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The Bear and the Nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale

(Book #1 in the Winternight Trilogy series)


Book Overview: The Bear and the Nightingale

Katherine Arden's bestselling debut novel spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

"A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up."--Naomi Novik, bestselling author of Uprooted

Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse's fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil.

Then Vasya's widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya's stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.

But Vasya's stepmother only grows harsher, determined to remake the village to her liking and to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or a convent. As the village's defenses weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has long concealed--to protect her family from a threat sprung to life from her nurse's most frightening tales.

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"Arden's debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical." --The Washington Post

"Vasya [is] a clever, stalwart girl determined to forge her own path in a time when women had few choices." --The Christian Science Monitor

"Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family." --Booklist (starred review)

"Arden's supple, sumptuous first novel transports the reader to a version of medieval Russia where history and myth coexist." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Radiant . . . a darkly magical fairy tale for adults, [but] not just for those who love magic." --Library Journal

"An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . A Russian setting adds unfamiliar spice to the story of a young woman who does not rebel against the limits of her role in her culture so much as transcend them. The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic." --Robin Hobb

"A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up." --Naomi Novik

"Haunting and lyrical, The Bear and the Nightingale tugs at the heart and quickens the pulse. I can't wait for Katherine Arden's next book." --Terry Brooks

" The Bear and the Nightingale is a marvelous trip into an ancient Russia where magic is a part of everyday life." --Todd McCaffrey

"Enthralling and enchanting--I couldn't put it down. This is a wondrous book!" --Tamora Pierce

Katherine Arden, an adept and accomplished American novelist, is most renowned for her exceptional skill in painting vividly immersive worlds, and her singular talent of weaving history and fantasy seamlessly. Born in Austin, Texas, in 1987, Arden's exploits across the globe, from Hawaii's tropical setting to the icy climes of Russia, influences her writing style to a great extent. With a deep-rooted passion for culture, stories, and languages, she spent a substantial part of her life traveling before settling down as a celebrated writer. Arden's maiden venture into writing, "The Bear and the Nightingale,” a spellbinding work of historical fiction, proudly stands as the inaugural book of the Winternight trilogy. Rooted in Russian folklore, it has garnered immense appreciation for its refreshingly imaginative storytelling and richly textured characters. The succeeding books of the trilogy, "The Girl in the Tower" and "The Winter of the Witch," have equally held readers spellbound with their enchanting narratives, thereby consolidating Katherine's standing as a commanding voice in fantasy fiction. In spite of her relative newness to the literary scene, Katherine Arden has already gained a loyal following and considerable critical acclaim. Her ability to write stories that resonate deeply with readers across the world, supplemented by the opulence of her language and the incisiveness of her insights, qualifies Arden as a literary luminary in her own right. Dedicated to her craft, Katherine continues to create worlds where readers can escape to, promising more enchanting tales to come.


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