“Maybe belonging to someone was the key of life, the key to happiness, even if it did not last forever.”
The Witch and the Tsar is an epic tale of Baba Yaga and her battle against Ivan the Terrible for the heart of Russia. Yaga is the daughter of goddess Mokosh and lives in her house on chicken legs helping heal the sick and birth the newest little Russians. When she meets Anastasia, Ivan’s wife she is enamored with her and is drawn into the royal family’s web of drama. From there she does what all immortals seem to do in stories like these, she meddles. But she quickly realizes she may not be the only god meddling in the human affairs of Russia. We all know what happens in Russia’s history but what do we know about the magical hands that guided that history?
The beginning of this one drew me in right away. I love the weaving of mythology and real history. Yaga was a great protagonist who really weighed out the morality of all of her decisions in such a human way. I did think the book was overly long and I got a bit bored in the middle. If you like repeated war battles, you may not feel the same. It picked up again in the end though.
Thanks to Ace for access to this novel via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.
What are you reading today?