Review: The Witch and the Tsar

The Witch and the Tsar was so rich and atmospheric. From page one I was transported to old Russia, dropped into the woods with Yaga. Olesya Salnika Gilmore’s writing is gorgeous.  I loved seeing Yaga as more human/goddess/healer and less witch/crone. This was such an enjoyable story, with history woven throughout it. Looking forward to reading more by this author.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In this stunning historical fantasy debut, an isolated witch will risk all that she has to save her country and her people from dangerous gods and the twisted hearts of men.

As a half goddess possessing magic, Yaga is used to living on her own, her prior entanglements with mortals having led to heartbreak. She mostly keeps to her hut in the woods, where those in need of healing seek her out, even as they spread rumors about her supposed cruelty and wicked spells. But when her old friend Anastasia—now the wife of the tsar, and suffering from a mysterious illness—arrives in her forest desperate for her protection, Yaga realizes the fate of all of Russia is tied to Anastasia’s. Yaga must step out of the shadows to protect the land she loves.

As she travels to Moscow, Yaga witnesses a sixteenth-century Russia on the brink of chaos. Tsar Ivan—soon to become Ivan the Terrible—grows more volatile and tyrannical by the day, and Yaga believes the tsaritsa is being poisoned by an unknown enemy. But what Yaga cannot know is that Ivan is being manipulated by powers far older and more fearsome than anyone can imagine.

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