The Bear and the Nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale 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 fi

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  • Title: The Bear and the Nightingale
  • Author: Katherine Arden
  • ISBN: 9781101885956
  • Page: 409
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 nAt 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 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.

    One thought on “The Bear and the Nightingale”

    1. A beautiful, pastoral fairy tale set in a fantasy version of medieval Russia. Narrated in lyrical prose and third-person past tense, Arden weaves a tale no less compelling for its slow, gradual development. Like all the best fairy tales, the author draws on the setting - a village in the northern woods of Rus' - to create an atmosphere that promises magic and suggests many horrors. Atmosphere is the key word here: The Bear and the Nightingale captures that feeling of uncertainty and superstition [...]

    2. “Tell the story of Frost, Dunyashka. Tell us of the frost-demon, the winter-king Karachun.”This book is magical. This book is whimsical. This book is one of the best things I’ve read in my entire life. I loved this with every bone, every red blood cell, every molecule in my body. This book was nothing short of perfection, and I’m sorry to gush, but I never expected this story to captivate me the way it did. “In Russian, Frost was called Morozko, the demon of winter. But long ago, the p [...]

    3. To see this review and Q&A with the author, please visit readrantrockandroll Words cannot describe how much I cherish this book. The characters were described so well and the story was absolutely fantastic and so magical. ♡♡♡Certain parts of the story felt so nostalgic to me. It reminded me of my upbringing with my Russian grandmother and our old Orthodox Church. Matyushka, Batyushka and many of the other words in the story evoked a glimpse into my past. There wasn’t anything I didn [...]

    4. This is an atmospheric and intoxicating read that draws on history and Russian fairytales. Set in medieval times, it charts the origins of Vasya's birth and her mother's determination to have a daughter endowed with her grandmother's powers despite it meaning her death in childbirth. The novel begins with Dunya telling the story of Frost, a harbinger for what comes later. Vasya is an enchanting rough and tumble girl, more at home in the wild outdoors and who chafes at the limitations pressed upo [...]

    5. Just finished reading an ARC of this forthcoming book. You will have to wait until 201 to get your hands on it.First, a metaphor. Have you ever been about to eat something, thinking it's flavored with vanilla and cinnamon? Then you bite into it and discover ginger and nutmeg (also favorites of mine.)This book is a bit like that. It's fantasy. Okay, I've read lots of that. It's told rather like a fairy tale. Okay, ready for that. It's told a bit like a Russian fairy tale only the setting is very [...]

    6. oooh, choice awards semifinalist for best fantasy AND debut author! what will happen?this is a stunning debut that perfectly mimics the tone of a classic fairytale, but breathes new and exciting life into the familiar themes with lyrical writing, strong characters, and by weaving in elements of russian folklore, which were mostly unfamiliar to me, and therefore fresh and exotic.quickplot first, then i will return to these three strengths in greater detailotr vladimirovich is a lord in medieval [...]

    7. Hmm I'm at a loss with this one. I can't say that I loved it, but I didn't dislike it either. I feel like I'm missing something. This is a story that I should probably go back and re-read at a time when I can give it my full attentionbut I didn't feel a strong enough connection the first time around to make me want to do that. When I listen to an audiobook, I'm usually doing something else that requires part of my attention (i.e. driving). For this reason, I try to keep my audiobook selections p [...]

    8. This is the perfect book to read during wintertime, when there is snow falling from the sky and everything feels like magic.Because this is such a magical and atmospheric book. I am glad the sequel just came out, since I could not see myself reading it under different weather conditions. I knew close to nothing about Russian culture and folklore, so this was my introduction to the latter. Actually, I had heard of Ivan and Baba Yaga – but that is all and I was ashamed of myself, therefore I am [...]

    9. 4.5 stars! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:In the northern lands of medieval Rus’, a daughter is born to Pyotr Vladimirovich, a boyar, lord over many lands, and his wife Marina, who dies in childbirth. But Marina, daughter of the Grand Prince of Moscow and a mysterious, swan-like beggar girl, has bequeathed her daughter Vasilisa a mystical heritage.Vasilisa the Brave (or Beautiful) Vasilisa, or Vasya, grows up to be a spirited and rather rebellious young girl who, like an untamed col [...]

