Looking for recs for the most escapist books you can think of; like reading The Neverending Story or the Narnia books but for grownups
Book mentions in this thread
Daughter of the Empire
by Raymond E. FeistAn epic tale of adventure and intrigue, Daughter of the Empire is fantasy of the highest order by two of the most talented writers in the field today. Magic and murder engulf the realm of Kelewan. Fierce warlords ignite a bitter blood feud to enslave the empire of Tsuranuanni. While in the opulent Imperial courts, assassins and spy-master plot cunning and devious intrigues against the rightful heir. Now Mara, a young, untested Ruling lady, is called upon to lead her people in a heroic struggle for survival. But first she must rally an army of rebel warriors, form a pact with the alien cho-ja, and marry the son of a hated enemy. Only then can Mara face her most dangerous foe of all—in his own impregnable stronghold.
The Starless Sea
by Erin MorgensternFrom the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea. Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
The City We Became
by N. K. Jemisin"A glorious fantasy."--Neil Gaiman Three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City. In Manhattan, a young grad student gets off the train and realizes he doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can sense the beating heart of the city, see its history, and feel its power. In the Bronx, a Lenape gallery director discovers strange graffiti scattered throughout the city, so beautiful and powerful it's as if the paint is literally calling to her. In Brooklyn, a politician and mother finds she can hear the songs of her city, pulsing to the beat of her Louboutin heels. And they're not the only ones. Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six.For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out: The Inheritance TrilogyThe Hundred Thousand KingdomsThe Broken KingdomsThe Kingdom of Gods The Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition)Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych (e-only short fiction)The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella) Dreamblood DuologyThe Killing MoonThe Shadowed Sun The Dreamblood Duology (omnibus) The Broken EarthThe Fifth SeasonThe Obelisk GateThe Stone Sky How Long 'til Black Future Month? (short story collection)
This Is How You Lose the Time War
by Amal El-MohtarHUGO AWARD WINNER: BEST NOVELLA NEBULA AND LOCUS AWARDS WINNER: BEST NOVELLA “[An] exquisitely crafted tale...Part epistolary romance, part mind-blowing science fiction adventure, this dazzling story unfolds bit by bit, revealing layers of meaning as it plays with cause and effect, wildly imaginative technologies, and increasingly intricate wordplay...This short novel warrants multiple readings to fully unlock its complexities.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review). From award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone comes an enthralling, romantic novel spanning time and space about two time-traveling rivals who fall in love and must change the past to ensure their future. Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandment finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, becomes something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future. Except the discovery of their bond would mean the death of each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win. That’s how war works, right? Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.
Thomas the Rhymer
by Ellen KushnerAward-winning author and radio personality Ellen Kushner’s inspired retelling of an ancient legend weaves myth and magic into a vivid contemporary novel about the mysteries of the human heart. Brimming with ballads, riddles, and magical transformations, here is the timeless tale of a charismatic bard whose talents earn him a two-edged otherworldly gift. A minstrel lives by his words, his tunes, and sometimes by his lies. But when the bold and gifted young Thomas the Rhymer awakens the desire of the powerful Queen of Elfland, he finds that words are not enough to keep him from his fate. As the Queen sweeps him far from the people he has known and loved into her realm of magic, opulence—and captivity—he learns at last what it is to be truly human. When he returns to his home with the Queen’s parting gift, his great task will be to seek out the girl he loved and wronged, and offer her at last the tongue that cannot lie. From the Paperback edition.
by Neil GaimanYoung Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing, not even a fallen star, is what he imagined. From #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a remarkable quest into the dark and miraculous—in pursuit of love and the utterly impossible.
by James HiltonThis carefully crafted ebook: "LOST HORIZON - The Legend of Shangri-La" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents: Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, and particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia - a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. In the novel, Hugh Conway, a veteran member of the British diplomatic service, finds inner peace, love, and a sense of purpose in Shangri-La, whose inhabitants enjoy unheard-of longevity. Among the book's themes is an allusion to the possibility of another cataclysmic world war brewing. It is said to have been inspired at least in part by accounts of travels in Tibetan borderlands, published in National Geographic by the explorer and botanist Joseph Rock. The remote communities he visited, such as Muli, show many similarities to the fictional Shangri-La. James Hilton (1900-1954) was an English novelist and Hollywood screenplayer best remembered for his best-sellers Lost Horizon and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. --Provided by publisher.
