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.

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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!

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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.


6 comments:

Bookluvrs Haven | January 15, 2014 at 9:58 PM

I agree with the disturbing feeling you get with Marya's attraction to her father. And also the lack of believable chemistry between Ivan and Marya. But it was an interesting book nonetheless. A 3 star rating is still a very favorable rating, so I wouldn't feel bad about that. :)

Lily @ Bookluvrs Haven

Loraine | January 15, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Thanks for dropping by as well to me Lily ♥ :)

Amanda R | January 28, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Hi Loraine! Great review :). I agree with you completely about the characters. I ended up being so disappointed with them that I lost a lot of interest in the book itself.

Loraine | January 29, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Hey Amanda R :) sorry to hear about that... I feel you! Thanks for dropping by ♥

Anna Kashina | February 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Loraine,

Thanks so much for reviewing Mistress of the Solstice!

I normally never comment on reviews of my books, but I couldn't help stepping up in defense of my "borrowed" characters. Cheshire cat was written last century, much later than Bayun the Cat, who is several hundred years old. Same with the Mirror. Without taking responsibility for the borrowed characters in the stories by Lewis Carroll or the Grimm brothers, all I did was follow Russian folklore as well as I could...

Loraine | February 11, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Thanks for enlightening me Anna! I didn't know that these characters were Russian folklore originals. I incorporated them immediately to these famous fairytales because I recognized the character traits as such, i.e. Bayun the Cat reflected the eccentric personality of Cheshire Cat & knowledge-imparting Mirror.

I did not realize that Lewis Carrol and the Grimm brothers were all just borrowing characters as well.

Thanks for dropping by! I am delighted you explained the facts further.

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