**** (4 out of 5) · Fantasy

The Bear and the Nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale

by Katherine Arden


25489134 (1)

Amazon*ย |ย Goodreadsย |ย Penguin Random House**

*Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links. If you purchase anything through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts and opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

**I received free books from Penguin Random House in exchange for this review.

This one is super hard to write a review for because I am not sure how I feel about it.ย  I have been reading a lot of YA fantasy lately so it took me a while to adjust to a more Epic-type fantasy.ย  I don’t know if it is technically an “Epic Fantasy” but it is definitely a slow burn instead of the whirlwind that YA fantasy tends to be.ย  And this isn’t a bad thing.ย  Its just different and it took me a while to get into the right mind set.

Also it didn’t help that I was reading this while on vacation with my softball team.ย  There was always a lot of distractions and it probably would have been better if I had been able to give it my full attention.

But despite all that I still enjoyed it.ย  I liked the story and I loved the main character,ย Vasya.ย  She was amazingly strong and smart and caring, but she was also vulnerable.ย  She faced innumerable hardships but managed to stay positive and was always trying to help her people, even when they were turning against her.

I feel bad that I didn’t love this book more because I know so many people who loved it.ย  I wonder if the circumstances with which I was reading affected how much I liked it?ย  But I think I still would have given it 4 stars no matter what.ย  It was a good book, but I wasn’t completely in love with it.ย  I am curious to see what happens in the rest of the series, but I also have so many more books I would rather read, so I think this one is going to go on hold for a while.

32 thoughts on “The Bear and the Nightingale

  1. I kind of had the same reaction you did! I think for me part of it was because I was listening to it on audio and my mind kept wandering off…I guess I just wasn’t that into it. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. I keep feeling like I should try again, maybe I missed something, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this a lot — I made my Russian-American friend read it and now she’s obsessed, so I feel good about sending her a good recommendation. ha. I’m with you, though — it was gorgeous and lovely, but I’m not in any hurry to read the second in the series. I will eventually, but I’m not rushing. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice honest review Brittany. I did like this one a lot, in fact, I am waiting somewhat impatiently for the third one in the series. It was a bit long, I agree. Glad you like it, even though you didn’t love it. I have been in that boat with many books.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely fell in love with this book — But I took my time and I enjoy the slow pacing of this story. I haven’t read the second book yet, but I’ve heard that the second book is much faster paced. Perhaps this just wasn’t a great vacation read for you?

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the next two books. I hope the second book is more your style!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wasn’t exactly enamoured by the book either, though I think it was because of the ending? I wasn’t really sold on the villain and the romance. But I did love the slow pace and the atmosphere! It’s such a perfect winter book! I should really get started on book 2 before the final one drops. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, I loved this book – but, I completely see what you’re saying about the pacing and the difference between say this and YA – I just fell in love with the main character, I loved the setting and it felt so evocative.
    Lynn ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderfully written review! Likewise, I have been reading a lot of YA so I decided to take a chance with this YA fantasy, since fantasy isn’t usually where I find myself. However, I was pleasantly surprised on how I enjoyed this one. I loved the exploration of Russian folklore that pervaded through the tale. I haven’t yet read the rest of the series, but I’m excited to see how the series progresses.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s