Author: Katherine Arden
Series: Winternight Trilogy #2
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Summary from book one: “A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.” -From Goodreads
Review: This was great, if not better than The Bear and The Nightingale. Like both books are amazing, but I felt like this one was just better than the first book in my opinion. If you have not read the first book, then go read it, because it’s a great written story that I would recommend people to read.
The writing in this book was almost poetic in a way. The author did well of showing the scenes and getting the emotions of the characters on the page. The use of folklore was done nicely, as well as woven into the story.
The characters were nicely developed, and thankfully, didn’t do a 180 that some characters seem to be doing in sequels. All were interesting, making me want to know what they would do or what would happen to them. The relationships of characters were done well, including developed. Especially the sibling/family relationship between some of the characters.
Why I liked this book more than the first book is because so much more stuff is happening than in the first book, though that could be because a lot more happens in this book and more folklore gets put into this sequel.
I highly recommend reading this trilogy. It’s different from other books out there and has interesting Russian folklore.
Have fun reading!