Gideon the Ninth
by Tamsyn MuirGideon the Ninth is the first book in the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Locked Tomb Trilogy, and one of the Best Books of 2019 according to NPR, the New York Public Library, Amazon, BookPage, Shelf Awareness, BookRiot, and Bustle! WINNER of the 2020 Locus Award and Crawford Award Finalist for the 2020 Hugo, Nebula, Dragon, and World Fantasy Awards “Unlike anything I’ve ever read. ” —V.E. Schwab “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!” —Charles Stross “Deft, tense and atmospheric, compellingly immersive and wildly original.” —The New York Times The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense. Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy. Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead. THE LOCKED TOMB TRILOGY BOOK 1: Gideon the Ninth BOOK 2: Harrow the Ninth BOOK 3: Alecto the Ninth At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
His Dark Materials
by Philip PullmanThe extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller hailed as one of the best books of all time, is now the basis for an HBO original series beginning in Fall 2019, starring Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. An Entertainment Weekly "All-Time Greatest Novel" A Newsweek "Top 100 Book of All Time" Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach. A war is brewing in Lyra's world--a battle between those who would keep people in ignorance and those who are willing to fight for true freedom. Lyra is thrust into the middle of the conflict when her uncle Asriel comes to Oxford, fomenting rebellion, and when her best friend, Roger, suddenly disappears. Lyra learns that Roger was kidnapped by a shadowy organization that steals children and, it is rumored, experiments on them. To find him, she will travel to the cold, far North, where armored bears and witch clans rule . . . and where her uncle Asriel is attempting to build a bridge to a parallel world. What Lyra doesn't know, mustn't know, is that her actions will have consequences not just in her world, but in all the worlds beyond. A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman's award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which continues with The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
by Susanna ClarkeIn the Hugo-award winning, epic New York Times Bestseller and basis for the BBC miniseries, two men change England's history when they bring magic back into the world. In the midst of the Napoleonic Wars in 1806, most people believe magic to have long since disappeared from England - until the reclusive Mr. Norrell reveals his powers and becomes an overnight celebrity. Another practicing magician then emerges: the young and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's pupil, and the two join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wild, most perilous forms of magic, and he soon risks sacrificing his partnership with Norrell and everything else he holds dear. Susanna Clarke's brilliant first novel is an utterly compelling epic tale of nineteenth-century England and the two magicians who, first as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
by TJ KluneA NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER! A 2021 Alex Award winner! The 2021 RUSA Reading List: Fantasy Winner! An Indie Next Pick! One of Publishers Weekly's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2020" One of Book Riot’s “20 Must-Read Feel-Good Fantasies” Lambda Literary Award-winning author TJ Klune’s bestselling, breakout contemporary fantasy that's "1984 meets The Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in." (Gail Carriger) Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He's tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light. The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. "1984 meets The Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in." —Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of Soulless At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Muse of Nightmares
by Laini TaylorThe highly anticipated, thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer, from National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise.She was wrong. In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep. Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice--save the woman he loves, or everyone else?--while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of. As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead? Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.
by Kate RaworthEconomics is the mother tongue of public policy. It dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges that define our times. Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike. That's why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design. Named after the now-iconic "doughnut" image that Raworth first drew to depict a sweet spot of human prosperity (an image that appealed to the Occupy Movement, the United Nations, eco-activists, and business leaders alike), Doughnut Economics offers a radically new compass for guiding global development, government policy, and corporate strategy, and sets new standards for what economic success looks like. Raworth handpicks the best emergent ideas--from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science--to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow? Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.
The Glass Hotel
by Emily St. John MandelFrom the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it. Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on an island in British Columbia. Jonathan Alkaitis works in finance and owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it's the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent's half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: "Why don't you swallow broken glass." Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship. Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of northern Vancouver Island, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.
by Austin Tappan WrightAustin Tappan Wright left the world a wholly unsuspected legacy. After he died in a tragic accident, among this distinguished legal scholar's papers were found thousands of pages devoted to a staggering feat of literary creation-a detailed history of an imagined country complete with geography, genealogy, literature, language and culture. As detailed as J.R.R. Tolkien's middle-earth novels, Islandia has similarly become a classic touchstone for those concerned with the creation of imaginary world.
by Neal StephensonOne of Time’s 100 best English-language novels • A mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous, you’ll recognize it immediately Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Praise for Snow Crash “[Snow Crash is] a cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole.”—The San Francisco Bay Guardian “Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the twenty-first century.”—William Gibson “Brilliantly realized . . . Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow.”—The New York Times Book Review
by Anne McCaffrey“No dragons, but [Crystal Singer] has all of [Anne] McCaffrey's gifts for world-building and characterization . . . an excellent book.”—Chicago Sun-Times Her name was Killashandra Ree; and after ten grueling years of musical training she was young, beautiful—and still without prospects. Then she heard of the mysterious Heptite Guild on the planet Ballybran, where the fabled Black Crystal was found. For those qualified, the Guild was said to provide careers, security, and the chance for wealth beyond imagining. The problem was, few people who landed on Ballybran ever left. To Killashandra the risks were acceptable . . .
