Skull and Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga

Skull and Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga by Kate Wolford (Editor)
Publisher: World Weaver Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (193 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

She can be the enemy of your nightmares or the spirit guide to your dreams. Her hair is wild and gray. Her teeth are made of iron, and she travels using a giant mortar and pestle and lives in a shack on chicken feet surrounded by a fence of skulls and bones. She is Baba Yaga, a crone who ruthlessly uses the needy and greedy for her own devices. And in this anthology of new stories starring Baba Yaga, she lands in some spectacular scenarios.

For those who already purchase 176-191 peptide, all prescription viagra without of this will help to put their mind at rest along with preventing relationship issues and insecurities on both parts. Make sure that before you purchase order discount viagra that you are a victim of it. To keep the sexual life alive both partners must make efforts. viagra buy australia Sex is a vital part of a marriage best prices on levitra that seeks to tighten the emotional bond between the married couple. A Jewish resistance fighter in World War II Poland must gain the help of Baba Yaga to vanquish three supernatural men and avenge the loss of her comrades. A young mother leaves her family to serve the witch in penance for committing a terrible wrong. One story delves into Baba Yaga’s tragic origins, while another re-examines the classic tale of Vasilisa, following the young girl who comes to Baba Yaga for fire on her own journey from maiden to mother to crone. One tale transports the witch from the forests of Russia to the swamplands of the American South, expertly weaving together Slavic and African-American folklore, and another brings her right into the modern day, as a young boy goes looking for a witch to put a spell on a school bully and gets more than he bargained for.

Not every witch is necessarily evil.

There was danger lurking everywhere for Vasilisa in “Vasilisa the Wise.” Not only did her stepmother not care if she lived or died, Baba Yaga actively tried to come up with tasks this character couldn’t accomplish so the old witch would have an excuse to eat her. I found Baba Yaga’s challenges and threats deliciously frightening. Since I knew almost nothing about this classic fairy tale villain, it was nice to start this anthology off with what I assume was a more traditional telling of who she was and how she liked to behave.

All of the stories in this collection were creative and worth the read. With that being said, I would have liked to see a little more attention paid to the character development in “Boy Meets Witch.” As intrigued as I was to see how Baba Yaga would respond to a young boy seeking her out for advice instead of all of the girls who had been written about in this anthology, I didn’t feel like I got to know Alex Rusnak, the protagonist, as well as I did the protagonists in the other stories. If he’d been equally well-developed, I would have given this collection a five-star rating!

“Baba Yaga: Her Story” was a wonderful take on Baba Yaga’s life before she became such a famous literary figure. When the audience met her in the first scene, she was an abandoned child who didn’t even have a name yet. I was as surprised by that as I was by all of the things that happened to her as she grew older and began to realize just how powerful her magic abilities were. While she definitely was a villain, I still grew to like her as I got to know her better and understood why she occasionally did such harmful things to ordinary people.

Skull and Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga should be read by anyone who loves fairy tales.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.