Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Bear and the Nightingale
The Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine Arden
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
quote
booksandsympathy

All my life I have been told "go" & "come". I am told how I will live & I am told how I must die. I must be a man's servant & a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls & surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than a hundred years of the life appointed to me.

blurb
Blueberry
post image

❄️ Getting enough rain to fill our lakes for summer fun.
❄️ The tagged was a very good wintry read.

@NataliePatalie
@TheSpineView
#Two4Tuesday

TheSpineView Thanks for playing!💙📖📘 3d
40 likes1 comment
quote
booksandsympathy
post image

"The prince arrived just as pale spring became dazzling summer, with a tender, capricious sky and the fading flowers buried in a wash if grass."

blurb
IndoorDame
post image

My favorite #wintery book of the past few years. (Not my photo but it seemed appropriate). #JanuaryJazz @Eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

julieclair I just unpacked my (unread) copy of this from a box that had been in storage for several years. Looking forward to reading it. 2w
IndoorDame @julieclair I hope you enjoy! 2w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful ❄️💙 2w
Eggs Great photo👏🏻 Still on TBR!! 2w
64 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
Robotswithpersonality
post image
Panpan

Suffice to say I hate this a little too much to waste more time thinking about. 315 pages of near unrelenting misery of a myogynistic, religious bent and an agonizingly slow pacing wrapped in a whisp of fairy tales are not my jam.

quote
booksandsympathy
post image

"The snow fell thrice, deep and solid after midwinter, and after the last snowfall came a deep blue frost, when men felt their breath stop in their nostrils and weak things grew apt to die in the night."

blurb
booksandsympathy
post image

Starting to read part one tonight for the read along. I've been looking forward to picking this book up again. I adore The Winternight Trilogy and am happy to emerse myself in this world again.

21 likes1 stack add
blurb
booksandsympathy
post image

Katherine Arden is doing a read along of The Bear and the Nightingale on Instagram! She'll be doing a live on these dates at 3pm EST(8pm GMT)and again at 8pm EST. She'll be continuing with The Girl in the Tower in February and The Winter of the Witch in March.

20 likes1 stack add
review
kellyann28
post image
Mehso-so

My first completed book of 2023 just happens to be a reread! I plan on finally reading the rest of the trilogy this winter so I needed a refresh. Still starts out a little slow but really gets interesting at the end. A high so-so pick. Using this for #booked2023, 1) Part of a trilogy @Cinfhen @alisiakae @BarbaraTheBibliophage

Cinfhen Excellent!! 3w
31 likes1 comment
blurb
forestandcrow
post image

Thank you @Deblovestoread so excited to start the books. My husband was very excited about the new pine candle. ☺️
Thank you for the little gifts for my daughter. She is obsessed with puzzles.
#winterwonderlandswap
@TheBookHippie @Chrissyreadit @Avanders

Avanders 👏🏽👏🏽 Happy New Year! 🎇❄️💙 4w
TheBookHippie Awe The Mitten!! 💙❄️💙 4w
Deblovestoread Enjoy! My favorite thing of last month was the pic you posted of your daughter on her sled with the box…so cute! Happy New Year! (edited) 4w
Chrissyreadit I love that there was something for your daughter too! 4w
12 likes4 comments
review
KCofKaysville
Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine Arden
Pickpick

Great Russian medieval fantasy with a strong female character. Abounds in odd creatures not known in fantasy outside that land. Really fantastic ending. May read more from the author for sure.

blurb
Robotswithpersonality
post image

Happy Jolabokaflod!

11 likes1 stack add
blurb
Robotswithpersonality
Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine Arden
post image

Yeah, book shapes are not my strong suit...😬🎄🤦🏼‍♂️ I am happy with my little crocheted stars though! Wild that the library loans out this many books to an individual: visual releases dopamine hit like a shopping spree without the price tag, assuming I don't end up paying late fees. Admittedly recent snowy weather makes the walks back and forth to the library to pick up and return my treasure a little more challenging. Worth it. 🤷🏼‍♂️

blurb
KCofKaysville
Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine Arden
post image

I'm starting this fantasy based on Russian folk tales.

jlhammar I really enjoyed this trilogy. Perfect winter reading! 1mo
KCofKaysville @jlhammar Good to know!
1mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Reading.w.Dee
post image
Pickpick

This story had a whimsical, fairy tale feel to it, but with a strong female character who trusts herself to know right from wrong.

It shows the hardness behind human judgement and what some may do to cover what they did wrong out of fear. It‘s an intertwining story between reality and Russian folk lore - the winter demon versus a higher being. It‘s a magical ride!

review
BookMaven9
post image
Pickpick

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ I know very little of Russian folklore and this was full of wonderful fey, woven throughout with strong character and world building. A perfect story to read in the cold winter during christmas. I love how the author illustrated the way religion has pushed out the old pagan stories of other cultures and how our beliefs in the old world can keep the spirits alive or destroy them by stop believing in them.

review
BacklistReader
post image
Pickpick

I loved this one. Can‘t wait to get continue the series.

