Saturday, November 24, 2018

Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse, by Jane Yolen

[Tor Novella]
★★★☆☆ Average

(Horror Poetry) Tash runs away from her cruel parents, and the witch, Baba Yaga, takes her in and teaches her. (8,388 words; Time: 27m)

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Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2018.602 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The best part of this story/poem is the slipstream moments, such as when Vasilisa is trying to learn how to operate Baba Yaga’s famous flying mortar, and we learn that she was “good at going forward, awful at parking.” Or that Baba Yaga orders ingredients from a catalog.

As far as plot goes, it's something of a coming-of-age story. Tash finds a place in Baba Yaga’s house, which is more than she had at home. Her friend, Vasilisa, doesn’t fare quite as well, but finds her own destiny. In the end, Tash accepts that she’ll become the next Baba.

Con: Perhaps, as the intro claims, I really don’t know this story. It seems that it’s trying to say something profound, but, if so, I’m just not getting it. I'd be interested in hearing other takes on it.

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