Book Review | The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Hey Everyone,

I am finally back with a book review 😸😸😸. It feels like forever since I have done one, even though I did one last month.

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honour the spirits that protect their homes from evil.

Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honouring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village. As its defences weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has long concealed.

Published: January 2017

Published Edition: October 2017

Publishers: Del Rey

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Pages: 430

Goodreads Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review

I had seen the book on the shelves so many times in my visits to the bookstore but I was just not into it at the time. But soon then I am seeing it a lot on Booktube which sparked my interest even more. I was already aware of the Russian folklore in the book but the only one I already knew of was Baba Yaga when I was watching the TV show Lost Girl.

I loved how the story starts with a young, wild Vasya. She is stubborn and is a strong believer in the folklore, while her newly stepmother thinks of them as demons and runs away in fear, Vasya accepts them and as the people in her home lose belief and start to follow Christianity. Vasya is determined to protect them knowing that they will protect her home and not an imaginary man.

This book was a great read, I had started the book earlier in the month and there were some days that I wasn’t in the book to pick it up. I decided on Sunday to just spend the entire day reading it. It was beautifully written and it did remind me of the classic fairytales that it felt like it didn’t come out two years ago. Arden has created this beautiful scenic castle up in the snowy mountains with a forest, that it just made me feel so very much in part of the story. The description was so crisp and detailed very well, it is definitely a book to read by the fire while outside is a snowstorm.

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