This was also one of my character prompts for Orilium.

#orilium

15 likes1 stack add
review
BarbaraJean
post image
Pickpick

Another belated review from December…😬 This one was a low pick for me. It moved a bit slower than I would have liked, and I wanted a bit more development in the ending. But the folk religion elements were fascinating to me, as well as how the story drew out the dynamics between the old ways and Christianity. Those dynamics were often uncomfortable for me, but thought-provoking nonetheless! And the #YABuddyRead discussion was wonderful. 😊

blurb
GondorGirl
post image

There's nothing quite like reading a book about a cabin in the middle of a snowy forest while being at a cabin in the middle of a snowy forest. I'm glad I waited to start this one. 🥰❄️

DivineDiana Just perfect! ❄️ 11mo
BookBosomed1 Swoon! 11mo
truthinfiction Oh, I love this trilogy so much! I am glad you are going to be able to enjoy it in such appropriate setting. ❤️ 11mo
70 likes2 stack adds3 comments
review
NikkiM5
Panpan

So I assume this is an unpopular opinion, but I was not a fan of the tagged.

The book started off great but I felt it dragged on and then on some more.

I did finish it, but I will not continue the series.

March‘s #nywd22 is “The Only Good Indians” thanks @Readergrrl

monalyisha 😱 11mo
wordslinger42 I bailed on this one. It's definitely an unpopular opinion, but you're not alone! 11mo
Readergrrl @NikkiM5 I hope you like The Only Good Indians! It really stuck with me. Horror mixed with indigenous folklore and storytelling. I went to an author talk at the Mark Twain House here in CT and met the author, Stephen Graham Jones. His discussion of his writing inspiration and history was fascinating. Very cool! 11mo
NikkiM5 @Readergrrl I am very excited to read it. Thank you 😊 11mo
NikkiM5 @wordslinger42 it‘s nice not to be alone lol 11mo
21 likes5 comments
blurb
TracyReadsBooks
post image

#Two4Tuesday

💕 There is a local chocolatier that always does something super fun & interesting for Valentine‘s Day & my husband will often splurge on a box which I love…although books are great for any occasion!

💕 Tagged book was the first one I thought of—I love reading it this time of year—so I‘ll go with it.

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Great choice! Thanks for playing! 📘💜 12mo
13 likes1 comment
review
Gryffleclaw95
post image
Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a different read for me, and part three of this book basically kept it as a pick instead of it being just a “meh” read. The story was unique, but I simply didn‘t love it as much as I wanted to. The theme of Christianity vs. old religion is strong in the plot line, but is well-written. I did really enjoy Vasya‘s character and her fight to forge her own path against the societal norms and expectations for women during that time.

MuddyPuddle The cover is certainly striking! 12mo
25 likes1 comment
blurb
cewilf
post image

Another Friday snow day! Going to try and make some progress with this one. I had previously started and abandoned it when I got distracted by life. Excited to read it again, and hopefully finish the trilogy this time.

41 likes1 stack add
blurb
IndoorDame
post image

❄️ The tagged book is my most recent favorite with with a snowy setting.

❄️ A personal goal this year is to work on changing my mindset around habits that seem onerous and so don‘t get done.

❄️ Today I‘m grateful for the energy to get some much needed housekeeping done.

Anyone who hasn‘t played and wants to consider yourself tagged.

#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

Smrloomis That seems like a good goal for 2022! 😍 13mo
Eggs Great goal❣️ Thanks for joining in 👏🏻🤩 13mo
42 likes2 comments
blurb
KateReadsYA
Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine Arden
post image

1. The tagged book
2. Personal Goal for 2022 is to save money and take care of my mental health above all else.
3. Today I am grateful for my good health!!!
Thanks for the tag @Kshakal 😀

Word_Dragon My goal is mental health too! My husband got me Christmas gifts centered around this theme. My therapist did wonders for me last year and I'm finally on the right path. I want to continue working on improving myself. 13mo
KateReadsYA @Word_Dragon that's so great to hear. 😊 13mo
31 likes2 comments
blurb
Chrissyreadit
post image

1. Tagged
2. Decrease both personal and work anxiety, or at least the frequency and intensity of feeling anxious (cause a goal has to be measurable)
3. The COVID Vaccine
Thanks for the tag @Avanders
Want to play @sprainedbrain @Liz_M @Nute @Butterfinger @sblbooks @MeganAnn @megnews @Catsandbooks

