Mistress of the Solstice

Anna Kashina. Dragonwell (www.dragonwellpublishing.com), $15.95 trade paper (205p) ISBN 978-0-983832-04-1
Marya is the 15-year-old Mistress of the Solstice: the magical center of an ancient ritual twisted by her father, the undead Tzar Kashchey, to steal the souls of sacrificed virgins so he can remain immortal and powerful. Marya has been trained to accept this as necessary and to lock away her emotions—especially love. Young Galahad-like Ivan is determined to stop the ritual and rescue cold, beautiful Marya. He is helped by an ancient being named Wolf but must navigate a series of impossible-seeming puzzles alone. Kashina (The Goddess of Dance) puts new twists on the classic fairy tale character attributes of innocence and cleverness, mixing the best elements of Eastern European and Western European folklore—lethal traps, long-ago betrayals, dark helpers—with modern fantasy. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
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