Fantasy Winner: The Bear and the Nightingale

Combining fantasy and Russian folklore, Katherine Arden’s impressive debut novel has been described by listeners as “haunting,” “unusual,” and “unique.” Listening to the novel is reminiscent of listening to a classic fairy tale. With a strong heroine who defies gender roles, a rich, evocative setting, and an authentic performance by Kathleen Gati (who deftly navigates the many Russian names and accents throughout the story), we can’t wait to see where this series and its promising young author go. The best fantasy allows us to explore new worlds, and The Bear and the Nightingale offered one of the most captivating journeys for listeners this year. —Sam, Audible Editor