His Dark Materials 3-Book Paperback Boxed Set
by Philip PullmanLyra Belacqua tries to prevent kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments, helps Will Parry search for his father, and finds that she and Will are caught in a battle between the forces of the Authority and those gathered by her uncle, Lord Asriel.
Arcadia (Faber Drama)
by Tom StoppardArcadia is a brilliantly inventive play that moves back and forth between centuries, populated by a varied and vastly entertaining cast of characters who discuss such topics as the nature of truth and time, the difference between the classical and the romantic temperament, and the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life-according to the author, "the attraction which Newton left out.
A Winter's Promise
by Christelle DabosAmazon Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book of 2018 One of Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best YA Books of 2018 One of Publishers Weekly's Best YA Book of the Year A National Indie Bestseller Longlisted for Irish YA prize Great Reads Award Lose yourself in the fantastic world of the arks and in the company of unforgettable characters in this French runaway hit, Christelle Dabos' The Mirror Visitor quartet. Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima and, what's more, she possesses the ability to travel through mirrors, a skill passed down to her from previous generations. Her idyllic life is disrupted, however, when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, a taciturn and influential member of a distant clan. Ophelia must leave all she knows behind and follow her fiancé to Citaceleste, the capital of a cold, icy ark known as the Pole, where danger lurks around every corner and nobody can be trusted. There, in the presence of her inscrutable future husband, Ophelia slowly realizes that she is a pawn in a political game that will have far-reaching ramifications not only for her but for her entire world. The World of the Arks Long ago, following a cataclysm called the Rupture, the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands, now known as arks. Over each, the spirit of an omnipotent and immortal ancestor abides. The inhabitants of these arks each possess a unique power. Ophelia, with her ability to read the pasts of objects, must navigate this fantastic, disjointed, perilous world using her trademark tenacity and quiet strength. An unforgettable heroine, a rich and bountiful universe, intrigue and suspense: A Winter's Promise is perfect for readers of Margaret Rogerson's An Enchantment of Ravens, Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood, V.E. Schwab's "Shades of Magic" series, Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone, Kenneth Oppel's "Airborne" series, and N.K. Jemisin "Broken Earth" series. Extract: I think we could have all lived happily, in a way, God, me and the others, if it weren't for that accursed book. It disgusted me. I knew what bound me to it in the most sickening of ways, but the horror of that particular knowledge came later, much later. I didn't understand straight away, I was too ignorant.
The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss'This is a magnificent book' Anne McCaffrey 'I was reminded of Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkein, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone' THE TIMES 'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me' So begins the tale of Kvothe - currently known as Kote, the unassuming innkeepter - from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, through his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe the notorious magician, the accomplished thief, the masterful musician, the dragon-slayer, the legend-hunter, the lover, the thief and the infamous assassin.
Ninth House (Alex Stern)
by Leigh BardugoThe mesmerizing adult debut from Leigh Bardugo, a tale of power, privilege, dark magic, and murder set among the Ivy League elite Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her? Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.
by Richard AdamsWINNER of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Now a Netflix animated miniseries starring James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, and Oscar and Grammy award-winner Sir Ben Kingsley. A worldwide bestseller for more than forty years, Watership Down is the compelling tale of a band of wild rabbits struggling to hold onto their place in the world—“a classic yarn of discovery and struggle” (The New York Times). Richard Adams’s Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in the Hampshire Downs in Southern England, an idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of “suspense, hot pursuit, and derring-do” (Chicago Tribune) follows a band of rabbits in flight from the incursion of man and the destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they travel forth from their native Sandleford warren through harrowing trials to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society. “A marvelous story of rebellion, exile, and survival” (Sunday Telegraph) this is an unforgettable literary classic for all ages.
The Baron in the Trees
by Italo CalvinoCosimo di Rondó, a young Italian nobleman of the eighteenth century, rebels against his parents by climbing into the trees and remaining there for the rest of his life. He adapts efficiently to an existence in the forest canopy—he hunts, sows crops, plays games with earth-bound friends, fights forest fires, solves engineering problems, and even manages to have love affairs. From his perch in the trees, Cosimo sees the Age of Enlightenment pass by and a new century dawn.
The Bear and the Nightingale
by Katherine ArdenKatherine Arden’s bestselling debut novel spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice. “A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.”—Naomi Novik, bestselling author of Uprooted 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. Praise for The Bear and the Nightingale “Arden’s debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical.”—The Washington Post “Vasya [is] a clever, stalwart girl determined to forge her own path in a time when women had few choices.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family.”—Booklist (starred review) “An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic.”—Robin Hobb