Butterfinger Thanks for the tag. 13mo
Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger ha! I tagged you even though I read your post 🤣 I‘m a mess…. 13mo
Avanders Oooh I also love that book! ♥️ Hoping you find *fun* ways to decrease anxieties ☺️♥️😘 13mo
See All 6 Comments
MeganAnn Such a busy week I missed this earlier! 1) My favorite snowy read is probably The Wolves of Winter. ❄️ 2) My biggest goal for the year is to do more creative things not related to work — more painting, embroidery, and I really want to experiment with making cyanotypes and combining them with painting and embroidery. I have lots of ideas I never seem to make reality! 13mo
MeganAnn 3) Today I‘m grateful for my amazing 13 year old son. He was so helpful yesterday. He helped us & my in-laws make venison sausage & clean up afterwards without a single complaint or eye roll and lots of smiles. And he helped me clean the house the day before everyone came to do this. He‘s such a good kid and is always willing to lend a hand. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I love your #3 ❤️ 13mo
70 likes6 comments
blurb
Catsandbooks
post image

1. Tagged

2. To get my Etsy shop up and running! I started working on art/products last year, but then I got into a depression slump and just wasn't feeling inspired. But I'm doing better now and I think the support of #LitsyCrafters will help too!

3. My mom- she's the best! 💕 I can't wait to actually see her in person at the end of the month!!

#wondrouswednesday

Eggs Love Arden💙. Best wishes on your new venture🎈 13mo
40 likes1 comment
review
Gissy
post image
Pickpick

Last book read in 2021 for #20in4 @Andrew65 A lovely story set in winter and about Valsya, a witch. I loved how the human world intertwined with this magical world. This book motivates me to look more about Russian folklore. Any recommendations? 4⭐️

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

Andrew65 Well done, there are two other books that follow this. 👏👏👏 13mo
Gissy @Andrew65 Yes! I‘m planning to read the second one this month🤗 13mo
TheAromaofBooks I've been meaning to read this one forever!! 13mo
See All 6 Comments
Gissy @TheAromaofBooks I enjoyed it. I‘m waiting for the special edition I pre-ordered. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I loved this book, and bought the other two also. 13mo
Gissy @Chrissyreadit Yes! I hope I can read the sequel this month. 13mo
62 likes6 comments
blurb
Gissy
post image

❄️I‘m trying to finish these books before Dec 31: The Language of Thorns; The Lives of Daints (these two are for my book club to finish the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo); and The Bear and the Nightingale.
❄️Various hallmark/Disney Christmas movies, Narnia, the winter season in Harry Potter movies and yes I liked National Lampoon movie. I want to watch A Boy Called Christmas

Thank you @kamoorephoto for tagged me🥰

kamoorephoto Those are some big book goals before Dec 31st! Hope you manage it 😉 13mo
Gissy @kamoorephoto I know, but I started all of them. I finished a few minutes ago The Language of Thorns and I‘m starting The lives of Saints and it super short, 121 pages with illustrations. The Bear and the Nightingale, I will have the audio. I wish I could read faster😩I‘m dying to read all the books I, they are in my tbr because I‘m interested but many books📚📚📚but little time 🙁(I sound dramatic😆) 13mo
28 likes2 comments
review
Kelican17
post image
Pickpick

I loved it. This is my kind of book. Also- when I grownup I want to be a witch and live in the woods. 🐻 🐦 🧙‍♀️🌳🌲

26 likes1 comment
blurb
britt_reads
post image

I‘ve been too busy to keep up with reading or posting on Litsy much these past couple of weeks, but I‘m really looking forward to ringing in the new year with my Christmas #bookhaul (pictured). I‘m also excited about ending 2021 with a few wonderful books that I‘ve recently started, and I‘m confident they will make it onto my list of favorites for the year.

review
JaneyWaneyB
post image
Pickpick
review
Chrissyreadit
post image
Pickpick

I loved this book! I‘m glad it was the #yabuddyread for Dec, and based on A Strong Sense of Place I listened to the audio- it was everything I love, atmospheric, magical realism, historical- and one of my favorite characters ever- but I loved how all the characters were presented. This will be a book I gift and recommend. Also shoutout to @LeahBergen - I finally took a picture that fit! Thank you 😘😘😘😘

LeahBergen Oh, did that work? Awesome! 😆😘 13mo
DanaR Sounds like something I‘d like, just borrowed it from the library! 13mo
111 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Cazxxx
post image
Mehso-so

I enjoyed the premise of this book, parts were magical and wonderful but I did find myself bored at times. I‘ll probably read the others on this series as they‘re available at the library. A decent winter read and I did like the main character a lot

MadelineMcCrae I love the style of that copy!! Where did you find it? 13mo
Cazxxx @MadelineMcCrae It‘s from Amazon 😊 13mo
43 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Catsandbooks
post image

They're finally here and so beautiful!
#fairyloot

AmyG Those are gorgeous. 13mo
Nessavamusic Those are so pretty! 13mo
PatriciaU Love these covers! 13mo
See All 6 Comments
Larkken Oh wow, beautiful! 13mo
elkeOriginal Gorgeous! 13mo
Chrissyreadit Oh! Those are gorgeous! 13mo
51 likes6 comments
blurb
megnews
post image

#YABuddyRead questions posted with spoilers. See my page. Anyone who‘s read this is welcome to join in.

