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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Vasya has always been able to see them, the creatures of the hearth and stables and woods.  She tended to their well being as did the rest of the village, making sure they were fed and happy, and in return prosperity came to the village in rural Russia.  When Vasya’s father remarries a woman who also has the sight, but believes what she sees are demons, the old ways are violently pushed aside and a young priest takes on the post at the village church on a mission to banish the old ways for good.  But just because you choose to no longer believe or heed the old ways does that mean the old ones won’t come for you?

This story read like an old fashioned fairy tale; everything starts to slowly fall apart and our heroine is forced to make difficult decisions and fight insurmountable odds to save the village, including her biggest foes, from the danger they refuse to believe is coming.  The characters could have stepped off the page and I was pleased to know that this was the first entry in a trilogy so I can return to their village one day.  Even those who are not fans of fantasy will find many elements of this story to enjoy.  I recommend reading it during a cold snap in front of a roaring fire with a steaming bowl of stew if possible.

The old religion meets the new in the beautiful and haunting forest in northern Russia and I can’t wait to journey back there to know what happens next.

By | 2017-05-03T19:49:00+00:00 January 23rd, 2017|SCLSNJ Recommended Reads|
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