Reviews for Vasilisa the Terrible: A Baba Yaga Story.
“Beautifully Bewitching. I enjoyed this dark fairy tale immensely. It’s a fast-paced, captivating tale and the writing is exquisite. I’ll definitely be looking for more work from this author. Highly recommended!”
“Got Me Hooked. I am a big fan of the sci-fi/fantasy genre. This was my first introduction to the witchcraft sub-genre and it really whets your appetite for more. It’s a true-to-form dark fairy tale. The author takes you into world where a single sinister force can wreck havoc on community and sews seeds of evil in the best intentioned people. The best stuff gets saved for last and that got me hooked. I’m glad that I picked this one up and I am looking forward to the next one.”
“An Intriguing Twist to Vasilisa. This is a very original telling of an old fairy tale. I enjoyed the author’s twist to the characters and the ending was completely surprising. Ms Taylor is an extremely talented writer and I look forward to reading more of her works.”
“A Fascinating Subversion of a Fairy Tale. Vasilisa the Terrible is a postmodern fairy tale well worth reading. It “subverts” the Russian legend of Baba Yaga, a figure with whom I was familiar only through the movement, “The Hut on Hen’s Legs” in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. This story “subverts” the legend of Baba Yaga by portraying her as an innocent old woman. The villain is a beautiful teenage girl, Vasilisa, who charms her psychopathic, evil self into people’s hearts while doing acts of unspeakable evil. She is a manipulative creature who blames witches for misfortunes falling on the village where she lives. Eventually Baba Yaga becomes the innocent victim and Vasilisa the evil accuser.
The story starts slowly and picks up the pace as it continues. Two-thirds of the way through, I was enthralled. The story is like a witch’s spell drawing the reader in. At first the story seems like a simple fairy tale for children. But it uses big words such as “exsanguination,” which are not usually found in a children’s tale. The story is set in the late seventeenth century, but a character refers to the “gene pool” at a time before genes were discovered. This playing with anachronisms is not unusual in postmodern literature (and in some television shows such as “Xena”). It also adds to the “fairy tale” feeling of the story.
Near the end of the story I couldn’t wait to turn the page. The ending is… interesting—I’ll leave it at that. The themes of looking beyond beauty and homeliness to a person’s character, of being careful about passing judgment, and of avoiding being part of a mob that destroys the innocent, are universal. This story is a short read and a good one. I highly recommend this story for both young adult and adult readers.”
“I Felt Immersed in the Story. I greatly enjoyed this novella and look forward to future works in this series. Thank you for sharing this interpretation.”
“I enjoy this clever re-imaging of the traditional Vasilisa fairy tale. Well written and immediately draws you into the story, with no lag in momentum!”