“Powerful…a richly imaginative tour de force.” —Locus
Until Cloud is twelve years old, she is a neglected bear cub wandering the town ruled by King Rumble. Cloud’s unexpected transformation into a human girl, with no memory of what came before, enrages Rumble, and she is forced to flee from his malevolent wizard. Her only hope of survival is a terrifying quest to free the spirits of her dead brothers.
Cloud’s journey will take her deep into spirit lands, where animals become people, people become monsters, and mortals are as easily trapped by their desires as by their fears. There she learns that her survival, her quest, and even the balance of the world depend upon whether she can reclaim her lost bear self.
A Crawford Award Finalist
Locus Award Shortlist, Best First Novel
Read ➵a sample chapter.
Available December 6, 2016, as an ebook from ➵Book View Café and other retail outlets.
Praise for Bear Daughter:
“Richly blending mythology and folktale, Berman catapults readers into a fantastic world of shamanic wars, talking animals, and immortal beings of frightening power and awesome beauty….Berman’s imagination seems to know no bounds….This utterly absorbing, unforgettable first novel announces a truly original and unique voice in fantasy.” —Booklist *Starred Review*
“An extraordinary novel…draws readers in and holds them captivated until the end.” —Green Man Review
“Full of magic and mystery, rich with shapeshifting, mysterious prophecies, powerful wizards, and physical danger, Bear Daughter fulfills all the requirements of a great quest fantasy with true originality and heart…A fully realized world of gritty realism and powerful myth, unlike anywhere I’ve visited before!” —Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint and Thomas the Rhymer
“A brilliant book, tapping into the roots of primal myths…Good and evil cede significance to the true nature of living things and the vital importance of respect. Characters are multifaceted and flawed, and the lyrical prose…describes great beauties as well as chilling horrors.” —VOYA
“Berman’s landscape with bones of myth is utterly convincing…. the profusion of scents and sensations can be almost miraculously powerful.” —Vector
“A wonderful, fully realized heroine…a great adventure, gorgeous and gory, treacherous and exciting, rich with texture and nuance.” —Gregory Frost, author of Fitcher’s Brides
“A stunning debut novel.” —New York Review of Science Fiction
“[A] spellbinding tale…one to keep on the shelf and read again and again.” —Broad Universe
“Berman balances the story’s mythology with convincing emotional subtext….With its sympathetic young heroine and density of action, this richly re-imagined folk tale may straddle young adult and adult audiences.” —Publishers Weekly
“If you have long awaited the next book from Ursula K. Le Guin…or Mary Doria Russell…—that satisfying mix of the anthropological perspective turned to fantasy writing—you need wait no longer. Judith Berman’s first novel, Bear Daughter, belongs in this lofty company….[T]he reader journeys into a world made so real, mystical, and profound, that the experience is not unlike reading such well-wrought classics as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia….A tale filled with shape-shifting, human dealings with immortals, shamanic journeys, and human follies, Bear Daughter is…an adventurous page-turner and a well-wrought story that the storytellers of old would have been proud to tell. There’s just one caveat: don’t pick this book up unless you’re ready to leave everything else in your life undone until you finish it.” —Expedition
“From the very first sentence, when Cloud changes from a bear to a girl, this novel sets off for lands you’ve never been to and adventures like no others you’ve ever read. Bear Daughter is a book people will be talking about for some time.” —James Patrick Kelly, author of Burn
An evocative coming-of-age fantasy….Cloud encounters magic and breathtaking beauty as well as terror and brutality, and the reader stays with her every step of her long and arduous journey. Berman draws in the reader with a compelling story and an appealing heroine….An essential YA purchase. —Kliatt
“Filled with mythical wonders and a deep sense of compassion, Bear Daughter is a highly original and rewarding fantasy novel.” —Interzone
“From the moment Cloud wakes up without her bear spirit mask and becomes her mother’s human daughter, I knew I’d stepped outside the bounds of conventional fantasy.” —Black Gate
“Bear Daughter is more than a coming–of–age story, it’s a meditation on such eternal concerns as the nature of power, courage, and [the] dark side of love. I recommend this one highly.” —Terri Windling, The Endicott Studio