Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

July 28, 2017 Book Reviews, Reviews Comments (0) 55

Cover image of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. Cover depicts a dark forest landscape, with a single thatched hut. A thin woman stands outside.

The Bear and the Nightingale

In the past few years I’ve moved more to reading more comic books than novels. When I do read a book, it happens to be something classic I’ve read at least once before. This has to do with a general feeling that I’ve lost touch with my favorite genres (sci-fi/fantasy) and I no longer recognize names of up-and-coming authors. The only way to remedy this is to read more, so I was happy to come across a recommendation for The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

Full disclosure: the recommendation came from a Verge article titled “8 Stories to Read while you wait for the next season of American Gods. That should give you an inkling as to the subject matter of the book — fantasy and myth! The Bear and the Nightingale follows Vasilia, a Russian girl, through childhood and early adulthood as she navigates between the living fairy tales in only she can see and the Christianity that dominates her village. I’m going to do my best to stay away from spoilers in this review, so I’m going to speak more generally about some of the aspects I appreciated.

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