Book Review – The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

bear and the nightingale‘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…

***

gold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svg 5/5 Stars

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I read this slowly over a few days as I was doing a buddy read and I think without doing that I might not have appreciated the slow deliberate nature of this stunning book. The fairy tale element is so well crafted.

Vasya is also brilliant for being a different sort of main character – one who doesn’t really know she has a role to play, and isn’t even initially trying to save her village, she just recognises that it’s not good that the demons are fading.

I also like that, while the first in a trilogy, the book stands well on its own.

It does take a little getting used to, the first few chapters are scene setting mostly, but they are all needed and worth it to get towards the end. This book doesn’t generate the same mad, flailing love some books do for me – it’s more of a slow but everlasting burn. Definitely worth checking out, if you’ve not already done so.

3 thoughts on “Book Review – The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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