    10. Very unpopular opinion time because it seems everyone in the world loves this book :-/I liked certain things about the book but overall it wasn't for me. Don't know if it was the book or my mood but I'm glad there are so many people loving it. I liked the characters enough and the storyline for the most part but I don't know. Sigh

    11. ‘’Fairy tales are sweet on winter nights, nothing more.’’Russian fairy tales are unlike any others, in my opinion.They are not simple, ‘’happily-ever-after’’ myths, but wonderfully detailed glimpses in the daily lives of people born in times gone-by and tales that hide themes that are relevant to our era. They contain female heroines that surpass inexplicable odds and many have ambiguous closures. There is a sadness that permeates the Russian fairy tale tradition and a fierceness [...]

    12. Wow*Stunning*!!!!Katherine Arden's lush and lovely debut novel deftly transports us to Russia in the 14th century with incredible lyricism- scents-sounds-vivid beauty-subtle intrigue- and gorgeous Russian folklore. At the start Marina is frail and weak. She has 4 children and is pregnant with her 5th. Pyotr, her husband, and Dunya, her devoted nurse, both beg Marina not to keep the baby. They are fearful she will die. Marina had given Pyotr 3 sons and 1 daughter.but she was still hoping- waiting [...]

    13. 12/30/17 - TODAY ONLY! ON SALE for $2.99:amzn/2EiufLUReviewed by: Rabid Reads3.5 starsI added another new bookshelf to : religious nuttersI preface my review with that statement, b/c it's important that you know exactly how off-putting I find anyone who uses religion as a crutch to excuse their abominable behavior. Agamemnon sacrificing his daughter to ensure favorable winds as he sails to Troy? Kill him on his own alter. Spanish Inquisitioners torturing anyone not Catholic for the glory of God? [...]

    14. Do you know that fuzzy feeling when you find a book with a world so immersive that you don't want it to ever end? This was a book like that for me. I absolutely adored it - and I am not quite sure if this review will at all be coherent, but I'll try my best.This was a book that I was super super excited to get to read early. I love books set in Russia, especially the North of Russia; I love Fairy Tales; I love the books the blurb compared it to. I only wanted to read the first chapter because I [...]

    15. !! NOW AVAILABLE !!In northern Rus’ the family of Pyotr Vladimirovich are waiting out the last days and nights of winter, with rapidly dwindling food supplies gathered before the winter snows began. Marina, his wife, tells him that she is with child. Pyotr is not happy, fearful for her life. She is already physically weak. Marina had wanted another daughter, although they’d already have three sons and a daughter. She’s determined to carry this child to term, sure that this girl child will [...]

    16. Magical is the word that best describes this unusual tale, in every sense. I have to say that I've not read anything quite like this one, but believe me, that IS meant as a compliment.It transports the reader back to medieval Russia, to a place thick with forests and deep crisp glistening snow. It is here that we find Vasya, and her family. Vasya is a child of nature, a wild and wilful girl. She has powers that leave the villagers questioning the nature of those powers, many believing that she's [...]

    17. Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars"Am I a child? Always someone else must decide for me. But this I will decide for myself."The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully atmospheric story with a definite origin in the Slavic folktales. From the very beginning, we can feel how the story takes root in the classic fairy tale formula.Independent protagonist? Check. Concerned Father/siblings? Check. Evil stepmother? Check. Affinity for nature? Check. Magical forest? Check.However, none of these character desig [...]

    18. مع برودة شتاء بداية العام القارصنبدأ بحكاية عجيبة من أواخر العصور الوسطي بروسيابين غزوات التتار، المد التبشيري المسيحي وبدء التطير من المعتقدات الشعبية الروسية القديمة كالجان الخرافية الحارسة للبيوت والغابات،الحوريات، الساحرات وعفريت الصقيعكل هذا بقصة واحدة، دراما إجت [...]

    19. Medieval Russia, though it is called only Rus, Russia not yet an entity, the fourteenth century, and a young woman who has inherited the sight of her Royal ancestor. Exquisitely written, brilliant and evocative imagery, fully fleshed characters and a fantastic rendering of the history of this time period, seamlessly woven with the myths and folklore of Russian lore. The first half, the cold, what can be seen by a few but not by most of the ancient creatures that guard the homes forest, the horse [...]

    20. 4ish stars. I was ready to write this off pretty early. The first 25% or so gave me nightmare flashbacks to reading Uprooted (don't judge) and I was about to toss this on my "not for me" shelf and be done with it. Gladly the remaining 75% did a great job of changing my mind.While I tend not to be a fan of the impersonal, sparse (although often lovely) narration used to tell fairy tales and mythology, I found that Arden used it to great effect here. Vasya, in critical danger of reaching special s [...]

