In this episode, we talk about the first two books in Katherine Arden's Winternight Trilogy: The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower. The third book, The Winter of the Witch, was out in January. We don't include that one in our discussion because we didn't want to risk spoiling anything with it being so new.
Speaking of spoilers: we really did our best to keep this discussion as spoiler-free as possible. We do talk a lot about the themes (and we discuss a couple plot points without giving any significant details as to the "when" or the "how".) We really wanted to give you a conversation you can safely enjoy without having read the book—and without spoiling it in case you decide to.
Here is the back-cover description of the first book:
"Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil.
"Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.
"But Vasya’s stepmother only grows harsher, determined to remake the village to her liking and to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or a convent. As the village’s defenses weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has long concealed—to protect her family from a threat sprung to life from her nurse’s most frightening tales."
Follow us on Instagram! When we hit 1K followers, we'll be doing a very fun giveaway. You won't want to miss out! We're getting close, so help us get there.
Be sure to check out more of Katherine Arden's wonderful work