Anything else you‘d like to discuss?

Caroline2 Oh I just finished The Girl yesterday and loved it! I‘m reading a different book now but then I‘m planning on jumping straight into the third book! 😃 👍 13mo
SamanthaMarie I do plan to read the next in the series!! Working on other things right now. But I really liked the first! Would have been a great standalone too though. 13mo
IndoorDame I didn‘t go into it realizing it was a trilogy, so I expect I‘ll go back to the others eventually since I really liked it, but it‘ll be a while since I didn‘t pick the second one up straight away. 13mo
See All 14 Comments
megnews @IndoorDame I didn‘t realize either. I will probably read it at some point but it may be awhile. 13mo
megnews @SamanthaMarie @IndoorDame one additional question I had was this: this is listed as both YA and adult fantasy. Do you think it falls better in either category? 13mo
IndoorDame @megnews I think this works really well as YA. Especially as a trilogy of short books about young women. There were a few moments when I wondered what a teenager would think reading certain scenes, but then I just figured I only worry when messages things send to kids cause I‘m a teacher now, and my friends will have kids that age before too long, when I think about what I actually read at that age… lol 13mo
BarbaraJean I‘m about halfway through—hoping to finish today or tomorrow, and will jump into the discussion a little late! 13mo
megnews @BarbaraJean no problem! I‘ll be back to check out your thoughts. 13mo
Bookgoil Yes I downloaded the next two already!!! 13mo
Johanna414 I've read all three books and honestly feel like each book improved upon the previous one 13mo
MadelineMcCrae I would place this series as an adult fantasy due to some of the themes, atmosphere, and pacing. YA are usually much faster paced than this and don‘t have that seem writing style that I see more in adult fiction. I‘ve already started the second book and bought all three copies as paperback! 13mo
Chrissyreadit I like this as a YA- I bought both the 2nd and 3rd and will read them I hope sooner rather than later. 13mo
mrp27 I will definitely read the other two books. 12mo
42 likes14 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
Butterfinger Would you consider the nightingale being turned into a stallion a sacrifice? 13mo
Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger I would- but did not consider it until I read that. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I thought of It as everyone constantly sacrificing in many ways, with food and lifestyle and choices. 13mo
See All 6 Comments
megnews @Butterfinger like @Chrissyreadit I didn‘t think of it til you said it but great point. I agree with your response too @Chrissyreadit - lots of sacrifices by everyone all the way around 13mo
BarbaraJean I loved the way Pyotr's sacrifice was framed at the end, when he says a man doesn't give up another's life. It's a contrast to the way others do just that throughout the novel - so many of the people who make sacrifices don't actually make the sacrifice themselves, others force the sacrifice on them. Konstantin & Anna are sent away from Moscow, Anna is ready to give Vasya's life away, and Konstantin gives away Anna's life in exchange for Vasya. 13mo
megnews @BarbaraJean what a great observation! I feel better able to go into the next book in the series after this discussion with everyone. 13mo
4 likes6 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
SamanthaMarie Men versus women perhaps. In that, men dominate the culture and choices and women are subject to the decisions made by men. I think Vasya is an interesting character because she lives in between. She goes to church and doesn't mind it and believes you can have church and the old ways. She obviously chooses to forge her own path when it comes to playing into the roles she "should" have. She's what a lot of us want the world to be like, I think. 13mo
megnews @SamanthaMarie agreed on the men vs women 13mo
Bookgoil I definitely see the order vs chaos throughout the book - seeing how those choices effect things through the story. 13mo
Butterfinger Definitely old lore vs new religion. 13mo
Chrissyreadit @SamanthaMarie I agree with you, so many ways the role of men and the role of women. And I agree with @Butterfinger old ways vs new religion. 13mo
5 likes5 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
SamanthaMarie Kind of like my comment on the post above, she represents the in between that exists between two opposing forces. I think a lot of people have a hard time when things aren't black and white. That which is gray or a color is really hard for people to come to terms with. That Vasya has such a loyalty to the village while frolicking with the spirits is unique and they can't understand the latter. It's threatening to them. 13mo
megnews @SamanthaMarie agreed. She‘s different and different is seen as a threat. And though all the problems that ensue are not due to her, she is at the center of trying to resolve it and therefore becomes the scapegoat. 13mo
Bookgoil I think she is the unknown to them which can be a bit frightening she‘s not quite fitting their understanding and they cannot mold her completely so she becomes a threat. 13mo
See All 7 Comments
megnews @Bookgoil I think they sort of know where she‘s coming from with taking care of the house and stable sprites. Because they used to all believe this. Maybe they are worried about the threat she causes not fully converting? Religion and government were so tangled up 13mo
