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My Never Ending List

I read almost every genre & I enjoy venturing into unfamiliar territory. As a library volunteer, I'm constantly bringing home novels. Being a substitute teacher, I read lots of YA & children's books.  

The Bear and the Nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel - Katherine Arden

This novel was quite an adventure! Based on a Russian fairy tale, I loved the journey that the author took me on, for each turn of the page, I knew that the house of Pyotr and its community was not just a typical village but one that had a dark past.


The story begins with the death of Pyotr’s wife. Making his way to Moscow with his two sons, he hopes to secure himself a new wife. His first wife had come from a line of royalty which Pyotr takes advantage of while in Moscow and I would be lying if I said, all that they did in Moscow was find a new wife for Pyotr. This story now becomes intertwined with other stories which I found enjoyable, stories that were rich and full of culture. These stories added significant individuals and their accounts intensified the storyline. Returning home, Pyotr has more issues and complications that he has to attend to, these matters are never easy as it seems that many people have different opinions on the subject matter.


His youngest daughter was Vasya and I enjoyed her character the most. Her strong spirit and ambition made her who she was, she stood out, when others were trying to tame her. I enjoyed this novel more than I thought I would. The cover and the fact that it was a fairy tale is what originally attracted me to this novel. I was distracted though while reading this novel by all the different names that were used in it. These names are the first names of the individuals in the novel, names that were far from typical and I found hard to pronounce. I also found it confusing when individuals switched from using their first full name to using their first name in a shorten version, that took a bit to figure out. I can’t wait to read the second novel in this sequel.