Random House presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, read by Kathleen Gati.
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.
©2017 Katherine Arden (P)2017 Random House AudioBooks
I loved everything about this book, just the thing for winter listening. The bleakness of life in the Russian wilds woven marvellously with folk magic.
The narrator was good, I just couldn't get over the weird way she pronounced some words. "Shone" said like "lone" or "cone" instead of like "gone". And that word was used a lot in this book. It's the kind of book that uses romantic language and similes, people were forever pouncing like a cat or proudly lifting their chin or being challenging like a stallion etc. And I just don't like that kind of thing unless there's a good undercurrent of normalcy and humour to offset it.
I really liked uprooted, by naomi novik, which everyone thinks is similar to this. And it kind of is but I enjoyed and found it much easier to submerge myself in uprooted. I think because the main character felt much more real and the friendship between her and her best friend was awesome. There isn't a relationship like that in this book. The next best fleshed out character is probably the creepy monk or priest obsessed with the main char.
Anyway, it's a lot more like the bird and the sword. If you liked that you'll probably like this one.
Amazing story, amazing acting (her accents were impeccable!) amazing pacing! I loved it top to tail. What a great story! Insta-classic!
A very enjoyable story that was involving and atmospheric.
I liked the performance of the narrator who brought the characters to life. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars was that I believe I would have enjoyed this book more in print. That's nothing to do with the performance - just that some books are better when enjoyed slowly and more intimately with the printed word - especially in this genre.
Don't be put off by the idea of this being a fairy tale - it kind of is, but not - it's a different spin on the genre and not at all childish, but with many deep, rich themes.
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.
the story is fantastic the narrator is fantastic... the story is brought to life so much that i could see each person in my mind .... it has so many wonderful charaters in the story i would highly recommed it
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