The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden blogtour book review


The Girl in the Tower Cover

The Girl in the Tower written by Katherine Arden, publisher Del Rey (Ebury Publishing) is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audiobook format.  The book will also be available to purchase in paperback format from 9th August 2018.

The book is available to purchase from all good book retailers and the ebook is available to download for amazon kindle, kobo, Google Play and iBook.

To buy link (amazon UK):

Product Details (as per amazon page)

For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark: marriage or life in a convent. Vasya will choose a third way: magic. . .
The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.
Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior’s training, recognises this ‘boy’ as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical. . .

The Girl in the Tower Blog Tour Poster

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of the paperback of The Girl in the Tower.  The Girl in the Tower is the second instalment in the Winternight Trilogy, I’d fully recommend reading all the books in the series in order to fully immerse yourself in this world of wonderment, myth, magic, danger and love.  The books in the series are:

  • The Bear and the Nightingale (you can find my review for book one here.
  • The Girl in the Tower
  • The Winter of the Witch

It’s been just over 18 months since I entered the world of Russian folklore with the book that began the Winternight Trilogy; The Bear and the Nightingale.  Firstly, I’d like to thank and congratulate the artist of the book covers in this series as they are truly works of art, the detail is stunning and the colours are very inviting.  I would purchase the covers alone as prints to adorn my house.  As mentioned in my review of book one fantasy fiction is not my usual genre but the synopsis and the cover drew me in.  I was so pleased I stepped out of my reading comfort zone to discover this epic tale.  As it’s not my usual genre it did take me a little while to get back in to the story but I’ve learnt that I have to set my mind to acknowledge and embrace a world full of imagination and let the words just take me there.  Once I was back in Russia with Vasya and her trusted companion Solovey, her horse, I was completely captivated again by this whole world of medieval Russia, by the myth and the magic, by the forbidden love but this time danger was lurking and the author Katherine Arden takes us on a very dangerous, deathly journey.

This is such a spellbinding sweeping story of a young woman blessed with skills few are given.  Vasya takes on tasks that many men would struggle to find the strength and courage to undertake.  Vasya is like the original medieval super hero showing immense belief, hope and strength to help those she dearly loves.  The terrain of Russia is clear from the descriptive words from the author, the atmosphere of the landscape is very evident.  My emotions once again were in turmoil and at times I felt completely spent.  There is a beauty of a love that is almost forbidden entwined within the storyline, this love was so rare and so beautiful but there was a sadness within it.

For an author to take me out of my reading comfort zone and envelope me in to another world is a job well-done.  Katherine Arden is an author to watch, the Winternight Trilogy with book one being her debut novel shows a depth of literary expertise that can take years to learn.  I would like to repeat a quote from my review of book one:

This book and it’s story would look impressive with a big movie budget bringing all the characters and creatures to life, a blockbuster in the making.

To learn more about the author Katherine Arden and her work please visit the following sites:





Best of the best in 2017

tea n book quote

I’ve had another wonderful year of reading and managed to finish 120 books.  From the 120 books read 52 of them were from new authors to me, so you can say 2017 was the year of discovering new talent.

It’s always very difficult for a book lover to choose their favourite reads of the year.  I enjoy many books from a wide variety of genres and tend to rate them by my overall enjoyment.  However, I would like to highlight a few that I particularly loved:

The Wild Warriners series by Virginia Heath.  Mills and Boon Historical writer Virginia Heath created a new series for us this year and I completely fell in love with it.  The Warriners are four brothers trying to escape the bad reputation that their late father has left them with.  We have been introduced to two of the brothers to-date and shortly in the new year we will be treated to another instalment from the Warriners.  I would say it’s like a 19th century rural middle England ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.’


