Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

TBATNI can’t tell you exactly how many people have recommended Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale to me, but it’s a lot. Having purchased the Kindle edition when it was on sale recently, I decided to finally give it a go.

I finished it in less than twenty-four hours, and I found myself wondering WHY DIDN’T I READ THIS SOONER?! 😭❤️ I knew I had to finish it quickly, because it was all I could think about. (And now I’m impatiently waiting for my next paycheck so I can buy the next book in the trilogy, The Girl in the Tower. JUST KIDDING. I was able to get it from the library! Also, THANK GOODNESS THE FINAL BOOK COMES OUT THIS YEAR, BECAUSE WAITING ANY LONGER WOULD BE TORTURE. 💀) I was going to say that you should read this book if you like fairy tales, but really, you should read this book no matter what, because it’s amazing. I finally understand the hype, and I am HERE FOR IT.

Not sure what this book is about? You can find a short synopsis here! 🙂

What I Liked: EVERYTHING, CLEARLY. But more specifically…

  • I was hooked from the first page. Arden’s writing is lush and lyrical, and the story is captivating and — of course — magical. I didn’t want to put this book down, and whenever I did, all I could think about was when I would be able to pick it up again.
  • Vasya is a strong, compelling character who refuses to settle for a life she can’t choose for herself. She makes her own choices, accepts the consequences, and above all, makes it clear that no man will bend or break her. 🙅🏻
  • MOROZKO. ❤️ That’s all. (But really, I have a serious weakness for characters who are neither good nor bad, but somewhere in between.)
  • Arden does an incredible job of setting each scene, whether it takes place in the village of Lesnaya Zemlya, or Moscow, or Morozko’s fir-grove. The small details make everything more vivid, and the wintry atmosphere lends itself to the folklore feel of this book.
  • Oh, and I really hope that a domovoi lives in my oven. Maybe I’ll leave some sewing out and see what happens… 😁

What I Disliked: THAT THIS BOOK HAD TO END, AND THAT I MUST NOW WAIT TO READ THE NEXT ONE. In all seriousness, though, there wasn’t anything I disliked. This book was delightful and intoxicating and surprising, and there was never a moment where I felt lost or removed from the story.

I can’t recommend this book enough. I want to buy a copy for everyone I know. It’s a perfect read for any time of the year, but before winter’s over, do yourself a favor and read this book. Make yourself a cup of tea, curl up under a blanket, and — if possible — watch the snow fall as you read. After all, it is part of the Winternight trilogy… ❄️

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author: Katherine Arden
More Books by This Author:
The Girl in the Tower
The Winter of the Witch
(This book won’t be published until August, but you can pre-order it now!)

3 thoughts on “Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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