The Girl Who Drank the Moon meets Pax in this fantastical tale of a wolf who forms an unlikely alliance with Baba Yaga to save the forest from a wicked tsar.
Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga.
Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body!
Meanwhile, a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking the witch’s help, and when she meets Zima (in Baba Yaga’s form), they discover that they face a common enemy. With danger closing in, Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that threatens them all.
Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond tour! I am so excited to finally talk about this book. First of all you can find more info about the tour here. There are a lot of awesome bloggers writting so many creative posts so be sure to check it out.
I am not a big reader of middle grade, but I decided to give this one a try mostly because it’s a retelling of Baba Yaga, a character from Slavic folklore. For those who don’t know me, I come from Romania, which is between a bunch of East European Slavic countries so we do share part of those myths and legends.
I haven’t grown up with stories of Baba Yaga, mostly because my Grandma had her own original stories, that she knew from her grandma and so on. But this book made me go back to those cold winters when I would sneak with my little brother in her room and she will start telling us fantastic stories half asleep after a day of hard work.
The characters are completely amazing and well written, I enjoyed, in particular, Zima’s POV in Baba Yaga’s body and that somehow it gave me exactly the feeling of a wolf experiencing the human world for the first time.
Baba Yaga personifies here one of my favorite tropes, the morally grey character, who’s done some bad, looking to fix it, and you are not sure if you should root from them or not.
I do really have trouble finding any kind of faults to this story, while I had a hard time at the beginning with Zima’s POV, and the fact that you are thrown right into it doesn’t help a bit after I got used to it the story had an amazing flow.
I honesty was caught up completely, this book has that timeless placeless feeling that fairytales usually have. It does also has a very straightforward plot common to the genre, where the good always triumphs at the end. This was not a problem for me, as I expected it, and is honestly part of the charm with fairytales.
In the end, this was a very enjoyable read, and will probably recommend this in the future to middle-grade kids and adults alike.
For the playlist, I was looking into songs that gave me the same feeling as the book, lucky I do listen to a lot of witchy music. You can check it out below, be aware there is a song in Romanian there and a bunch in German and Irish Gaelic.
About the Author:
Karah Sutton has loved Baba Yaga, ballet, and blini ever since she had to do a research project on her Russian heritage in the third grade. Her hunger for adventure inspired her to move from Kentucky to New Zealand, where it was rumored she would find talking trees and the occasional wood elf. Karah spent four years as a bookseller before she turned to writing her own fiction. A Wolf For a A Spell is her first novel.