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The Bear and the Nightingale
by Katherine Arden




Overview -
Katherine Arden's bestselling debut novel spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

"A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up."--Naomi Novik, bestselling author of Uprooted

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.

Praise for The Bear and the Nightingale

"Arden's debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical."--The Washington Post

"Vasya is] a clever, stalwart girl determined to forge her own path in a time when women had few choices."--The Christian Science Monitor

"Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family."--Booklist (starred review)

"An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic."--Robin Hobb

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More About The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

 
 
 

Overview

Katherine Arden's bestselling debut novel spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

"A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up."--Naomi Novik, bestselling author of Uprooted

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.

Praise for The Bear and the Nightingale

"Arden's debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical."--The Washington Post

"Vasya is] a clever, stalwart girl determined to forge her own path in a time when women had few choices."--The Christian Science Monitor

"Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family."--Booklist (starred review)

"An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic."--Robin Hobb

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101885956
  • ISBN-10: 1101885955
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books
  • Publish Date: June 2017
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 8.25 x 5.5 x 0.81 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.65 pounds

Series: Winternight Trilogy #1

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BookPage Reviews

The Hold List: Zombie apocalypse survival teammate

In the event of a zombie apocalypse, it would be wise to have a plan in place. Perhaps most importantly, who would be on your team? We’ve picked our preferred partners—magical powers are allowed, but no dragons, bears or mythical beasts!


Edmond Dantès from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I have long resigned myself to my own lack of apocalypse survival skills. I can’t run without getting winded. I don’t have combat skills. I can’t farm or dress wounds or build shelter or tools. In truth, I would be among the first to go—unless I aligned myself with someone wealthy and powerful. Edmond Dantès is the perfect choice: rich, scrappy and weirdly fixated on avenging himself against those who have wronged him. We could quite comfortably wait out the apocalypse from inside his château. And if that fails, the man owns his own island. Everybody knows zombies can’t swim, so a quick yacht ride to the Island of Monte Cristo would solve our little army-of-the-undead problem.

—Christy, Associate Editor


Sabriel from Sabriel by Garth Nix

Like many of my colleagues, my talents are perhaps better suited to rebuilding the world after the zombie apocalypse than surviving it in the first place. That’s why I need someone like Sabriel on my team, and not only because she possesses a bandoleer of seven magical bells with the power to send the dead back through the nine gates of death to their final rest, although I acknowledge that will come in handy. But Sabriel is also resourceful, adept at other forms of magic, brave and kind. As we make our way to a population-sparse area like—ha, as if I’d tell you my plans—I know she’ll leave me behind only if she absolutely has to, and if I get bitten, she’ll make my death swift and ensure I stay dead.

—Stephanie, Associate Editor


Frank Mackey from Faithful Place by Tana French

My biggest fear wouldn’t be zombies, as they are usually stupid. I’m more afraid of humans in a crisis, as they are, historically, the worst. And that’s why I want Irish undercover cop Frank Mackey on my team. First introduced in Tana French’s The Likeness, Frank becomes the central character in Faithful Place, which puts his ability to pursue multiple, sometimes conflicting objectives—while manipulating almost everyone around him—to the hardest test, as he has to do it to his own dysfunctional family. If he can do that and emerge (somewhat) in one piece, he’d easily survive the human chaos of an apocalypse. Frank is also funny as hell, so we’d have some laughs while trying not to die.

—Savanna, Associate Editor


Vasya from The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

To give myself a real shot at living through this, I need a partner with knowledge of mythical and otherworldly situations, as well as the powers to match—and I need her to live in the middle of nowhere. In Katherine Arden’s debut novel, headstrong young Vasya is an heir to old magic and has the abilities to protect her family from dangers that are plucked straight out of folklore. She’s got a great attitude—which I’ll appreciate when I get upset about the situation—and she excels at riding horses and saving people, so we’ll get along great. We’ll treat the apocalypse like it’s a long winter night, hidden away so deeply in the wilderness of northern Russia that we might not even notice when the end of the world is over.

—Cat, Deputy Editor


Captain Woodrow F. Call from Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Genre-bending is prominent in today’s cultural landscape. From rock with hip-hop beats to Mexican-Korean fusion, the lines have dissolved. All of these hybrids make me think that a cowboy would feel right at home in the zombie apocalypse, and Captain Woodrow F. Call—brave, strong, levelheaded and loyal to the bone—is the paragon of cowboy-ness. Take, for example, when Call saves Newt, the youngest member of the Hat Creek Outfit, from a soldier harassing him. Call beats the man to a pulp until Gus McCrae has to lasso him off. The only explanation Call offers for this violent outburst: “I hate rude behavior in a man. I won’t tolerate it.” Just imagine what the man would do to a zombie!

—Eric, Editorial Intern

 

BAM Customer Reviews