The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

4.5 Stars!

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.





11 thoughts on “The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

      1. That’s what I want to do! I think classics are great, but there’s a lack of connection to the material! If we bridge that material with YA literature, students will be much more engaged!
        Have to read Romeo and Juliet? Have them read Eleanor and Park first, or Juliet Immortal! And then there’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…that will liven up the classic!
        Too many boring books in high school that I remember, and I started to hate reading. We need to stop that!
        As you can tell, I care about the issue, and I wrote about it for my thesis. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Really, I love this 😍😍😍! It makes me happy to hear a passionate teacher. I loved reading but stopped in high school because I fell out of love with it. I agree with you, there were very few classics I read that I felt a connection with ( and most of those were “modern classics”). If you can bridge the gap with YA material I think you can turn kids ON to reading instead of off of it.


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