Twilight of the Witch: A Review of The Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden

Vasilia Petrovna has been branded a witch.  Since she was a child, she could see and speak with the chyerti, spirits from Eastern European, whom the people around Vasya seems to have forgotten.  Vasilia is forced to leave home after defending her village from Medved, the bear, the spirit of chaos and life, in Katherine Arden’s first novel, The Bear and the Nightingale.  In her second novel, The Girl in the Tower, Vasilia travels to Moscow in the guise of a boy and a hero to the Russian people after assisting the Grand Prince destroy a group of bandits.  Vasilia helped save the city, but not before her arrogance and lack of caution exposed her disguise to disguise.  While the city is safe, the danger Vasilia is greater than ever at the start of The Winter of the Witch.

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Day of the Witch: A Review of The Girl in the Tower, by Katherine Arden

Vasilia Petrovna is a witch.  She sees spirits where others see only shadows.  She talks to her horse, and understands his responses.  She has met Morozko, the Winter king and spirit of death, and Medved, the Bear and the Eater.  She remembers the old ways, the chyerti, even as the Russia around her steadily embraces Christianity.  She is wild and free while other women are trapped in marriage or convents.  Vasya is the heroine of Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy and one of several girls in towers in The Girl in the Tower, part two of Arden’s fairy tale inspired trilogy.  At the end of the first novel, The Bear and the Nightingale, Vasya saved her village and helped seal away Medved, the Bear.  Because of both her abilities and personality, Vasya has been forced from home and branded a witch.

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