BOOK REVIEW | THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE BY KATHERINE ARDEN

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

Today I will be sharing with you my review of The Bear and the Nightingale. This book is fabulous it has everything from its people, to the place and finally the prose! All the P’s!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Bear and The Nightingale
  • Author: Katherine Arden
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
  • Series: Winternight Trilogy (Book One)
  • Published by Cornerstone Digital
  • Pages: 464
  • Narration Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Beware the evil in the woods. . .

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods. 

ORDER HERE: Audible | Kindle | Paperback

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book:

  • A wonderfully enchanting and magical story set in old world Russia;
  • A real and authentic heroine;
  • One of the most atmospheric reads you could possibly immerse yourself into; and
  • An expert storyteller.

On to the full review…

I picked up The Bear and the Nightingale on a bit of a whim, on both counts of actually purchasing it and when I chose to listen to it. The audiobook was in a deal so I picked it up really cheap, then I knew I wanted to read it in and around Christmas but I never found the time to. Until I found myself between audiobooks and not really feeling anything too serious having just read Gardens of the Moon, and trust your brain needs an easier read after that. So, I thought I would try The Bear and the Nightingale and if I didn’t click with it I would drop it like a hot potato and move swiftly on. That didn’t happen. I was suckered into this book almost immediately. Every moment in this tale was pure magic, to the point that when I went to bed that night I found where I was in the book and carried on reading on my Kindle. Then the next day, after I FINALLY went to sleep it picked it straight back up and continued listened to it. It was so enchanting and easy to love that I couldn’t help but want to return to the book immediately. It was just such a pleasure to read and become immersed in.

This book is described as ‘atmospheric’ EVERYWHERE, and you can be sure if you talk to someone about it and/or how they felt about the book then the word will inevitably be used to describe The Bear and the Nightingale. Which I cant fault because it really is. Arden has managed to create such an atmospheric read in numerous ways. The setting of this book heavily informs the mood of this book, it is Old Russia and it has some of the coldest and harshest winters, you feel the crisp air on your face as you read. Most of The Bear and the Nightingale is set within the confines of a village led by Vasya’s father and yet it does not feel confined, Arden expertly uses their home and towns locations to keep you from getting bored.

Arden is an incredible storyteller, her writing flows beautifully and she sets the tone perfectly and creates so many different mood levels evoking so many feelings from you as a reader while the subverting your expectations too, I didn’t feel like this tale was as predictable as fairy tales often feel.

I can not praise Arden enough for her skill in character creation, Vasya was incredible, as where the other characters from her brothers, step mother, father, sisters, priest and more. They were a tough bunch brought up through harsh winters and a harsher world. You truly cared about what they wen through, hell I felt for the town as a whole, I wanted to fix what was broken and restore this town and its people to what it was.

The Bear and the Nightingale feels like a rare and precious gem, it is not defined by its genre and feels refreshing and magical. This book is perfect as a bit of a pallet cleanser, for lack of a better phrase, it is everything you need to pull you from a slump or just lift you spirits a little as a reader. It was perfect in my eyes, it has a wee bit of an uneven pace at times but I really didn’t care because I was swept away by the house spirits and the fight of an incredible character to find her place in a world not meant for her.


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

If I could find this in HB it would be on my shelves! Alas it is only PB, but still this if a full rating, 5/5 stars on Goodreads and BUY THE HARDBACK on my rating system! Hell, I would love an illustrated edition of this!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | RING SHOUT BY P. DJELI CLARK

Hola, All.

Todays review will be, as the title suggests, a review of Ring Shout! I read this book as a part of my last stand, the last stand against the impending Goodreads Challenge of 2020 and I am glad I managed to fit it in.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Ring Shout
  • Author: P. Djèlí Clark
  • Published by Tor.com
  • Pages: 192

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns with Ring Shout, a dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror.

D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth.

Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and a head full of tales. When she’s not running bootleg whiskey through Prohibition Georgia, she’s fighting monsters she calls “Ku Kluxes.” She’s damn good at it, too. But to confront this ongoing evil, she must journey between worlds to face nightmares made flesh–and her own demons. Together with a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter, Maryse sets out to save a world from the hate that would consume it.

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK | KINDLE | HARDCOVER

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from Ring Shout:

  • Prohibition era Georgian historical fiction meets dark fantasy;
  • Monster hunting magic with a little witch doctor vibes;
  • Distinct and loveable characters;
  • A cultural and historical work of art; and
  • Utterly fabulous writing.

On to the full review…

Would you look at that another horror infused book I LOVED! Still not a full blown horror but hello horror elements…but anyway to this book.

Ring Shout, genuinely, is one of those books that you really don’t think your words can accurately describe. There is so much to this book…it is a lesson in history; a journey of love, hate and friendship; an emotionally engrossing tale inspired by African lore; and a clever and thought provoking tale of racism.

This is my first time reading anything of Clark’s and it is fantastic, enough that I added much of this other works to my ever growing TBR.

I remember seeing this on Twitter, and reading the blurb and just thinking how fab this book sounded. I have never read anything like it and immediately pre-ordered it from Amazon. It is the KKK and in their truest light, hateful demons. The historical setting of Ring Shout is incredible, Clark has given you everything you need to truly feel the world in which Ring Shout is set from its people, culture and even its distinctive streets! There is a level of intent in everything Clark says, every word is used to maximise this tale, and it is incredibly done to say this is less than 200 pages. It is a fast paced ride that just keeps on giving, it is a clear page-turner that you really don’t want to stop reading and sure enough I was up until silly o’clock in the morning trying to finish this story. Then when you have finished you wish there was another 300+ pages with these people.

This story is told through the incredible voice of Maryse Boudreaux, and what a woman she is along with her companions Sadie and Chef. All three of these characters are deeply engaging and so utterly distinctive you can’t help but love them. There is something so authentic about everyone you encounter from our main characters to our bad guys. The world is also incredible, I felt everything. I was cold and eerie in the other place, I was revelling and trying not to smile at a drunk Sadie and so much more. Every encounter you experience in this novella you feel, every scene you are 100% involved in. I truly loved this book, and the level of detail to its world, culture and traditions are nothing short of inspiring.

I do not for one second feel like my words have done this novella justice. Ring Shout is an incredible story with its thrilling characters, a riveting world and utterly immersive world and so much more. 100% read this book folks, you won’t be disappointed.


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

HARDBACK. HARDBACK. HARDBACK. God lawwwd hardback all the damned way…this book is phenomenal. It is so much more than it’s 192 pages.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!