Review Roundup – The Bear and the Nightingale

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

Watch the book trailer here

First in an upcoming historical fantasy trilogy, and by a local author to boot, you’ve probably seen this book all over local bookstores. But how good is this book, really?

NPR reviews it fairly well, complimenting the poetic pose and skillfully interwoven historical details and associated folklore, but reports disappointment with the cliched later half of the story.

Booktuber Peace&Cookies〉(^_^)〈 thought the book beautiful and whimsical, and praised the unique setting, citing the book as highly enjoyable, but also commented on the unfortunately stereotypical protagonist and sometimes confusing Russian terminology.

SF Bluestocking praises the originality of the period Russian themes, lack of forced romantic subplot, and even seems to enjoy the ambiguous ending of the story. However, the reviewer also laments how this potentially feminist tale is undercut by its abysmal treatment of female characters and misogynistic undertones.

What do you think? Did you enjoy this book? Feel free to discuss in the comments section below. 

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