My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Published: December 5th, 2017
Publisher: Del Rey
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Russian Folklore, Adventure, Family, Romance
The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
Vasya is a child no more.
Disguised as a boy, she wanders the forest, set to become a traveler and explore the world she was once kept away from. Unfortunately, the world can be dangerous and the people cruel even to a boy.
If you found The Bear and the Nightingale marvellous, you should have no problem being swept away by this sequel. It contains more action than its predecessor, but it remains a slow-paced character-driven story, fortunately with a lesser focus on religion.
The part where Vasya is reacquainted with her older siblings reminded me of the Game of Thrones scene in which Arya sees Sansa after having been separated for so long. Both are happy they are alive and well, but neither of them is able to trust the other completely, so many secrets breathing between them.
As always, the story is beautifully-told and the tone serious while still being truthful to the main character’s still young age. I had no clue where the story would be going after reading the first book. I wasn’t sure why these creatures pertaining to the fantasy world were even in it, but now I understand everything better and am all the more eager to read the conclusion because I know the ending will be glorious.
But of course, part of me never wants it to end and the other part wishes to become Vasya the Brave! What a memorable heroine.
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