Review of The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden

Review: Other then the insane response this series has been getting and me putting it off for about two years, sorry! I finally took the plunge and read this in about three days, I felt a little bewitched from how I couldn’t even tare my thoughts from this book when I wasn’t reading it.

There was one thing that is a no go for me in books, and that’s too much detail on something that doesn’t have much to do with anything for the plot. I have to say that there is quite a bit of detail just to get to Vasya being 15 (I’m pretty sure she is 15 by the end of this first book), and the main part of the plot of the book. There is just so much detail after her dad and brothers, that at times I felt bored to tears and was trying to get through to Vasya’s parts in the book.

Also, I have to just add how creeped out I was from the priest lusting after Vasya when she started turning into a mature woman. Because he turned his lust for her into hate to get rid of her, it had me worried for her the whole time.

Though, I did fall in love with the myths and lore woven into the storytelling to the point it was mesmerizing and had my full attention to the story. I felt like this first book was just a taste of what Vasya and the rest of the series really is about (and its adventures) and I can’t wait to jump into the next two books in the series. Because even though I read through this book in a daze from the overload of details and sweet taste of what is to come soon, I found this first book just okay.

Favorite quote(s):

Best not be grateful for the grass until you’ve eaten it.

I do not understand “damned”. You are. And because you are, you can walk where you will, into peace, oblivion, or pits of fire, but you will always choose.

Blood is one thing. The sight is another. But courage- that is rarest of all, Vasilisa Petrovna.

Anywhere, Vasya. The world is wide, and the road will take us anywhere.

Would I? Reread? Maybe. Recommend to others? Yes. Read more of this series? Yes. Read more from this author? I think so.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Edition: Hardcover, 328 pages.

Adult. Fantasy. Mythology. Fiction. Russian Folklore.

Published January 12th 2017 by Del Rey (first published January 10th 2017).

Summary: 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.

-Summary from

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