WOW! The Bear and the Nightingale is an atmospheric treat.The writing is incredible. It’s a slow, rich tale full of myth and religion. I’m generally not a fan of literary fiction, but his one has a historical fantasy element to it that really pulled me in.
This book took a little bit for me to get into it. It is set in historical Russia and many of the words and names are obviously foreign. There is a glossary at the back that I didn’t find until I finished the book. It was helpful in that it confirmed what different words meant, but the author used most of the words in such a context that you are able to figure out what they mean without referring to the glossary.
I can’t continue without stopping for a minute to comment on the covers. There are 2 covers that I know of, and both are incredible. I want to buy a copy of this book, but can’t decide between the American or English version. They are both amazing and completely different. I love the boldness and colors of the English cover, but the American cover perfectly captures the atmosphere. This is the 1st book in a planned trilogy, so I may wait to see the other covers before buying the set… (or both sets if my bookshelf will agree).
I believe this book will find a wide range of fans. In my opinion, it is the perfect mix of literary fiction and fantasy so it will appeal to lovers of both. I loved it as a fan of fantasy, but I will also be recommending it to my sister that is more of a literary fiction type of gal.
I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.