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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    Great story telling!

    I enjoyed this fairy tale of a story. I did have a difficult time really getting into the story and I am not entirely sure why. Once I became hooked on the story, I couldn't find out what would happen next fast enough. It was at times a slow moving story even though things always seemed to be happening. The descriptions in the story were incredibly vivid. This was the kind of story that will stay with me for some time. I have seen some descriptions of this story that indicate that this is a re-telling of an old story. I am honestly not well versed in Russian folklore so this story is completely new to me but the underlying fairy tale feel was present throughout the novel. This was a story filled with magic, bravery, and things unexpected. I didn't even have a guess regarding what would eventually happen in this story and it was exciting to watch things unfold. The story focuses on Vasilisa, or Vasya. Vasya's mother died shortly after her birth so she spends the early years of her life being raised by her father and her nurse along with her sister and three brothers. Vasya is a bit of a wild child spending most of her time in the woods and speaking with the local spirits. Eventually, her father does decide to marry again and comes back from Moscow with a new wife. Vasya's new step-mother is also able to see the local spirits but instead of embracing this skill she fears it and wants the spirits to leave. I liked Vasya a lot. She was brave throughout the story even when it caused things to be difficult in her life. She always seemed to think about the welfare of others. She trys to honor her families wishes even when she knows that it will cause her tolose the ability to do the things that bring her joy. I really enjoyed all of the characters in this story. Vasya's father tried hard to make the best decisions for her and he did care deeply for her. Her brothers were all very different but they all cared for and supported Vasya in their own way. Her step-mother and the priest were not nearly as likeable but they did add a new element to the story. I would recommend this book to others. It is such a captivating story told in a wonderful manner. The story is highly imaginative and filled with details that bring it to life. I believe that this is the first book of a planned trilogy and I can't wait to read more of this incredible tale. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Del Ray via NetGalley.

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