{Leah Reviews} The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Posted December 29, 2016 by Leah in Reviews / 8 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
{Leah Reviews} The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine ArdenThe Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Pages: 336
Published on January 10th 2017
by Del Rey
Genres: Fantasy, Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.
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, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

4.5 Stars

The Bear and the Nightingale settled into my soul. It feels like the fantasy books written when fantasy was “new”. Set in Russia where the old gods are honored alongside Christianity, The Bear and the Nightingale has a fairy tale quality that feels timeless, only with a new perspective.

The world building is solid. I tasted the foods. I felt the chill of the harsh winter winds. I wandered through the snow drifts. While this book does have religious undertones, they’re not overbearing and are an essential part of the plot.Β Katherine Arden handles each element in her story with ease. The nods to Russian folklore were well done and blended seamlessly with the historical setting. I enjoyed learning about the spirits of the hearth and the beings who look after the horses. I was also fascinated by the entity simply known as Morozko, or Frost. Some people call him a trickster; some see him as a ghost; others view him as a myth.

Image result for jack frost gifs

Our protagonist, Vasya, is a girl who is more than her small village can understand. She’s able to see and hear the spirits of the home and the wild. She also has a unique connection to Frost. There’s magic surrounding her, although we are only given small hints at its origins. She will be tested by a mad stepmother, a charismatic priest, and a spirit who wants to plunge the world in darkness.

Vasya is wild and smart and brave. She loves her family fiercely. She doesn’t care what others think or say about her and is not afraid to fight for herself, be it with her words or wits. When the going gets tough, she is ready for battle.

Image result for the cold never bothered me anyway elsa

I have some questions regarding the myths, but I just learned this is the first in a planned trilogy, which makes me incredibly happy.Β The Bear and the Nightingale book is a true standout that is one of my favorites of the year. Read this curled up on a cold winter night.

 

**Thank you to Liza, Bee, Rachel, and Effie for giving me the chance to share my thoughts on Quite the Novel Idea. Thank you for reading. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!**

Leah

Leah

Co-Blogger at Quite the Novel Idea
Leah has always been a bibliophile. An avid fantasy fan, she has spent many hours imagining magical worlds and wondering what it would be like to wield a sword. When she's not dreaming up her own standalone fantasy stories, she enjoys watching movies, traveling, and eating chocolate. She lives in California.

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8 responses to “{Leah Reviews} The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

  1. What what what it’s going to be a trilogy?!? Where did you find that? I finished my ARC last week and it’s already sitting at the top of my books read for 2017 and I don’t have very high hopes of another knocking it off.

    • Leah

      This is a good one. πŸ™‚ I still have to read Uprooted; I’m determined to read more of the books in my TBR pile this year and that one is definitely going to be read in 2017.

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