2013 Reviewed Books (book covers)

Hooray for 2013! I exceeded 2012's by one book. Seems like I fulfilled my New Year's Resolution (which is to counter 2012's 47 books).

These are the 48 books of 2013 (click photo for the corresponding review):


Mistress of the Solstice by Anna Kashina

Happy New Year blogger-verse! The scent of a promising year to encounter great books is wafting through my computer screen.


A novel inspired by Russian folklore, Mistress of the Solstice chronicles a story of a young boy named Ivan who attempts to woo Marya (the Mistress of the Solstice herself).

Set out to a journey of magic and peril, Ivan is determined to put the annual virginal sacrifice Kashchey the Immortal executes to a stop. Kashchey, the father of Marya, was confident that the solstice sacrifice will push through as planned until Ivan arrived in the scene.

Together with a talking wolf named Wolf, we get immersed into Ivan's mission in turning Marya into a Mistress of the Solstice no more.

Will he succeed? Let's find out come Solstice night!


I like that there are some Russian dialect injected in the book. I learned words like versts, lapti & izba. The story-line on the other hand can keep a reader. Not slow or fast-paced, just enough to keep someone guessing. But my disappointment were the characters. 

The Ivan and Marya chemistry wasn't built up properly that whatever they said they were feeling about each other seemed unreal. The romance could have been better because the rest is just background. The selling point of Mistress of the Solstice is the love story and so I had higher hopes that upon reading their interaction, a shiver would run down my spine.

There were borrowed characters like Bayun the Cat (obviously the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland) and Magic Mirror (oh you know where this came from!). Also, Marya's lust towards her father was disturbing. I don't know how to feel about it but it's just not supposed to go that way.

All in all, I'd still say it's quite some story! 3 stars if I were the kind who gives them.