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The Bear and the Nightingale (Hardcover)

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    Staff Reviews


    Snow demons, sprites, and bears, oh my! Set against the wilderness of Russia, Vasya still believes in the forest sprites and creatures who protect her town. When her stepmother forbids the family from honoring the household spirits, the snow demon Frost grows stronger to bring a cold, harsh winter as punishment to the townsfolk. The Bear and the Nightingale is an enchanting fairy tale for anyone who loves magic and wonder. 

    — From Karrie

    January 2017 Indie Next List


    “The Bear and the Nightingale is an enchanting mix of fairy tale, fantasy, and historical fiction set in medieval Russia. Nestled between the northern wilderness and civilization is a village where old and new traditions live side by side. Vasya, the last daughter of Pyotr and Marina, is born on the howling winds of autumn. Different from the others in her village, she is destined to be like her grandmother and is gifted with powers by birthright. As time goes by, Vasya is tested. Caught in the conflict between the old spirits and the new religion, Vasya must do everything in her power to save her family and village. Arden's novel is the rich, mesmerizing fairy tale you've been waiting for!”
    — Jennifer Steele (E), Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

    Description


    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

    "Haunting and lyrical, The Bear and the Nightingale tugs at the heart and quickens the pulse. I can't wait for her next book."--Terry Brooks

    About the Author


    Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent a year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature. After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crepes to guiding horse trips. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781101885932
    ISBN-10: 1101885939
    Publisher: Del Rey Books
    Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
    Pages: 336
    Language: English