iTunes

Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator
iTunes

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download

The Bear and the Nightingale

Book 1, Winternight Trilogy - A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Katherine Arden’s bestselling debut novel spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.
 
“A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.”—Naomi Novik, bestselling author of Uprooted

Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil.
 
Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.
 
But Vasya’s stepmother only grows harsher, determined to remake the village to her liking and to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or a convent. As the village’s defenses weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has long concealed—to protect her family from a threat sprung to life from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

Praise for The Bear and the Nightingale

“Arden’s debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical.”The Washington Post

“Vasya [is] a clever, stalwart girl determined to forge her own path in a time when women had few choices.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family.”Booklist (starred review)

“An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic.”—Robin Hobb

“Haunting and lyrical, The Bear and the Nightingale tugs at the heart and quickens the pulse. I can’t wait for her next book.”—Terry Brooks

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 04, 2016 – Arden's debut is an earthy, beautifully written love letter to Russian folklore, with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate in 14th-century Russia. Vasilisa "Vasya" Petrovna's mother, Marina, died while giving birth to her. Her father, Pyotr Vladimirovich, loves her; he also resents her for his beloved wife's death. But Marina made Pyotr promise to take good care of Vasya, saying that she was special, and indeed she is. While her father and brothers seek marriage arrangements among royalty in Moscow, Vasya, now a teenager, refuses to be married off; instead she wanders the verdant woods of her father's rural estate, communing with spirits of home, wood, and water. When a young, arrogant priest is sent to her village, the people turn away from their old ways, and the spirits that keep them safe begin to fade. It's up to Vasya to protect them, but her father marries Anna, the daughter of Grand Prince Ivan II, who believes the wood spirits are demons and wants to kill Vasya or confine her to a convent as punishment for consorting with them. As a fierce winter storm rages, Vasya must save her family while embracing the magic that lives inside her. The stunning prose ("The blood flung itself out to Vasya's skin until she could feel every stirring in the air") forms a fully immersive, unusual, and exciting fairy tale that will enchant readers from the first page.

Customer Reviews

fable with creatures that jump right out of the classic Russian Fairytales.

The Bear and the Nightingale is a fable with creatures that jump right out of the classic Russian Fairytales.

It all circles around Vasilisa. Vasilisa has the ability to communicate with the mythical, fabled creatures that her family, neighbors and town have always left tribute too but never seen.

When Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow to ask the royalty for matches for his older children when he is given a wife for himself. Her new stepmother can see the same creatures Vasilisa has befriended but instead of treasuring her gifted ability she forbades Vasilisa to honor these spirits. Then the stepmother rallies with a priest to convince the village to turn from the spirit ways.

Making the spirits angry is never a good idea.

Very slow building. It finally picked up over half way through the tale which by then I was not invested.

I'm going with 3.5 stars. The heart of storytelling was there and the premise was completely my kind of read but the characters fell flat as a pancake with zero character connection. Part of me wanted to love it but it became bogged down by daily activities with an occasional snippet that would grab me.

I received this ARC copy of The Bear and the Nightingale from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine - Del Rey in exchange for a honest review.

Russian folklore, fairy tales, and fantasy for a modern audience

The Bear and the Nightingale is Russian folklore, fairy tales, and fantasy for a modern audience. It is a beguiling debut novel from Katherine Arden. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rich future ahead of her as a writer.

I was enthralled. As a Christian, I must say that you cannot read this book without pulling all of your hair out unless you understand that it is based upon the medieval beliefs of the Russian people. A people that experienced Christianization but whom never fully eradicated their pagan beliefs.

While the church is a large part of the story, The Bear and the Nightingale doesn’t portray the true church. The primary “Christian” that we are introduced to is Konstantin, often addressed as Batyuska, meaning “little father”, a respectful address for Orthodox ecclesiastics. Konstantin is fighting his own battle to understand God. Throughout the majority of the book, he is possessed by a demon. When the demon is gone, Konstantin is lost and bewildered. Therefore, there isn’t a true tension between the two belief systems. It is more like one magic in opposition to another magic. It is the quintessential folktale and needs to be read as such.

I loved the story and look forward to reading further books by Arden.

I received a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to the author and publisher.

For all of my reviews visit my blog at www (dot) blessedandbewildered (dot) com

Arden is an author to watch

I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d find in the pages of this book, but I am so very glad that I went on and explored. The exhaustive research into folk and faerie tales from the Slavic world is impressive, and resonates on each page. This book is not a rush to the finish story, but often hesitates and stalls, allowing the descriptions their time to shine, and imbuing readers with that sense of being there, enmeshed in the cold, as the pages turn.

A mix of historic fiction and faerie tale, Arden spends much of the book in explanation and family history for Vasilia, the heroine, and much of the information serves to highlight the source of her unusual powers and the conflicts that will come to be hers as benevolent and not so forces combine to test, task and strengthen her.

Told in multiple perspectives, some working better than others, the head jumping does take effort for the reader, but as the story is moving slowly, these moments often serve to flush out a visualization and allow the moments to grow exponentially, fixing the images in mind and place. Like all faerie tales, there are decidedly good and bad characters, and Arden has managed to place shades of grey in there, allowing choice and intention determine the outcomes. Wholly engaging and immersive, you expect to look out the window and see nothing but snow and trees as far as the eye can see.

The first of three planned novels that combine Slavic folk and faerie tales with fiction and a perspective that is wholly her own, Arden is an author to watch for those readers who enjoy a slower-paced story that arrives with a solid feel of new and different.

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Other Books in This Series

The Bear and the Nightingale
View in iTunes
  • $1.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Jan 10, 2017
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 1, Winternight Trilogy
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings