A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the backwoods of Russia to the court of Moscow, in this enchanting novel by the bestselling author of The Bear and the Nightingale
Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko — Frost, the winter demon from the stories — and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.
Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.
But after she prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues — and as Morozko provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy — she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.
Advance praise for The Girl in the Tower
“Arden’s lush, lyrical writing cultivates an intoxicating, visceral atmosphere, and her marvelous sense of pacing carries the novel along at a propulsive clip. A masterfully told story of folklore, history, and magic with a spellbinding heroine at the heart of it all.” — Booklist
Born in Austin, TX, Katherine Arden has always been a wanderer. She spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, Katherine deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow, Russia. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature, taking eight months’ study abroad in Paris and another eight months in Moscow. Having received her BA magna cum laude, Katherine moved to Maui, Hawaii, where she worked every kind of odd job imaginable, including guiding horse tours, working as a personal tour guide for international visitors, making crepes in a stand, and doing freelance grantwriting. After two years on the island, is currently living in France again and writing full time.