The Bear and the Nightingale

By Katherine Arden
  • Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Historical fiction

A beautiful story that masterfully intertwines fiction, history and traditional Slavic fairy tales. The story follows Vasilisa Petrovna, the daughter of a Russian lord in medieval Siberia. Vasilisa or 'Vasya' as she is known, navigates with trepidation a world were men rule with absolute authority, and even more so the daughters of lords. Vasya comes from a mysterious line of women who are gifted with the ability to see the Chyerti, the spirits that live side-by- side with people in the houses, stables and the ancient forests of Russia. As Vasya grows she rebels more and more against the patriarchy of her family, and of the oppressive Orthodox Church, which in her village is led by a charismatic yet sinister priest. As Vasya develops her abilities her relationships with the mysterious Chyerti begin to define and embolden her, leading to the breaking of all social conventions and setting her on an unexpected adventure. This book is superbly written and the characters are richly developed and engaging. If you are a fan of fantasy or Historical fiction this book will tick all of your boxes

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