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 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 more 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.

Title:The Bear and the Nightingale
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781101885932

    The Bear and the Nightingale Reviews

  • Emily May

    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 develo...

  • Melanie

    “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 e...

  • Chaima ? ?????

    There’s a weirdly intense spot in my heart occupied by so much love and appreciation for lushly written magical tales imbued with the feel of centuries-old fairy tales. There’s just something extr...

  • Miranda Reads

    Haunting. Riveting. Entrancing.This is the sort of book that sweeps you on a journey . "I want to save you, Vasilisa Petrovna," he said. "I will save you all. There are dark forces that you do no...

  • Mischenko

    To see this review and Q&A with the author, please visit www.readrantrockandroll.com Words cannot describe how much I cherish this book. The characters were described so well and the story was absolut...

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    “All my life,” she said, “I have been told ‘go’ and ‘come.’ I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must ...

  • Paromjit

    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 daught...

  • Robin Hobb

    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...

  • Candace

    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...

  • karen

    oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best fantasy AND debut goodreads author! what will happen?this is a stunning debut that perfectly mimics the tone of a classic fairytale, but breathes ne...