjoyed, it really sucked me right into the book. The whole mystery behind the bandits and who was behind the fires and the missing girls was intriguing and held me attention. I like that we followed Sasha’s perspective and followed his journey in finding the bandits and then when we finally got to Vasya’s perspective we had some context.
Sasha was a little up and down for me. I didn’t quite know what to feel about him. I thought he was integral to the story line but he didn’t really do anything remarkable that cemented his status for me. Sure he was a good strategist and the Grand Prince really held him in high regard but I didn’t like how he doubted Vasya at every turn. I thought since he was the closest to her at the start of the series and being a priest he would be a little less judgmental.
Olga I didn’t quite warm to in this book either. I thought she was really narrow-minded when it came to her sister and she was quite combative with her at the start. I don’t understand how she can’t just accept who Vasya is as a person, I realize she probably thought that her sister had grown out of her wild ways but upon realizing that she hasn’t I don’t get why she wouldn’t embrace her. I feel she has been molded into that one sided perspective of how a woman should behave hidden away in her tower. She is ultimately trying to protect her family but she could of used a little empathy for her younger sister.
The magical side of the story though is what really prevailed for me. We got a little further into the mystery of Vasya’s grandmother which I LOVED! That was one of my hopes that the books would delve more deeper into who Tamara is and what drove her to Moscow all those years ago. The twist with Kasyan completely blindsided me. I had a feeling he wasn’t who he made himself out to be, especially with the timing of meeting Vasya and then her being driven out of the town by bandits trying to capture her. I didn’t anticipate how much of an impact he was going to make and it was highly entertaining.
The budding romance with Vasya I didn’t like at first, however it is growing on me. I have a feeling the next book will the focus of that given the title and I’m hoping I’m not left feeling disappointed. I already have a few predictions in mind and it will be fascinating to see whether or not I’m right!
⭐️4/5 The magical/fantastical elements really saved the book for me!