I’m currently reading The Bear and The Nightingale and I’m one of those that likes to celebrate Christmas as soon as the calendar flips to November 1st. In my way of thinking, it comes and goes far too fast the older I get, and with little ones I enjoy savoring the spirit of the season. That being said, I break out my winter Playlists and start listening to Winter Solstice IV, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Manheim Steamroller, etc. Coincidentally, it is the perfect blend for The Bear and The Nightingale, which takes place in Russia. It depicts a cold, bitter landscape that is cruel when it comes to taking what is weak.
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A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.
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, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.