Bear and the Nightingale was *MAGICAL*

bear and the nightingale

I am in love. Head over heels, butterflies in the stomach kind of love. Once in a blue moon I come across a book where everything just clicks for me- and that’s it, I’m a goner. Honestly, I read this last month and tried to compose myself before writing the review- yet I’m clearly still not composed.

I don’t think I’ve read a book like this in years. To say it captured the essence of fairy tales would be an understatement. By the miraculous stroke of her pen, Arden not only transported me back in time to the historical landscape of Russia, but also to a child-like state of wonder. Reading this was more than a window into another world- while I was reading I knew what it is to hold magic in my hands.

Some books feel like they take on a life of their own. They’re so atmospheric and absorbing that it reminds you why you love reading in the first place. This was one such book. The style was both rare and a rediscovery of that charming, youthful feel I used to get when I read books by the like of Ibbotson, Funke and Zafon. It was both utterly unique and reminiscent of childhood favourites for me.

And yet this was so clearly a fairy tale for adults. Nothing is sickly sweet or over the top- in the words of Goldilocks, it was “just right”. From beginning to end, I was more than a little wrapped up in the snowy-blanket warmth of Arden’s exquisite storytelling. I was transfixed as, layer upon layer, the storm brewed on the pages, enchantment unfolding behind a glassy veneer of reality, until finally it broke in an epic conclusion. An ending which, thankfully, was both satisfying and opened the door for potential sequels (the second book is coming out this winter!)

This is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. So if this sounds good to you, then go away, read it, and thank me later 😉

Rating: 5/5 bananas

small bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall banana

I don’t know where I first came across this book, but I do want to thank Danielle for her spectacular review which prompted me to finally pick get a copy! And if you’re like me and already obsessed with this, I also recommend the great interview/review over on Mischenko’s site and Liis’ view on it as an Estonian.

And that’s all for now. Have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!


114 thoughts on “Bear and the Nightingale was *MAGICAL*

  1. Lovely, fantastic review! I just bought this but haven’t read it yet with finals and all that fun stuff! I loved Danielle’s review too, and I think between the 2 of you I should read it sooner rather than later!! It sounds so magical….💗💗💗

    Liked by 3 people

      1. You’re welcome! I really hope to get to it this month, but I very stupidly overloaded with ARCs while on break since I knew I wouldn’t have time after Jan. And now I don’t want to read them, lol. I want to read books that I WANT to read from my TBR, ugh! Lesson learned. I’m sure I will love it ❤

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you; I hope so!! I’ve seen some mixed reviews about a couple that have me worried, lol. A bloggers I trust have DNFd both lol! I never DNF, but that’s my New Year’s resolution, so I might make it early in Dec Lol! Too many other books I want to read instead of wasting time on bad books!!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You’re welcome! hehe well on the positive side of DNF reviews they lower your expectations which is good lol 😉 I really hope you don’t dislike them!! But yeah- if you don’t like them definitely DNF- and I say that as someone who has such a hard time DNFing lol! But I’ve been working on that this year and have DNF’d I think 2 books- so that’s an improvement 😉 – and I have no regrets about just putting the book down! Like you said, life is too short!!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. True!! Me either, but then I guess if I do then I can read something else that I have my eye on, lol!! HAHA! I thought you were going to say you’d DNF’d a bunch this year, lol! But 2 is an improvement when you’ve DNF’d none like I have!! I just need to make myself…it’s going to take willpower!

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, so my review isn’t worthy of a mention?😂😂😂 Only joking, I totally agree with everything you said, I absolutely loved everything about this book too. I’m reading the second instalment of the trilogy at the moment and it hasn’t disappointed so far – in fact the story just keeps getting better 😊. So excited to find out what happens!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I TOTALLY plan on reading this book! I also read Danielle’s and Mischenko’s reviews and like yours they really were passionate and sparked a sense of wonder that an adult book would be so magical (in the sense of fairy tales!) ❤ Are you doing to read the sequel soon Orangutan?!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ahhh, you know it’s got to be a good book when y’all rave about it like this! For some reason the whole atmospheric and magical aspect of it reminds me of The Child Finder. 😮 Love the sound of a fairy tale for adults too. I guess I’m going to have to make an extra effort in trying to read this somewhere in 2018. 😀 Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You completely captured the spirit of this ❤ It defines the very reason I read. Escapism and storytelling at it's finest. And your review does it a beautiful justice. I am so thrilled that you loved this. Seriously. I hope you are able to pick up the sequel soon, because it only gets better 😉 Thank you so much for sharing my review! *high fives*

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Okay, fine–I’ll add it to my TBR! I’ve seen sooooo many reviews praising this book, but I just. can’t. see. what. the. big. deal. is.
    Part of the problem is that NOBODY ever says what the book is about! I’m not sure if they’re all worried about spoilers, or just too in love, but it’s always praise for how incredible the book is, without any hint at the plot. This story could literally be about a bear and a nightingale for all I’ve seen in reviews!
    But this review was the last straw. I’ll do it. I’ll get it, I’ll read it, and then I’ll know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hehe well I’m glad 😉

      haha well I can help you out there- it’s a retelling of a Russian fairytale (in a nutshell) and yeah, I don’t really want to spoil it beyond that. The blurb is linked to in my review 😉 (really need to include that in my review descriptions lol) but I honestly think it might be worth going in mostly blind 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Everyone else seems to have loved this except me. I’m kind of disappointed after seeing so many positive reviews. I really wanted to like it, and I thought it was fine, but just not that overwhelmingly special.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You only gone and done it- the perfect review for the book! You really captured the essence of what the book is and I really couldn’t wait to read your thoughts on it- well worth the wait! 😉
    I am also pleased to see how much weight your reviews have- high praise from you means a good book guaranteed and tons of people will now pick up a copy- well done! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow, you sure made me want to read this ASAP! I love everything folklore related, especially Russian (for whatever reason) and to know this captures the very essence of fairy tales as well as being “just right”… Well, you’ve completely convinced me to read this one very soon!
    Thank you for the amazing, amazing review, which was just as beautiful as I assume this story will be 🙂 It’s not every time a book makes you feel inadequate to review it, after all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yay I’m so glad!! 😁 This was so beautiful and if you love Russian folklore then you HAVE TO read it!! It was stunningly done as well 🙂 Brilliant!!
      Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment! I totally agree!! This was a really special book!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I’ve seen so so so many incredible reviews for The Bear and the Nightingale and I’ve been meaning to get around to it for so long. Your review has reminded me I have this book on my to-read list and it’s going to be a number one priority of mine for 2018 I can say that for sure. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, just from what you’ve said about this book in your review I feel like I’m already half in love with it myself, so I hope I enjoy The Bear and the Nightingale as much as you have. 😀
    Great review. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a great review! I’m so glad you ended up loving this one. I hope you love the second one as well. I enjoyed it, but not as much as the first. ❤ Thanks so much for the mention as well. I truly appreciate it! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  12. 😔 ok, I’m at odds with the book world this year. This was one I should have loved like u do, but I didn’t. I think it was good and has some good elements, but it didn’t work for me unfortunately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah no worries! I’ve been at odds with the book world so many times (like the time I was meh about Shadow and Bone… which is made weirder by the fact I ended up loving Six of Crows and now want to reread the original series…) But yeah, not everything can be for everyone all the time!


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