I’ve heard so much about Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale that when I got to NY Comic Con and found out that not only were they giving away free copies of her book, but that Katherine herself would be there to sign those copies, I was like “YES, PLEASE!!!” And got straight into the long line that was rapidly forming before her booth.
I have to say Katherine was super sweet and really nice and friendly. (And gorgeous! Just look at her!) And she liked my Expanse cosplay outfit! As for me, I just clutched at my new book and tried not to babble too incoherently (failed, if you must know).
And The Bear and the Nightingale? Meets all the hype about it. I could not put this book down. The writing is so gorgeous and lyrical, it just swept me away. It is the perfect winter tale and of all the Russian fantasy stories out there, this is one of the most satisfying. And Vasya, the heroine! I love her so much! She is so brave and gallant and mischievous, and nothing gets her down, not even the stodgy, fierce disapproval of her little Russian village. Every time Vasya comes on the page, I am CHEERING for her. So hard. And swearing at everyone else that tries to hold her down. “You leave my Vasya alone!!”
Fun fact: this book also had me googling what a traditional Russian oven looks like and if people could really sleep on it 😄 •••
If you like books about winter, books about medieval Russia and Russian folktales, books with beautiful, magical writing, books about brave and spirited girls, books about strong family bonds, and books with a Hades/Persephone-type theme, only with an unusually strong and spirited Persephone, you will definitely like this book! ❄️