Read: 3 March, 2018
When I started dating a young Russian gent, I started dating his culture, too. I got into Russian music, I started reading Russian fiction, I started collecting bits and bobs of Russian folkart. And my poor, dear, Russian beau, who fled the USSR and would really rather put the whole Russian thing behind them, tolerantly humours me.
All this is just to say that The Bear and the Nightingale is right up my alley.
The writings style has something of a fairy tale flavour to it, which tends to keep a bit of distance between reader and character. This took some getting used to, after the intensely intimate books I’ve been reading recently. But it fit the tone of the story perfectly.
I loved how rich the world feels – at once historical and magical, fantastical and plausible. I also loved Vasya, is was such a charmingly wild thing, without it coming off like it the narrative was trying to hard.
Learn from my fail: There is a glossary at the back for the Russian terms used in the book. You don’t actually have to keep bugging your spouse with questions. Though you certainly can, if you want to.