    21. This was another fantasy novel that I thought was absolutely wonderful!  I definitely lost myself in this richly entertaining Russian folklore tale.  I was extremely excited to read this one after seeing some early reviews of this book and I was not disappointed!  I totally loved the magical journey that this book took me on!   THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by KATHERINE ARDEN is an extraordinary, magical, spellbinding, and captivating tale that transported me right into Russia in the 14th ce [...]

    22. 3 out of 5 stars to The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, the first in a fantasy and historical fiction series about Russian fairy tales.Why This BookI ordered this online many months ago based on the description I'd read in . Then a friend of mine, Valerie, was planning to read it. We decided to do a buddy read together earlier this month.Plot, Characters & SettingA Russian girl loses her mother and her place in a family. She meets strange creatures who no one else can see. Her f [...]

    23. I finished this book just now on the day we got our first snowstorm here in southeast Michigan. A fitting day to read this book.I was swept away to Midevil Russia where it seemed to be always cold and snowy, and to the world of magical creatures and forests, just a great atmospheric reading experience.So, you really ought to read this, preferably this winter, you will like it!Thank you for the ARC to Random House-Ballantine, Netgalley, and author Katherine Arden.

    24. This is a book that perfectly fits its publication date for a New York based reader: The Bear and the Nightingale is a richly imagined novel, incredibly atmospheric, a work of historical fiction with hints of the fantastical set against the midwinter snows of rural, medieval Rus, and is a wonderful book to curl up with on a cold or blustery day on the couch and be utterly transported elsewhere. I was able to read this as an ARC many months ago, and enjoyed it so much I decided I would re-read wh [...]

    25. Wow, what a book. I was first recommended this book by a GR friend Evelina a while ago, but for some unknown and spoiled reason I put this book aside. What a loss, I should have swallowed this read sooner! So a great thanks goes to my BR heartsister Emelia for reminding to read this book at last 💜💜💜💜Like most of the rascals my age in Lithuania, I grew up with Russian fairytales.youtube/watch?v=SaQXU (The song from my favorite Russian childhood TV-Show for kids)Tale of prince Ivan and [...]

    26. That's probably one of the biggest reasons I love fairy tales so much.Not really the sweeter version of them.e dark, seedy life of the tales draw me in.This one pretty much fits that bill. It's set in Rus (Or before Russia time) and it's pretty dang dreary. I don't think the characters even realized how dang bad their lives were. Not enough food. Cold enough to freeze your nipples off and have them run down the road trying to get away. Nope. I was even cold just reading this sucker.Then you get [...]

    27. 3.5 starsThis was an enchanting story based on Russian folklore as well as medieval historical fiction. What I loved most about this tale was the setting of northern ‘Rus’, or Russia, a place that infuses the reader with its feeling of biting cold and dark, magical atmosphere. The imagery is actually outstanding and I would have to say this is one of the most visual novels I have read this year. Your other senses will be stirred as well, such as in this striking image of Moscow – "They sme [...]

    28. *I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*3.5"I?" said Morozko. "I am only a story, Vasya."Fairy-tales and folklore, magic and snow, and an untameable “wild maiden” right out of a story. Well, colour me delighted.•The Bear and the Nightingale undoubtedly is a delicious novel. For one thing, it's cleverly written, and my friends from Russia and Belarus and Ukraina (I'm linking their reviews down below) assure me it shows an incredible amount of [...]

    29. Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.In a forest dark and dense, an enormous bear awakens in the dead of winter. The bear howls, other beings shriek, while the nightingale watches but does not sing. Vasya is blessed with the second-sight, although some would warn it is more of a curse than a blessing. Mayhap she is a witch, as the sly murmurings of the town folk suggest. At any rate, it is plain to see that Vasya has magic in her bones. This is a dark fairytale with historical [...]

    30. I cannot think of anything more fitting than reading this during winter when it’s very cold, preferably wrapped in a cozy blanket. I could hear the wind while reading making me feel like I could be in these pages where the bitter chill is constant. The setting is so clear - Medieval Russia in the north where forests are aplenty. Snow is increasingly present. The imagery is remarkable.Vasya (Vasilisa) is a spirited young girl who lives in a village where they honor the spirits with offerings fo [...]

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