Butterfinger I hate to say it, but they are supposed to trust God, and the old gods are demons. So they see her as evil or demon possessed. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I wonder how much of this is fear over what cannot be controlled. 13mo
Roary47 I mean the girl brought about a ton of their old stories and fables. Is be a little worried too. 13mo
5 likes7 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
megnews Such a tough thing to answer. Marriage was inevitable at that time. There were really no options for women in their own. And life was so dangerous then. Can‘t see myself in a convent. I‘d love to say I‘d strike out on my own but I‘m not a huge risk taker so would probably hope for a good marriage. 13mo
Bookgoil I‘m not sure I would be brave enough to rail against marriage when it was such a common inevitability and I definitely do not see myself in a convent. Something would have to strongly make me want to become an outsider to choose that path. 13mo
IndoorDame I agree. As frightening as it must be to be that young and completely powerless and alone, convents were even more permanent than marriages and, often enough, even more brutal. I can‘t imagine taking that chance, or running off to live alone in the forest, so I probably would have married. 13mo
See All 8 Comments
megnews @Bookgoil @IndoorDame I‘m glad I‘m not the only one who‘d be concerned about striking out on my own. 13mo
IndoorDame @megnews as much as I‘m sure we all loved to think of ourselves as novel heroines when we were Vasya‘s age, It‘s cold in the woods! It‘s deathly enough cold in the woods where I live, much less in Russia. No thank you. 13mo
Butterfinger Some books make convents seem so peaceful. I would choose that. 13mo
Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger @IndoorDame @Bookgoil @megnews I have to admit I‘m known for going against the grain and not fitting in- so I‘d probably want to travel, although for all that I did ultimately get married and have kids 🤣 13mo
Roary47 I struggled in the compression of this book apparently. 😅 Looking through the questions after I read it before the holidays and being busy until now to look through them wasn‘t the greatest idea. I agree with @Butterfinger though the convent seems peaceful. The adventures she went on with the ghosts and spirits seems too stressful. 13mo
5 likes8 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
megnews Anna and Vasya shared the same abilities but that‘s where the similarities end. Perhaps because of how they were raised, one viewed it as a gift, one not only a curse, but madness. 13mo
IndoorDame They were raised so differently. Vasya‘s mother chose to die so she could give birth to a daughter who was stronger in the old ways than she was. Anna‘s parents told her she was crazy and cursed. It must have been like they didn‘t even speak the same language. 13mo
megnews @IndoorDame right. Anna couldn‘t see Vasya as anything but mad since that was already so ingrained in her. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I think Anna hated her because she was living her best life- something Anna never got to do. 13mo
megnews @Chrissyreadit great point! 13mo
4 likes5 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
megnews I‘m a Christian but I struggle with the methods by which Christianity was spread. God gave us free will, something religious leaders seem to forget. I don‘t believe forcing belief on groups of people was ever God‘s intention. Of course, Konstantin‘s charisma was necessary for his role but I think he struggled with his art as he recognized he wasn‘t always using it for God and he felt that was wrong. 13mo
Bookgoil I struggle with the false prophet feel of Konstantin - I‘ve always had a hard time believing in religion fully and I don‘t trust charisma so when someone puts on a charm to me it feels like they are trying to get me to buy something false. I don‘t think he always used his gifts correctly which is the fault of being human but he had religious intent. 13mo
IndoorDame I did not find him to be a sympathetic character. He was vengeful towards Vasya because she wasn‘t submissive. And as soon as he has an awakening that he hasn‘t been speaking to god, he immediately sacrifices Anna the same way instead of taking time to be be introspective even though he‘s supposed to be the educated one. 13mo
See All 9 Comments
megnews @Bookgoil @IndoorDame I didn‘t care for his character either. So many men let power go to their heads and lose sight of the real purpose. I agree it comes with being human but it‘s still frustrating when it hurts so many. 13mo
Butterfinger I didn't care for the priest at all. He was very arrogant. 13mo
Chrissyreadit @Bookgoil I think your response of false prophet is such a good one. And I think that‘s a trope as well as reflection of the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I found he was the epitome of problematic behavior. The old priest seemed to serve them well enough without conflict. @megnews @IndoorDame @Butterfinger 13mo
BarbaraJean @IndoorDame That was the point where Konstantin ceased to be sympathetic to me. I didn't like him, but could at least understand his failings/sympathize a little. But when he discovered he'd been duped by a malicious spirit and his response was to hide it and sacrifice the lives of others to preserve his pride, instead of admitting his failings and trying to make things right… there was no excuse. 13mo
