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

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden was one of two book that I received in my December Fairy tale Book box club box. I am really enjoying retelling of fairytale and I was very intruded by this book.


Vasya has grown up in a village at the edge of wilderness in Russia, brought up with hard winter and tales about sorcery, fairy tales, magic and folklore all stories that are frowned upon by the church.

Vasya is not like a normal girl, she is more like a wild woodland sprite than the daughter of a lord. Always in the woods and with the horse speaking to people who are not there. To everyone else there is no one there but for Vasya she can see and speak to the spirits and creatures of the tales she has been told as a child.

When the forces of darkness start to growing in her forest, Vasya is the only one that can truly see what is happening, and maybe the only one that can stop it.


This book has an amazing story, I just found it difficult to get into the rhythm with my reading. I do no know if it was the style of the writing or the Russian names but it took me more effort to read.

This story slowly and gradually builds creating the beautiful and compelling story, where we are invited to watch Vasya grow up. I was surprised how quickly I became emotional attached to Vasya, which than  influence my feelings to the other character depending on the way they treated her.

By the end of the book I felt emotional, and a little heart-broken for Vasya as she did what she could to save her village knowing that they will not accept her.

One of my favourite elements of the book are the spirits and creatures from the Folklores, I loved that they protected the homes and animals, and taught Vasay different things because of the friendship she gave them.

If you like retelling of fairy tales and Robin Hobbs writing style  than I would give this book a read.

I give it 4 out of 5


If you would like to find out more about the Author Katherine Arden click here.

I plan on reading the next book in the series The Girl in the Tower very soon, and I have the last book The Winter of the Witch on my wish list as it comes out 14th August 2018.

Thanks for reading

Gem x


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