The Bear and the Nightingale unfolds like a well-loved tale told between old friends at night. Set in a Russia situated between deference to the old gods and service to the Christian one, Arden lays out the story of a family steeped in myth. Vasilisa is the last child of her beautiful mother and one made of wildness and the power to see the old magic around her. She knows she’s not like her family but what she doesn’t know is that she’s an important piece is the fight between the frost king and his shadow brother.
Arden takes her time sliding all of the players into their places, unspooling tension as she goes until the web holding the story and Vasilisa’s town together finally snaps. The Bear and the Nightingale is a gorgeous and stunningly crafted treat for anyone who loves novels as rich as an old tapestry.