Middle Grade Fantasy

Vasilisa

By

This book will launch on Apr 13, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Loved it! 😍

An unforgettable journey into the deep mysteries of Old Russian mythology.

Vasilisa is a tale of love, revenge, mystery, and high adventure. The story begins in a small town in America, where the heroine of the tale, Vasilisa, faces tragedy and mysteries. Friendships are tested as a dark and deadly evil begins to stir, drawing Vasilisa into a web of intrigue. Soon discovering that real life isn't so different from the old Russian legends her grandmother speaks of, Vasilisa and her companions strive to defeat evil and save lives, before it's all too late.

I love world mythology, and Vasilisa offers a brilliant glimpse into ancient Russian legend. The research was well done, and the story was so engrossing that I pulled an all-nighter to read the book. The book pulls the reader into a rich otherworldly realm, where the line between what we see as reality blurs into the world of myth and legend.

The characters were memorable, and I liked that Vasilisa's grandmother was an important supporting character. I liked the Russian mythology, such as Leshy, guardian of the forest, and the indispensible Baba Yaga. I found Vasilisa's mother to be too much of a waif, but the other characters were real- people I could meet in my own small town.

The main characters seemed a little older than the author said, and since there is such a strong romantic narrative, I would have preferred them older. 16 would have been fine; that's legal in most states. There are a few narrative hiccups, like abandoning someone in need and forgetting a special item in the endgame. But what sticks out to me most is the treatment of the rusalkas. According to post-1880s research, the rusalkas were totally accurate. However, since this book is about old Russian legends, I have to address this issue. The grandmother would have been telling pre-1880s legends to her granddaughter, and prior to 1880, rusalkas were seen as good creatures who were forces of judgement. After the international cultural revisions of the 1880s, rusalkas, along with gnomes, mavkas, kelpies, and yes, even fairies, were all seen as evil creatures who liked to destroy humans. But in the context of Old Rus, the rusalkas would have been a little different.

That said, Vasilisa is an intriguing narrative with a strong message of friendship, love, and overcoming evil. Great for ages 12 and up, Vasilisa is a priceless glimpse into the rich world of Russian mythology.


Reviewed by

Hello! I am Dakota Love, and I am an indie author, blogger, and book reviewer. I have published over forty indie titles, including "The Allies: Family and Friends", "The Guardian of Freedom", and "Coyote Stories: Legends of a Manitou." I love nothing better than to discover new stories.

Willow End

About the author

Julie Mathison is the author of historical, fantasy and mystery books for children of all ages. "Books not boxes" is the motto of her imprint, Starr Creek Press, founded on the belief that a good book should transcend genre and be enjoyable at any age. Visit her at http://www.juliemathison.com. view profile

Published on February 23, 2021

80000 words

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Reviewed by