Author(s): Katherine Arden
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, the father hides the gift away and his daughter, Vasya, grows up a wild, wilful 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. Atmospheric and enchanting, with an engrossing adventure at its core, The Bear and the Nightingale is perfect for readers of Naomi Novik's Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman.
"An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale. A Russian setting adds a unfamiliar spice to the story of a young woman who does not rebel against the limits of her role in her culture so much as transcend them. A wonderfully layered novel of family roles and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic." -- Robin Hobb "A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up." -- Naomi Novik "Haunting and lyrical, The Bear and the Nightingale tugs at the heart and quickens the pulse. I can't wait for her next book." -- Terry Brooks "Arden's debut is an earthy, beautifully written love letter to Russian folklore, with an irresistible heroine ... [an] exciting fairy tale that will enchant readers from the first page" Publisher's Weekly "Enthralling and enchanting - I literally couldn't put it down. A wondrous book!" -- Tamora Pierce bestselling author of the Song of the Lionness Quartet
An incurable reader and enthusiastic traveller, Katherine spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance at Middlebury College in Vermont, Katherine deferred university enrollment for a year to live and study in Moscow, Russia. At university, she specialized in French and Russian literature. She took eight months' study abroad in Paris and another eight months in Moscow. Having received her BA magna cum laude, Katherine moved to Maui, Hawaii, where she worked every kind of odd job imaginable, including guiding horse tours, working as a personal tour guide for international visitors, making crepes in a stand, and doing freelance grantwriting. She also wrote two novels. After two years on the island, she got a year-long contract teaching English at a high school in Briancon, France. She spent a year teaching, and returned to Maui in July 2014.