The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

I loved this book. Hell, I don’t even know what to say about it except I want to gush. I read this in 24 hours and I can tell you that it was completely worth it.

My poor heart is aching.

It is such a beautiful, heartbreaking story that grabs you and never lets you go. There is not a single character I hated (well, Konstantin aka Frollo cause it’s practically impossible to like him). Every character was fleshed out and you felt for them, you knew them, you grew attached and worried about them. 

The prose is lovely and atmospheric. Even if right now the heat is sweltering, through Arden’s words I traveled to a wintry Russia full of mystery and snow. It’s so easy to dive into the world and the story and want to stay there forever, to the point that you will resent anyone that tries to distract you.

I loved the lore, the commentary on women’s lives during this era, the familial bonds that tied the story together... I loved it all.

 

 

Reading progress notes

 

5% - The prose is lovely and the book is so atmospheric. I’m half in love with it already.
 
17% - I’m intrigued with the stranger. And I’m terrified for Pyotr’s family. I think his marriage won’t be a good one.
 
22% - Oh, Olga. I feel for you and your wish for a raven-haired prince. And I feel for Vasya.
 
30% - Hating Konstantin already.
 
41% - This fucker is in love with her, isn’t he?
 
81% - "Nothing changed, Vasya. Things are, or they are not. Magic is forgetting that something ever was other than as you willed it.”
 
84% - "All around them was winter, the shroud of bitter snow, the earth like iron, the river like blue marble."

This prose. Can I marry it?
 
90% - I'm in tears.