Vasya is one of those characters that it is impossible not to like. She is determined to do everything her way, including not falling into the conventions of the day for females to only think of themselves as future wives and mothers. Vasya is forever getting in trouble for wandering too far from the house, for climbing trees, for getting dirty. She learns to ride a horse like no man can because she took tutelage from the horse herself. She refuses to call the house spirits "demons" which enrages her stepmother.
The first part of the book is just stuffed full of Russia lore and the lifestyle of people who lived in this very cold part of the world. The second part of the book included lots of action when the twins, Death and Fear, go to war over the heart of Vasya. But even against these foes, Vasya refuses to be bossed around.
I listened to the audio version of the book, read by Kathleen Gati. I loved the whole listening experience. Gati did a magical job with the accents and the difficult to pronounce names. The listening experience was a little like being wrapped up in a fur coat sitting in front of the fire, listening to an elder (like the nurse in the story) tell me a folktale, one she expects me to remember.
I've already recommended this one to my daughter who loves fairy tales. And now I am recommending it to you.
Past Due Book Reviews
7 / 16 books. 43% done!