The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.  The Bear and The Nightingale is a grown up version of a fairytale set in Russia dealing with loss, grief, family struggles, forbidden love with a wonderful mystery of mythology and unknown magical creatures.  This book and it’s story would look impressive with a big movie budget bringing all the characters and creatures to life, a blockbuster in the making.

all the good things

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher.  A very moving, insightful story that was full of real life raw emotions, there was no sugar coating around the edges of life’s turbulent at times bumps in the road. A wonderful, inspiring debut that I feel should be read by all that have any involvement with young people. The words from this book will stay with me for a long time.

bamboo heart

Bamboo Heart by Ann Bennett.  The author, Ann Bennett, wrote with such passion and honesty. She left no scene without telling the shocking truth of a young man’s struggle to survive in the most terrifying of ordeals. The story sounds quite oppressive but it wasn’t as you were dealing with real people’s emotions and even during times of war love always found a way to bring sunshine and hope to your days.

the woolly hat knitting club

The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan.  This was a joy to read.  Poppy Dolan has created the most delightful, charming romcom that leaves you with a wonderful warm cosy feeling.

summer of impossible things

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman.  This novel got me from the start to the finish. I was captivated by this almost other worldly love story. A story of a love between a mother and a daughter; a story of a love that seemed almost impossible to believe but the consequence of never feeling the strength of this love is almost too heart breaking to think about.

the secret life of alfred nightingale

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca StonehillThis was such a profoundly moving novel that evoked many emotions in me. A story cleverly told in two different time frames from two generations of one family going through a pivotal time in their own lives which would leave a lasting impression forever.

walking wounded

Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne.  This was such an emotive story that deeply moved me, at one point I had to stop reading due to the tears blurring my vision.  The author takes you on a very emotional journey, one that millions took that had no choice but to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ but behind the smiles lay troubled souls and broken hearts.

teacup border

As many of you will know I love my loose leaf tea and some my favourite blends this year have been:

  • William Wilberforce Blend by The Tea Shop, Hull.  A lovely blend of African black teas.  To find out more details and buy
  • White Bellini by The Tea Experience, UK.  A gentle white tea that’s fruity and refreshing.  To find out more details and buy
  • Cinnamon Bun by Jollybrew Tea.  A festive blend of black tea with a warming taste of cinnamon.  To find out more details and buy
  • Ceylon Decaff by Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments.  A lovely well-rounded black tea without caffeine.  To find out more details and buy
  • Lemongrass and Ginger by Chai Kai Tea Company.  This is a perfect combination to drink at any time of the day but especially comforting when you are suffering with a cold.  To find out more details and buy

I’d like to thank you all for the support I’ve received this year sharing the love of reading and books.  Wishing you all a wonderful, happy, healthy 2018.

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden book review


The Bear and The Nightingale written by Katherine Arden, publisher Ebury Digital and Del Rey, is available in ebook, hardcover and audio download format from 12th January 2017.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Frost-demons have no interest in mortal girls wed to mortal men. In the stories, they only come for the wild maiden.’

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods…


It’s a long, long time since I’ve read a fairytale but when I saw this book and read the synopsis I felt intrigued and wanted to learn more.

The Bear and The Nightingale is a grown up version of a fairytale set in Russia dealing with loss, grief, family struggles, forbidden love with a wonderful mystery of mythology and unknown magical creatures.

I have to admit it did take me a little while to get into the story but once I reminded myself of the particular genre I was reading my mindset saw the words differently.  Once I got my head into the characters and the raw struggle of survival in a very cold Russian countryside I was spellbound.  The magical creatures, that only few can see, fascinated me and I was eager for more.  I felt like the creatures were there for moralistic reasons and were the villager’s guardians.  The dark scenes were dramatic and traumatic and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pages.  I could almost picture the scenes played out in a big blockbuster movie!  There is a forbidden love that someone is fighting desperately with their conscious and with a higher power.  I adored this novel, its good to step out of your comfort zone and read something a little out of the ordinary.  This book and it’s story would look impressive with a big movie budget bringing all the characters and creatures to life, a blockbuster in the making.  5/5*

To find out more about Katherine Arden and her work please visit the following pages: