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The Bear and The Nightingale Hardcover – 12 Jan 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (12 Jan. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178503104X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785031045
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.1 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"beautiful literary fairytale...incredibly lyrical prose...a joy to read. Arden opens her imagination wide and succeeds in transporting the reader to an evocative world...with a heroine it's impossible not to love..." (The Stylist)

[A]n enchanting wintertime read... fierce and otherworldly[.] (Psychologies Magazine)

"Wonderfully inventive" (Heat Magazine)

"Arden’s debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical. The novel is deceptively simple, but its characters and plot are sophisticated and complex. Arden explores what happens when fear and ignorance whip people into a furore, and how society can be persuaded to act against its own interests so easily. It’s a rather apt tale for our times." (Washington Post)

"An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale. A Russian setting adds a unfamiliar spice to the story of a young woman who does not rebel against the limits of her role in her culture so much as transcend them. A wonderfully layered novel of family roles and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic." (Robin Hobb)

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

"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)

"A thrilling tale...perfect..." (Emerald Street)

"A beautiful snowy Russian fable set at the border between myth and reality; a cast of demons, priests and royalty centre around a girl fighting to find her own path. Magical, thrilling and entrancing." (Anna James)

"...so detailed and vivid you can practically feel the chill numbing your fingers. Beautifully written and richly textured, it’s a beguiling read." (SFX Magazine)

"Arden’s debut is an earthy, beautifully written love letter to Russian folklore, with an irresistible heroine ... [an] exciting fairy tale that will enchant readers from the first page" (Publisher's Weekly)

"Enthralling and enchanting – I literally couldn’t put it down. A wondrous book!" (Tamora Pierce bestselling author of the Song of the Lionness Quartet)

"The Bear and the Nightingale is a marvelous trip into an ancient Russia where magic is a part of everyday life" (Todd McCaffrey author of The Dragon Books)

"beautifully wrought fairytale for adults..." (Writing Magazine)

"Fairy tale lovers, if you’re going to read one fantasy book this winter, let this be it.... beautiful debut" (www.bookish.com)

Book Description

A stunning, magical fairy tale for adults.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose this book because I am a devotee of fairytales and folk legends - and this story promised to be interesting. Happily, I found the inventiveness and intelligence of the writing both engaging and irresistible. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a delight from the very beginning. The haunting writing style and beautifully crafted atmosphere hooks from the beginning, completely immersing you into the characters lives, thoughts & actions. A work of art.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fabulous book!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Came quick, nice gift for my mum! She said she absolutely loved the book and wants me to read it too :-)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
very readable
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Format: Kindle Edition
Wow. I really enjoyed this book and didn't want it to end and have to leave the lands of northern Rus, with its snow and forest villages. The Bear and the Nightingale (the name will soon become clear to you) is beautifully written with unique and immersive descriptions of the chilly, frosty, northern Russian wilderness. It's a mixture of historical fiction/ fairytale for grown ups, with its lyrical writing about Russian folklore, old gods, princes, witches and subtle nods to magic. I had read it is perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and so was very excited to read this book.

I have to say I was hooked from the get go. The writing is hauntingly beautiful and so descriptive. Remember how as a child fairly tales would give you the tingles and make you feel as if you had been touched by magic? Well, all of those memories, and all the spine tingling magic I felt as a child, were brought back while reading this book. With the descriptions of the snowy cold forests, this would be a great book to read in winter, while curled up with a hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire.

The story is based around a girl called Vasilisa or Vasya, the youngest in a line of Boyar's - a minor member of the old Russian aristocracy. Her grandmother was a mysterious girl, who one day emerged out of the forest on the back of a horse and in through the Kremlin gates, but from where she came exactly, no one knew.
Rumours were whispered that she held strange powers. Vasya, is a girl who is different to other children, and her mother, Marina, may also have held more powers than anyone thought.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In a small village in the densely forested area of northern Rus’, Pyotr Vladimirovich lives with his wife and four children. When his wife dies shortly after giving birth to another daughter, Pyotr brings up his children with the help of Dunya, the old nurse, and Vasilisa, the youngest, grows up a headstrong and wild child, more at home roaming the woods than at home doing her mending. After several years Pyotr decides to remarry and travels to Moscow to the court of the Grand Prince with his two eldest sons; there he makes the acquaintance of a mysterious stranger who gives him a precious necklace and jewel pendant to take home as a gift to Vasilisa, but feeling there is something uncanny about the necklace, Pyotr gives it to Dunya instead, who decides to hand it over to Vasilisa only when she is older. But something dangerous is waiting in the woods, biding its time, and eventually Vasilisa will be called upon to save everyone in her village and prevent the evil from engulfing the land in a reign of terror.

When I was a child I had a book of traditional Russian fairy and folk tales, which I adored and read repeatedly from cover to cover, with the characters’ names being as familiar as everyday objects; so when this book was offered to me I didn’t hesitate for one second to request it.
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Format: Hardcover
Russian folklore comes to life in this stunning debut novel by Katharine Arden. Set in medieval times during the rule of the Khan and the Hordes Pyotr Vladimirovich (a wealthy boyar and related to the Grand Prince in Moscow) lives a good life in the Northern cold lands of Russia with his beloved wife and children. His youngest daughter, Vasya, is different to her siblings as she is able to see the wood sprites and spirits of the houses and forests who protect the village and inhabitants in exchange for small gifts of food.

As soon as a zealous priest is brought into the village to replace the old one, so the battle begins for the souls of the villagers and Vasya is seen as a witch.

This is a wonderful book full of excitement, adventure, vivid descriptions of changing seasons, colourful characters, rich folklore involving good vs evil spirits. The writing is assured and compelling and this will be a big seller in 2017.

Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book.
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