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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden Book Review

Book: The Bear and the Nightingale

Author: Katherine Arden

Series: Winternight Trilogy

Pages: 319

Published January 10th 2017 by Del Rey Books

The Bear and the Nightingale

Christmas is the time of year when we all long for the snow and cozy winter evenings under the blankets by the fireplace with a cup of tea or coffee. So if you are thinking of a book that is perfect for this time of year, be sure to read our review and recommendations of a very magical book, The Bear and the Nightingale by Catherine Arden.

The extraordinary Vasya Petrovna

Arden takes us to the Russian wasteland where the snowdrifts are higher than the houses. She throws us into the wide world of fairy tales. The story introduces us to Vasya and her family. Having no mother, she was raised by her nanny Dunya, who tells her and her family fairy tales every night. But Vasya Petrovna is not an ordinary girl and she sees things that others do not. Every page of this book is steeped in magic, the whole story is based on Russian folklore. Much of the book is devoted to religion. There is a clash between pagan customs and the newly introduced Christianity. When Vasya’s father brings his new wife Anna to Lesnaya Zemlya, she is ready to do anything to eradicate the people’s faith and impose Christianity once and for all.


Will people be able to forget the familiar spirits, the immortal Kashchei, Baba Yaga and Morozko? I liked that we follow life in Lesnaya Zemlya even before Vasya is born and she grows up before our eyes. This gives the book itself an added charm. We also see what the women’s place was in the house and how difficult it is for Vasya to follow her destined path. A very warm book that goes hand in hand with Russian history, well-developed characters and a dash of love. A wonderful prelude to the “Winternight” trilogy.

If for some reason you missed the magic of “The Bear and the Nightingale” if you miss the blanket of winter snow, or if you just want to read it again, I recommend a cup of hot chocolate and a fluffy blanket. The coziness that the story creates is amazing and somehow close.

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Hello, my name is Todora, but now also known as Dochka or Docheto. I have two wonderful dragons at home (boys ages 5 and 7) that I am trying to raise in the love of books. I was quite a chatterbox as a kid when I had required reading in school, and now I am trying to make up for it. I love reading fantasy, sweet endings are not my "thing". I love it when there are struggles, intrigue, and surprises in a book that shake you to your core. If I fell into paranoia that all the characters were traitors, my rating would be 5 stars. In short, I love to read and if one day I find a way to make this my sole occupation and get paid for it :D, I will have stumbled into heaven.

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