In this sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale, Vasya is off on an adventure. Accused of witchcraft by her village, she rejected the choice of marriage or a convent, and, disguised as a boy, took off on her magical horse, Solovey. In her travels she helps defeat a group of bandits who are destroying villages and taking the young girls to sell. She meets the Grand Prince of Moscow and wins his respect as a fighter, but must be careful to keep him from learning her sex. In Moscow, she reunites with her brother, Sasha, and her sister, Olga, and helps defend the city from a political war that threatens its existence.
As in the previous book, the text is filled with lyrical descriptions of the countryside, fairy tales, and courageous escapades. The deep winter and tales of spirits, weave a dark tapestry against which the action occurs. I loved the fairy tales, but I found the descriptions of medieval Russia more interesting. This book is faster paced with more action than the first book, but the spell is still captivating.
Vasya has grown in this book. She’s no longer a child and faces adult challenges. She finds difficulty reuniting with her family, particularly her sister, Olga.
This is an excellent sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale. If you love atmospheric stories with good characters, this is a book you’ll enjoy.
I received this book from Random House for this review.