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Archive - Additional Reads > The Bear and the Nightingale - January 2018

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message 1: by Savanes, Moderator (new)

Savanes | 2017 comments Mod
Voted by members as our additional read for the Fantasy nominees

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1) by Katherine Arden

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


delilah phoenix | 1 comments currently reading this one and i'm excited because it seems to be perfect for the winter time!


message 3: by Savanes, Moderator (new)

Savanes | 2017 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to your thoughts rhoswen eve!


message 4: by CassieV (new)

CassieV | 13 comments I'm trying to do some of these extra readings this year and I have accomplished my first one! It was nice to get it read while I'm still in holiday mode ;).

I enjoyed this one a lot, 4 stars! I have seen that a lot of reviewers said it was a slow start, and it was to an extent, but I think it was bearable and fit the book. You really need all that background to know how to handle the rest of the book.

I loved the characters and how you really got to dig into the motivations behind all that happens.

I will say, I discovered the second one was published in Dec, but I'm not really sure if I want to read it yet, because I was really happy with the ending as it was. I'm a little afraid of what will happen as the author goes forward, this just seems so perfect as a standalone fairy tale...


message 5: by Janina (new)

Janina (sylarana) | 692 comments Just got my copy from the library. The cover is gorgeous. I'm excited about this one!


message 6: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (goodreadscomboobooper49) | 67 comments Still waiting on my copy.


message 7: by Janina (new)

Janina (sylarana) | 692 comments I just started this and I’m really pleasantly surprised. I didn’t vote for it and likely wouldn’t have picked it up if not for this group, but I like that the setting is so very different from other fantasy novels and the atmosphere is almost magical. I only wish it wasn’t a trilogy and I’m hoping it won’t end with a cliffhanger.


message 8: by Paula (new)

Paula S (paula_s) | 36 comments I've read this and I really liked it. The Russian folk tale motif was new and fresh and I loved how the different characters each contributed to the story.
And I agree with Cassie - the ending was great. I'm probably going to continue the series anyway, though. :)


message 9: by Amber (new)

Amber Garabrandt | 2 comments I read this last year and loved it. I just finished The Girl in the Tower (book 2)


message 10: by Janina (new)

Janina (sylarana) | 692 comments I’ve just finished the book and I also have to agree about the ending being very good.
I loved the atmosphere of the story and the setting was quite unique. More of a fairy tale than classic fantasy, but with a very interesting and different mythology behind it. I wonder if this is based on actual Russian myths?
I still wish it was a self-contained story overall, but at least the happenings of this book were self-contained. I’m going to add the next book to my to-read list, but without a particular timeframe in mind.


message 11: by Cathie (new)

Cathie (catitude) | 1511 comments I just started this a few days ago and am only on page 74 but I think it has possibilities. I haven't been pulled into the story yet, but so many people have said such wonderful things about this book that I want to give it that extra push. I'm hoping the story will begin to draw me in soon.


message 12: by Diane (new)

Diane | 69 comments Started this book today. Looking forward to reading it.


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) I have read a few fairytale retellings, but none of them have been Russian-based. I found this book really neat because of that.


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