Title: The Bear and the Nightingale
Author: Katherine Arden
Date of Publication: January 10th, 2017
A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.
In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.
This book is multiple point of views, but sometimes it felt like narrator style since the way it bounces back and forth between characters. It actually didn’t bother me the way I thought that it was going to.
The pacing is a slow and beautiful build. The beginning is just developing the characters and getting to know them. Not a lot actually happens in the beginning, but it is still interesting getting to learn about the characters.
One of the main characters, Vasya, is my favorite. She can see different creatures, and she bounces to her own drum beat. Her brother, Alyosha, I loved as well, and I loved the bond between him and Vasya.
When the priest comes into the picture things started to slow down for me, and I wasn’t exactly sure what the purpose of him was, but when the book hit 65% on my Kindle, things began to really pick up. I don’t know what to say about him except he was just out of his mind most of the time!
I was disappointed that there wasn’t more of the frost demon. His character was the most interesting, and I wanted to see more of him. What I did see of him, I loved! The writing, I thought was really good. I did get confused a lot at the beginning with all the characters multiple names for one character, and I wanted a little more to the ending, but overall I really liked it!
How does this book sound to you?