Thank god it is finally the weekend! You know how some weeks feel as if they last forever, this was one of those weeks. Oh well, it is Saturday now and that means that it is time for a book review. Today it is the turn of The Bear And The Nightingale by Katherine Arden. Let’s do this.
I’m not actually sure how I felt about this one. There were some elements of it that I really enjoyed and others that I didn’t. it wasn’t as good as I was expecting it to be.
When I first heard about this book I heard a lot of people comparing it to The Night Circus and saying that if you liked that, you will love this. But in reality the only similarity between the two was that they are both magical realisms. Because I went into it with certain expectations (i.e., it being similar to The Night Circus) I was a bit disappointed. I found this book to be a bit slow to get going. I felt like I had been listening to it for a lifetime before anything started to happen (yes, I audio-booked it as the names intimidated me). And even after the story kind of got going, it was a very slow paced book. To be fair, some of that may be me, I have been reading a lot of fast paced books recently, but this one did feel particularly slow. I did also found it to be a bit predicable.
But despite the slow pace of it, it is good. It is very much fairy tales and folklore woven together to form this story, which I really liked. In general, I don’t really know much about Russian folklore, but reading this book has really made me curious about it. This is the element of the story that liked most. It is also beautifully written. I will admit that the writing style does remind me a bit of Erin Morgenstern’s. it has that same lyrical feel to it. You can really see, smell, feel what is happening. And it was such a good setting. I could almost feel the chill of the snow.
Also, for the most part, I quite liked the characters. I found Vasya to be a really likeable character. I loved the fact that she was different. And that she embraced it. I am curious to know more about her. I still don’t understand what she is and why she is, but I’m guess that is going to expanded on in the rest of the trilogy (although I’m not sure how this is going to be a trilogy as everything felt very finished in this book). I also liked her brother and lot of the spirits, demons, creatures, whatever you want to call them. Although on the flip side, I did find several of the other secondary characters to be very annoying and a bit unnecessary.
But, overall, it was enjoyable. I will probably pick up the next book at some point in the future. It wasn’t as good as I was hoping that it would be, but it was a good read.
/3.5/4 out of 5
And there we have it. Not the best, not the worst. Have you read this one? What did you think about it? I hope that you have enjoyed todays post and I will see you all again very soon.