BarbaraJean @megnews I think his art could have complemented his vocation, but he got too caught up in the fame it brought him (along with his charisma and his looks!). I've heard a bit about icon painting and as I understand it, it's supposed to be a very specific way of praying through the process of painting. When he gets caught up in thoughts of Vasya and discovers he's painted her features into the icon, it's clear he's not using his art as intended! 13mo
megnews @BarbaraJean I did not know that about icon painting. Great info! I agree with your view on Konstantin. 13mo
5 likes9 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
megnews I think the blame is shared and the fate inevitable once Christianity reached the region. The people I least blame are Anna. She spent her whole life being told she was crazy, not that she had a gift. She could find no solace. And Pyotr is to blame but perhaps not as much. They lived hard lives then and I think he was focused on survival rather than what was going on around him. (edited) 13mo
Bookgoil Definitely shared I think as we see in our own society if we do not come together we will fall apart. Once the blame game starts and we lose sight of community then I think the division makes everything go to pieces just as it did in this story. So basically everyone is to blame 😅 13mo
IndoorDame @Bookgoil I think that‘s a really good parallel to our society. And I like the points you and @megnews both make that at some point the fracture is inevitable, and the blame is pointless. I think Vasya saw that. She was making compromises with both the priest and the old spirits just trying to keep everything in balance just a bit longer. 13mo
See All 19 Comments
megnews @bookgoil i agree with @IndoorDame that‘s a great comparison with today‘s world. Nothing new under the Sun. 13mo
Johanna414 I feel like I really want to blame Konstantin because he was the worst, but in reality it was the while set of factors coming together to create the situation. 13mo
Butterfinger It reminds me so much of other culture clashes. How Christianity evolve by embracing pagan traditions. I don't think I answered the question, but this came to mind when reading the discussion. Communities divide because of beliefs. And there has to be something to unite the people. In this case, it was Vasya. She has to sort of braid the old to the new. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I agree with @IndoorDame ‘s perspective. 13mo
megnews @Butterfinger I understand your struggle. My take as a believer is this: at some point along the way spreading the gospel was replaced by world dominion. Whether that was by leaders of the church or governments recognizing they could more easily control the people by converting to Christianity or both, I don‘t know. What I feel I do know is that wasn‘t God‘s intention. He doesn‘t force faith on an individual level and therefore I don‘t 👇🏻 13mo
megnews 👆🏻believe he‘d force it on whole groups. Government is a human concept God didn‘t intend. (Israel begging for kings like other groups had, God‘s long time resistance.) I honestly don‘t think God cares about politics the way we do. God is looking at a bigger picture than parties and countries. I also think it was very hypocritical of the early church to condemn pagan practices while simultaneously incorporating them in order to gain more 👇🏻 13mo
megnews 👆🏻followers. 13mo
Butterfinger Exactly @megnews it boils down to power and greed, not accepting God's love and sacrifice, which has to be a personal choice. 13mo
Butterfinger I think I worded my feelings weird. I think the early church was sincere in spreading the Gospel. It wasn't till it became a government itself when it became corrupt. And the converts kept part of themselves (old traditions) and it just evolved into what we do now. I'm not saying the plan of salvation evolved, but traditions. For example, my family still follows old wives tales (superstitions) - that came from the Indigenous people. Smelling water for example. 13mo
megnews @Butterfinger this is such an interesting conversation. I believe the very early church was sincere. But it quickly went sideways in pursuit of human goals. I have a problem with the church telling people to turn aside from their practices while at the same time adopting those practices to gain followers (Christmas is a prime example of this). I think there is a lot to say for traditional practices. For example, I listen to sound baths and 👇🏻 13mo
megnews 👆🏻certain frequencies because they help with my migraines and bring a sense of calm or focus. Some people would call this paganism or new age or whatever. I look at it as God made sound and sound effects us physically (Battle of Jericho?). It‘s science, which God made. I think ultimately God is too big for humans to completely understand and He can‘t be fit in a box. I do believe in the plan of salvation. I also see how connection with 👇🏻 13mo
megnews 👆🏻nature as many old traditions do was a part of God‘s plan for us all along (Garden of Eden). I don‘t know if I‘m explaining it in an understandable way but that‘s where I‘m at. 13mo
BarbaraJean This is SUCH a great discussion! I really like @IndoorDame and @Butterfinger's comments that Vasya was that bridge between the old and new, keeping them in balance. I was frustrated with Konstantin and Anna's insistence that it had to be all or nothing—Christianity alone and the rest was dismissed as evil—so I see more blame there and definitely less on Vasya, but I agree that it‘s a combination of factors leading to the inevitable. 13mo
