Review – The Bear and the Nightingale

Posted 11 October, 2017 by Nikki in Reviews / 4 Comments

Cover of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine ArdenThe Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden

I struggled a bit with this book, which surprised me. It’s not the fairytale-like narration, because that worked for me, nor the choice of setting (semi-historical Russia), or the characters, or the choice of fairytales to invoke. Perhaps it’s just that I felt I knew where it was going and how it would unfold, and I am so very tired of stories all about taming a wild young woman who doesn’t belong among her people.

It’s well written, and I enjoyed the Russian flavour – probably helped by the fact that I don’t know Russian well at all, so the words chosen to give a flavour didn’t contradict each other in the way they were Romanised or used. I do enjoy Vasya and her determination, her basic goodness, her love for her family and duty to the people who, unknowingly, relied upon her. I enjoyed the little snippets that joined it to history.

I just… didn’t quite click with it in some way I can’t put my finger on. I’m glad I read it, and I’ll probably pick up the second book to see how I get into that, but… something didn’t work for me.

Rating: 3/5

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4 Responses to “Review – The Bear and the Nightingale”

    • I’ve got an ARC of the second book and I’m fairly interested in getting to it, so there was definitely stuff there that worked for me. I just felt a bit distant, somehow!

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