Fanya in the Underworld by Jordan Elizabeth

Fanya in the Underworld by Jordan Elizabeth
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA
Length: Full length (226 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

In an Alaska owned by Tsarist Russia, steamtech is melded with spirit magic to create a mighty machine. The elements are plentiful, but the Higher World crumbles and the local Inuit people are consumed.

When their father dies, the council denies Fanya her inheritance and sells her sister into slavery at the behest of the mysterious Zachary Finley. Fanya’s quest to protect her sister and regain what’s rightfully hers leads her from the Underworld of Stalgorod to the untamed wilds of greater Alaska.
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It isn’t just Zachary Finley who wants Fanya to suffer. Frost Witches and Sea Hags have a thirst for her, and Saints have decided she’s perfect to become their tool.

Magic flows through Fanya and it is ready for her to battle against industry for the fate of enslaved souls.

This is set in a parallel universe where the Russians still own Alaska. Fanya and her sister flee the city when their stepmother inherits instead of Fanya and the woman begins to sell off everything including her stepdaughters. Out in the snowy wastes are the Unganan. Fanya’s mother was Unganan and her family have kept her maternal grandmother hidden in the attic for many years.

This was an unusual book, set in the snow covered land of Russian Alaska. Fanya is a feisty young woman, determined to recover her inheritance, but also curious about her mother’s people. I found the Unganan people who call themselves Aleut, very down to earth and they reminded me of the Inuit people. The book began by calling the people Unangan then it changed when Fanya escaped to the wild. Very confusing. On the whole the story was interesting with danger and fantasy woven in.

The Saint who helps Fanya talks to her in her mind which I found fascinating, although I felt Fanya relied on her advice too much. I also liked the introduction of Rasputin. I’ve read several stories about this man and feel he was very much a part of the Russia Fanya lived in. There is also a love interest but I won’t spoil the story by saying any more about this.

Nice story, lots of interest, movement, danger and magic.

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