It’s been over a month, and I still dream of the sky. It was all fire and bruising purples, peachy pinks and electric blues. It was the deepest navy pinpricked with the shiniest stars. It was never-ending shards of multi-coloured light severing through the dark. It was glittering fireworks, and it was a sun so bright it burned the tops of my ears purple and my scalp a furious red. It was a sky speckled with tight-rope walkers and flying trapeze artists. It was a sky filled with dust that whipped into eyes and flags streaming in the breeze and a ferris wheel with rickety seats. It was confetti and it was the moon. And it was butterflies, so delicate and quiet in the middle of all the chaos and noise.
It was, most of all, a sky of magic.
The weather for the last week here has been beautiful – sunny and warm, the air filled with bumbling bees and dancing butterflies, the ground bubbling with bluebells. When it has rained, it’s been a gentle rain of blossom trickling to the earth.
And every chance I could snatch throughout the week I was outside in the garden clutching my copy of The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden, being transported to the wilds of northen Russia.
The story follows Vasya as she tries to keep her community safe from forces they themselves have awakened after they abandon the old folktales and instead rely on the fearmongering of an ambitious, beguiling priest.
The story brims with creatures and magic – it had me keeping an eye out for Domovoi in the kitchen just how The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe had me checking the back of my wardrobe (plus pretty much any cupboard in the house, just to be sure) for another world.
I absolutely loved it. It’s enchanting, beautifully written, and the creatures and characters – especially Vasya – come alive on the page.
I didn’t really want it to end, so I’m very happy to hear that it’s the first book of a series.
Happy reading and happy Easter!