The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden reads like a really, really well-written fan-fiction. The book attempts to combine elements from a swathe of Russian fairytales. I really struggled to finish this book.
What I like ✅ lyrical prose
✅ interesting initial premise
✅ unique setting and creatures
What I didn't like ✖ stuck in weird territory between a simplistic, whimsical fairytale and realistic, fully-realised fantasy novel
✖ one-dimensional characters
✖ ambles from one scene to the next and lacks coherency; terrible pacing
✖ the themes are poorly-written; all religious characters are portrayed as stupid or ignorant and it implies that everything to do with traditional femininity is bad Rating 2.5/5 🌟 Verdict
Some may enjoy
Discussion I really didn't like this, and was confused as to why it is rated so highly on Goodreads. I noticed it was on sale for a few dollars during a Kindle sale, which is why it may be listed as a bestseller. Did you like the book? What were your positives?