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Publisher 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

Fiction & Literature
January 10
Random House Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

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Such a compelling read! I love books that spend time developing the characters and this book really guides you through how the main character became herself. Also, I knew nothing about Russian mythology or history and I was afraid I would be confused, but it’s written so well that it did not matter at all! This is a masterpiece. I loved every word.

cida87 ,

Beautiful books

Beautifully written, so vivid In how she writes. She is an incredibly rare talent, she is genuine in her craft. This trilogy may be her debut but I can liken her to storytellers like Alice Hoffman. She’s incredible. My new favorite author.

rokinrev ,

BEST book of 2017 IMHO

[Disclaimer: I received this book in a GoodReads giveaway so it will not post as a verified review. I am voluntarily choosing to review it. In no way did how I received it affect my opinions. ]

This is a very well sculpted book with the foundations of historical folk tales as it looks towards the newness of Christianity. Sometimes dualistic focus might be a good thing though as it "pushes our envelopes" of understanding an acceptance.

Historical fantasy? Historical dualism? Magical Realism? Or just a wonderful fantasy. We cannot begin to second guess the author. It is her story to tell, and I for one want to hear some more. I loved it and recommend it highly.

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