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Katherine Arden

Author of The Bear and the Nightingale

13+ Works 10,015 Members 608 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

Katherine Arden is an American writer, born in Austin, Texas. She graduated from Middlebury College in 2011 with degrees in French and Russian. Before becoming a writer, she worked on a farm in Hawaii and as a teaching assistant at a boarding school in the French Alps. Her first book was published show more in 2017, The Bear and the Nightingale. Her other books include The Girl in the Tower, The Winter of the Witch, and Small Spaces. show less

Includes the name: Arden Katherine


Works by Katherine Arden

Associated Works

Twice Cursed: An Anthology (2023) — Contributor — 50 copies


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Common Knowledge

Other names
Burdine, Katherine Arden
Austin, Texas, USA
Places of residence
Moscow, Russia
Vermont, USA
French Alps
Middlebury College
teaching assistant
Paul Lucas
Short biography
Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France.

Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrolment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature.

After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crêpes to serving as a personal tour guide. After a year on the island, she moved to Briançon, France, and spent nine months teaching. She then returned to Maui, stayed for nearly a year, then left again to wander. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.

She is the author of The Bear and the Nightingale.



A young Canadian nurse, wounded out of WWI service and orphaned by the explosion in Halifax harbor, relieves her brother's effects. Because two tags are returned and he is reported missing, she knows that information is being withheld. Her brother is experiencing the entire hell of war and then some, as we follow his viewpoint in tandem. The grim toll of war saturates this book, so it is the characters and their involvement that provide motive through the chapters of this Tam-Lin adjacent story. A new dark mythos for the dark age ushered in by mass warfare.… (more)
quondame | 12 other reviews | Apr 15, 2024 |
This was really good! I have been a huge fan of Katherine Arden’s work since I first read her work so I was excited to read this book. This book was very different than her previous work and I love the versatility of her writing. This book was the perfect blend of historical fiction and magic which I found captivating.

This story is set during World War I and is told from two main points of view, Laura and her brother Freddie. Laura worked as a nurse during the war until she was discharged after being wounded. When she receives a package containing her brother’s personal items, she fears that he has lost his life fighting the war. Months earlier, Freddie finds himself in a terrible situation and things look grim. Things become even more interesting when both siblings encounter a mysterious stranger.

Michael Crouch and January LaVoy did a wonderful job with the narration of this book. I have had a lot of luck with both of these narrators in the past and I thought their voices complimented each other’s nicely. They were both able to bring their characters to life by bringing just the right amount of emotion to their reading. I am certain that their narration added to my overall enjoyment of this book.

I would recommend this book to others. I quickly became attached to this wonderful cast of characters and wanted to see things work out for each one of them. I look forward to reading more of this talented author’s work in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Del Rey and Penguin Random House Audio.
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Carolesrandomlife | 12 other reviews | Mar 25, 2024 |
I was convinced after the first few pages that this book would be slow-moving and nothing that really moved me emotionally. How wrong I was! The pace never did pick up all, but wow. This was a masterful look at the horrors of World War I, not to mention the "Blizzard of Glass" with the Halifax ship collision. The supernatural elements added a layer of otherworldliness that ties in with the surrealism that comes from people killing each other under the banner of war. I tried explaining this to my family after I finished reading, but I don't think I did it justice. This is a book to be experienced, not to hear about in conversation or in a book review online. I can only encourage others to read it too.… (more)
bookwyrmqueen | 12 other reviews | Mar 23, 2024 |
The Warm Hand of Ghosts is a historical novel with a touch of magical realism about the awful war in the fields of Flanders where death, not poppies, was the only harvest. In the book, two narratives dance back and forth but never come together until near the end. When that happens the pace becomes faster and more frenetic.

Laura Iven is working at an emergency hospital treating the 9000 wounded in the great Halifax explosion that also killed both her parents and flattened her home. She receives word that her brother is missing, presumed dead, but his belongings included a note sewn into his jacket from a man pledging to take care of him. She travels back to Belgium with a nursing hero who had been fundraising in Halifax and a woman who lost her husband and son in the war looking to find her son.

The second narrative focuses on Freddie whose story begins after he has been buried by a German pillbox, trapped with a German soldier. They keep each other going while they hope for a miracle while slowly dying of thirst while laying in water contaminated by death and war. Another explosion gives them a chance to escape and again, they save each other even from their fellow soldiers.

Freddie is looking for Laura and Laura is looking for Freddie and you might think they would find each other more quickly as they both find the same man who haunts the battlefield offering drinks and music and a chance to look into a magic mirror. But then is that man real?

The Warm Hands of Ghosts is an intriguing book. The very real horror of war is brought home again and again. The pain, the grief, the testing of one’s courage are so very real. Then there is the magical element. Laura is haunted by ghosts and though she refuses to admit that or take them seriously, they are trying to help her. There is also the vampiric fiddler who feasts on memories, not blood. I guess there is enough blood on the battlefield to glut a vampire who must then seek a more difficult sustenance.

I enjoyed it most of the time though I thought the last bit in Belgium was a bit fast and unlikely, but hey, there are ghosts, so just go with it.

The Warm Hand of Ghosts at Del Rey | Penguin Random House
Katherine Arden

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Tonstant.Weader | 12 other reviews | Mar 11, 2024 |


2010s (4)


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