BarbaraJean @megnews @Butterfinger I totally agree about the hypocrisy of the church condemning traditional practices on one hand and on the other using them for human ends when convenient. As a Christian, I really believe in respecting traditional beliefs and integrating them with Christian belief as appropriate—not manipulating either set of beliefs for the sake of power and greed, as Christianity has so often done. 13mo
Butterfinger I think we're saying the same thing, just worded differently. Aren't we? 13mo
megnews @Butterfinger yes I think so. 13mo
4 likes19 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
SamanthaMarie I think since it's based off of a fairytale, fate plays a large role. Then you add in characters that play into subplots that create the chaos to make the inevitable begin and usher itself in. 13mo
megnews @SamanthaMarie agreed. I think there was an inevitable collision between the old spirits and Christianity when it came. But the choices of the king to send Konstantin, the villagers to turn their backs on the old ways, etc set them on that collision course. 13mo
SamanthaMarie @megnews That king was a 🤬 to send his sister away like that when she would have been perfectly happy in a convent. That felt really awful to me. 13mo
See All 9 Comments
megnews @SamanthaMarie yes she should have been allowed to find her peace. 13mo
IndoorDame I found the conflict between the old religion and Christianity fascinating because it made me wonder how much this is just a piece of fiction/fantasy and how much it‘s a fable retelling. I don‘t know enough about Russian fairy tales to know more than they used some real/adapted words and figures which would be true either way. BUT if it‘s a close retelling, then there‘s an actual moral being set up about one of the sets of deities. 13mo
megnews @IndoorDame I‘m in the same boat. I‘ve read lots of fairy tales but not Russian. 13mo
Johanna414 @IndoorDame I felt exactly the same! I want to read more Russian mythology so I know more of what is based on folklore and what was Arden's creation 13mo
Butterfinger You already know how I feel. I still have mixed feelings. 13mo
BarbaraJean @IndoorDame @Johanna414 Yes—the conflict between the traditional beliefs and Christianity was fascinating to me, too. I‘d be interested to know how much of it is based on Russian fairy tales, and how much it reflects conflicts between the new/old beliefs at that time...or if it was more that it served this particular plot. 13mo
5 likes9 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
megnews I felt like she was protecting Vasya which I understood as she loved her like a mother. She didn‘t think through the consequences for everyone else. 13mo
SamanthaMarie @megnews I agree. There's even that encounter between her and the winter king where she begs for one more year and he grants it because Vasya can't die. So I think she did what was right for Vasya, not knowing how poorly things would turn out for everyone else. Including herself 😭 13mo
Johanna414 It felt like a natural maternal instinct- I think I would have felt the same in her shoes. It's hard to look at the bigger picture when someone you love is in danger. 13mo
See All 9 Comments
megnews @Johanna414 I agree. I never thought about her decision to protect Vasya at the time. I don‘t think she could have imagined quite how bad the consequences would be. 13mo
MadelineMcCrae I understood why Dunya kept it for so long, but she went a little overboard when she could see obvious consequences towards the end. 13mo
Butterfinger If it was the Winter King's (Death) talisman, why did the Bear turn Donya into a vampire the second before she died? I missed something. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I did not really understand the relevance of the talisman to be honest. And I agree with @Butterfinger why Dunya was turned. 13mo
megnews @Butterfinger @Chrissyreadit there were definitely some things I felt I missed in reading this as well. The part with Donya being one. I took the talisman to be a mark of who she belonged to and that he may come for her. Not sure. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 13mo
BarbaraJean I understood the talisman as protection from the Bear but also marking Vasya as belonging to the Winter King. Dunya‘s hesitation made sense, especially in light of the folktale at the beginning of the book—she wouldn‘t want her little girl to become the Winter King‘s bride! But I agree, she didn‘t realize the amount of danger she was inviting by not giving the necklace to Vasya. I didn‘t understand Dunya being turned, either. @Butterfinger @Chrissyreadit (edited) 13mo
5 likes9 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
megnews Definitely the wicked stepmother. 13mo
SamanthaMarie @megnews I really liked that I could feel sympathy for the stepmother. That was different for me!! 13mo
megnews @SamanthaMarie I agree. I think because you see her from the beginning with her own problems and of course pushed into a situation against her will. As evil stepmothers go, she wasn‘t the worst ever. 😂 13mo
See All 19 Comments
SamanthaMarie @megnews It's the truth. I will say, by the time her death came I was like ??‍♀️ well that happens lol. ? I did like her daughter!! She was sweet and good natured. Maybe since she was a half sister and not a step sister she didn't have to play an "evil" rule 13mo
SamanthaMarie Role not rule* 13mo
megnews @SamanthaMarie I liked Irina as well. 13mo
IndoorDame I also a version of the the “fairy godmother“ trope being carried out by Dunya. She wasn‘t raised by either her mother or her stepmother, and Dunya had direct access to both folk stories and prophetic dreams. 13mo
