The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
- Genre: Fantasy, Russian Fairy-tale
- Rating: ★★★★★
Vasya is different from her entire village. While they may leave offerings for the household spirits, they can’t actually see them, it’s more of a tradition. Vasya, however, can see them, talk to them, and learn from them. When her father remarries, he brings her new stepmother home and Vasya learns that she can see them too, but she believes them to be demons.
Soon, a new priest is sent to the village and everything changes. Using fear, this priest convinces the village to forsake their household spirits and turn to God only. In the dead of winter, Vasya must fight to protect her village from the Bear, fear itself, who has gained power during this dreadful time.
Through Arden’s simple, yet beautiful prose and the tradition of Russian fairy tales, she brings readers this lovely tale of courage and fighting for what you believe in. Arden gives us Vasya, a young but strong main character who knows who she is and does not shy away from it.
I loved absolutely everything about this book. From the writing, to the characters, and even the harsh descriptions of Russian winters. My favorite books often tend to be fairy tales, and The Bear and the Nightingale is probably one of my new favorites.
This book is perfect to get you through those cold winter months. Dazzling tales of winter spirits and magic really make winter more enjoyable, especially for those who loathe these dreary, cold days.
If you’re looking for the perfect winter read, look no further!
I received an advanced copy of The Bear and the Nightingale from NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine in exchange for an honest review. The Bear and the Nightingale will be available for purchase January 10, 2017.