‘Frost-demons have no interest in mortal girls wed to mortal men. In the stories, they only come for the wild maiden.’
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, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.
But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods…
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.
10 Random Things about The Bear and the Nightingale
1. I didn’t know I wanted to be a novelist until I had become one—when I was in college I wanted to be a diplomat. When I started writing my book, out on that farm in Hawaii, it was strictly for my own entertainment. I was several months into writing BEAR before I seriously entertained the idea of trying to find a publisher.
2. I started BEAR with only the first scene in mind. The rest emerged as I wrote. And rewrote. Rewrote a lot.
3. The finished novel is actually only the first half of my original book. There was a second half. Actual historical Amazons were involved. My editor had me chop the book in half and expand the first half. One day I may post the old other half on my website, like a weird sort of fanfic.
4. I wrote a hefty chunk of The Bear and the Nightingale sitting or lying on a beach. My old notebooks have sand in them to this day.
5. In early drafts, my MC had thirteen siblings
6. Of these thirteen siblings, the majority had names that began with V. There was Vasya of course. and Vadim, Vladimir, and Vanya and Vsevelod…I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea.
7. This is not specific to BEAR but I can’t eat while I’m writing. It ruins my concentration. Since I write most days, lunch is just not a thing. I am a very big fan of dinner.
8. I got my heroine Vasilisa from a real person. After I graduated college, I moved to Hawaii to work on a farm. There was a Russian family on the farm next to us. They had a daughter named Vasilisa. She was about five, had green eyes, and the wildest, most winning personality. She became the model for my heroine.
9. I always knew, ever since reading The Hero and the Crown, that if I ever wrote a book, it would have a magic (or at least special) horse in it. I kept that promise to my younger self.
10. I translated the Pushkin epigraph in the front of my book myself. I was a Russian major in college, and wrote a thesis on 20th century Russian poets.