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The (Future) Vista Cañas Library

The Bear and the Nightingale

(1 customer review)

Author: Katherine Arden
Length: 368 pages
Type:  Fiction, Physical Book

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“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.”

Book #1 in The Winternight Trilogy



1 review for The Bear and the Nightingale

  1. Janet Dore

    “Wild birds die in cages.” (One of my favorite simple, but profound, quotes from the book.)

    Ahhhhh, the fourth one’s a charm! After three so-so books, The Bear and the Nightingale was a much needed delicious treat.

    This well-written Russian fairy tale pulls you in from the first page. I’m not usually a fan of fantasy, but this one was the perfect blend of realism and magic so I felt like I learned something of actual Russian culture in the 1300s, while also totally escaping reality.

    I’ve suspected for a lifetime that I have witch blood flowing through my veins — and many who know me well wholeheartedly agree. Reading about Vasya added another solid layer to my suspicion. I related to her on SO many levels. A fabulous character — an intelligent, strong, determined, and passionate woman who loves deeply.

    I’m also not usually a fan of series, but I’ve already ordered the second and third books and can’t wait to read them!

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