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A young woman's family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.
In a village at the edge of the wilderness of Northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, the father hides the gift away, and his daughter, Vasya, grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.
Atmospheric and enchanting, with an engrossing adventure at its core, The Bear and the Nightingale is perfect for fans of Naomi Novik's Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and Neil Gaiman.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By S on 03-19-17
Shades of good and bored
This book has some hints of Neil Gaiman's dark fantastical plots and characters, which is what initially drew me to listening to it. I loved the Russian lore and landscape which when coupled with a strong female protagonist are the dynamic force of this story. I also found it interesting how on a backdrop of seemingly childish (but actually quite dark) stories about demons and wood sprites many questions of the human condition rose to the surface. Religion, female emancipation, misidentification and most importantly fear. This is powerful and clever. I loved being introduced to the creatures of Russian mythology and their presence and influence is what reminds me of Gaimen's style. Sadly there is something missing and it took me a while to get into this book. The first part, although setting the story, I found really boring and stopped to listen to another audiobook. I came back and was pleased I did for the middle part of the book. The narrator although good might have contributed to the boredom with her tone. She captured the characters really well and her Russian names were faultless but there was something in her narration which when coupled with a story that feels like it's going nowhere in the beginning made me loose interest. Get past part one of this book and it gets a lot better and much for engaging and fun. If the book started from part two I would give it 4 stars.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By S. Malvik on 01-19-18
Why oh why the funny accents?
I really enjoyed the story, but I did not enjoy the narrator. I could get used to her regular narration though it’s distracting, but why - when everyone are Russian and the story takes place in Russia, give them all funny accents unless it was to signify they speak Russian poorly? Sorry. I’d rather read this book on paper.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 11-25-17
The Princes Ransom
Really cool story. A Russian Fairy Tale that unravels itself into a traditional Russian family.
It's captivating, but at the end I thought it took on a modern battle which...may have degraded the delacacy of this story. I felt as the reader I was always trying to understand my characters better but they always seemed to be in the dark mist and faraway. Probably because of the mystery behind the whole story.
Pretty cool though. It'd be a freaky movie. but loved the book. Full if Mystery and intrigue.
I would read it again.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Sandie on 06-29-18
This story was poetic and magical. It was also well read, the accent enjoyable once my ears became accustomed to it.