The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.
Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior’s training, recognises this ‘boy’ as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical…
Moscow has burned nearly to the ground, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to hold accountable. Vasya finds herself on her own, amid a rabid mob that calls for her death, blaming her witchery for their misfortune.
Then a vengeful demon returns, renewed and stronger than ever, determined to spread chaos in his wake and never be chained again. Enlisting the hateful priest Konstantin as his servant, turmoil plagues the Muscovites and the magical creatures alike, and all find their fates resting on the shoulders of Vasya.
With an uncertain destiny ahead of her, Vasya learns surprising truths of her past as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all..
Published: 2017 & 2019
Publishers: Del Rey
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 346 & 384
Goodreads Star Rating: Book 2 – 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Book 3 –🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
The second book shortly picks up at the end of the book 1, Vasya has left her hometown to prevent people from gossiping of her being a witch. But she is also interested in learning about the world outside of her home until she approaches a villiage who has been partially destroyed because some men came in and took all the young girls, leaving the mothers in distraught. Vasya saved the girls and then also reunited with her older brother, Sasha and older sister, Olga. She then enters into the world of war and politics while also maintaining her beliefs and keep her secret about the events that happened at the end of book 1.
I really liked the character growth in Vasya throughout the series, she is strong-minded and determined to do what is best for the sake of Moscow but also keeping the secret to her older siblings over the death of thier father and why a certain priest determines to make Sasha and Olga believe that Vasya is not the sister that they knew anymore. She learns and evolves her abilities as a supposed witch. She does make mistakes and she is willing to accept it but it’s one of the reasons why I love the character so much, she is young and new to this world of magic so it is perfectly understandable to make mistakes but the one person that she would always need out of everyone is Morozko.
Morozko was a huge mystery in The Bear and The Nightingale, while in book 2 he reminded me of a lost puppy who always comes back to you. He doesn’t know how he feels towards Vasya but as an reader you can definitely see the beginnings of a relationship, one of the things that I liked about this series was how it wasn’t a love story. Vasya trusts Morozko, she trusts that he is there for her when she needs it but also you can see that Morozko has other ulterior motives as it has been said from Morozko’s brother Medved or also known as the bear.
The series is brilliant, the world that has been created by Katherine Arden was so fascinating to step into, I am not familiar with Russian Folklore and Russian History, but it was interesting to learn a little bit more. I might be considering this series as one of my favourites and one of the most beautifuliest book covers, both the US and UK editions. I will be getting the US paperback editions as they are beautiful, and I want them soo much.
I hoped you liked this review, if you have read this book what did you think?