Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale hits many pitfalls of Chosen One stories, but I didn’t notice until the cheesy climax because it’s such an entertaining read. It’s snowy, moody, and packed with magic—the superstitious, fairy-tale kind. The opening scenes depict a family sitting around and telling old stories of Morozko (Frost). It sets the tone well and is an entertaining way of providing key background information for the main story, which takes place in a small Russian town next to the woods. In this town, Vasya is born with sight that allows her to communicate with the household spirits. They need her help because a priest is dissuading townsfolk from the old ways. Hungry for lack of offerings, the spirits warn they may no longer be able to protect the townspeople from the dark powers that are stirring in the woods. This is where Vasya comes in. read more