megnews @IndoorDame absolutely. 13mo
MadelineMcCrae I think it was the stepmother trope from western fairy tales. I‘m glad Anna‘s daughter turned out sweet, but I wish they had just let Anna go to a convent in the beginning. She annoyed me and I didn‘t feel bad when she died, but I could also understand where she was coming from due to her backstory. 13mo
Butterfinger Cool! I never thought of the stepmother trope, but I see it now. And of course the vampires. Isn't that what Donya turned into? That was an awful way to die. It still sends shivers down my back. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I thought the domovoi were like brownies. 13mo
megnews @MadelineMcCrae that sums up my feelings in Anna as well. I did feel bad they didn‘t let her go to a convent. It would have been awful to be a woman then. 13mo
megnews @Butterfinger I thought she was a zombie. But I‘m not really up on vampires or zombies. 13mo
megnews @Chrissyreadit me too! 13mo
BarbaraJean @Chrissyreadit I saw that, too—the domovoi as the helpful elves/brownies around the house. At first this felt darker than traditional fairy tales but then I thought about the original versions of Cinderella, etc. & maybe it‘s similar! @megnews I agree about women‘s roles! Convent or marriage, those were the options. Vasya‘s mentions of a cage were so appropriate. I wonder how Anna would have been different if she‘d been allowed to go to a convent. 13mo
BarbaraJean I don‘t know if this is really part of traditional Western fairy tales, but the use of traditional beliefs in opposition to Christian religion was surprising for me. It‘s interesting when an author explores how older mythologies interact with Christianity. Those parts of this story were unsettling to me, but also fascinating. 13mo
megnews @BarbaraJean I agree with @IndoorDame that convent life was often so hard then and I wouldn‘t have opted for it. But I truly believed it would have been better for Anna. She always found solace from her demons when in a church. Life was hard for women then no matter what. 13mo
IndoorDame @megnews it is really sad that Anna didn‘t get to make that choice. But putting her and Vasya in mirror roles that way does underscore that none of the women had agency. It‘s interesting that we even ask ourselves what we would have chosen when we never would have been given a choice. 13mo
megnews @IndoorDame great observation!! 13mo
5 likes19 comments
blurb
megnews
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image
megnews I started getting confused with all the different spirits. I think the domovoi was the little house sprite. I like legends of these and wouldn‘t mind it. The upyry was the zombie beings I think. These I definitely wouldn‘t want to come across. (edited) 13mo
SamanthaMarie I really liked the rusalka. That was the one mermaid type spirit. I like how she said she's be an enemy but then turned "good" at the end. I wouldn't want to ever ever come across a upyry. Scary! There was also the stable one and I liked that one a lot too. 13mo
megnews @SamanthaMarie yes the stable one was similar to the house one and I liked it as well. They seemed helpful not harmful and mischievous in a fun way. 13mo
See All 16 Comments
SamanthaMarie @megnews Yes I agree!! That's kind of like how I imagine a typical sprite to be!! I love that they both help her in their own ways. And really do want to protect what they are there to protect. 13mo
IndoorDame @megnews @SamanthaMarie I was charmed by those same 2 spirits at first, but once I realized how much power they had I‘m not sure I actually want to meet any of them. She essentially made herself starve and bleed so they wouldn‘t desert the village completely. 13mo
megnews @IndoorDame this is true. 13mo
Johanna414 I think the domovoi were my favorite - the idea of them slowly losing power as people turned away from their traditional faith made me so sad 13mo
MadelineMcCrae I think I enjoyed the rusalka and domovoi the most. I‘m excited to see what other creatures Vasya meets in the next two books! 13mo
Butterfinger The domovoi reminded me of the Brownies or the elves that finished the cobbler's shoes. Helpful. I didn't like that it needed blood, but maybe European brownies do too. 13mo
Chrissyreadit I really liked the domovoi and the rusalka. I would not wish to meet the upyry. 13mo
megnews @Butterfinger they reminded me of Brownies too! 13mo
Butterfinger Megan, do you understand why I thought it was blasphemous? I really disliked the scene where the Bear or demon is in the church. I mean it turned my stomach. 13mo
megnews @Butterfinger yes, I can see that. 13mo
BarbaraJean Like @SamanthaMarie and @chrissyreadit I liked the one in the stable—the vazila—and the domovoi as well. And I‘m in agreement about the upyry! I‘d also avoid meeting the Bear. 😱 @Butterfinger The scenes with the Bear in the church/posing as the voice of God were disturbing to me, too. That type of reversal of good into evil is hard to read for me, but I felt it was effective in this story to show the depth of the Bear‘s evil to use fear/horror. 13mo
megnews @BarbaraJean that‘s such a good point about the Bear. When you think about it this is how cults are formed. People thinking they‘ve heard the voice of God and it‘s something else. 13mo
Chrissyreadit @megnews yes- that is a good point @BarbaraJean I agree that the voice of evil was able to manipulate was so important and relevant. Like any fairy tale this one is also full of important lessons. 13mo
6 likes16 comments