The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

It is a fascinating blend of history, magic and drama with religion, politics and family dynamics thrown in. Arden balances the old world's magic and the new world's religion well, and treats each seriously or at least with a sense of history. The characters have depth and personality even when they are not central focus.

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I found it to be a fascinating and enchanting read/listen; a truly epic tale of life in the north where magic and religion still live side by side. I don't know enough about the Russian fairy tales and legends to know how closely this tracks with them, but I found it engrossing and suspenseful; full of history, family life, religious conflict and fantastical folklore.

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To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

It moves from the interior thoughts and emotions of its characters to the historic events that surround them, to the interaction of people across social, cultural and language boundaries, all while sucking you into this gripping story of a fantastical expedition and its impact on both the future and the lives of a young marriage.

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