cover image Chernevog


C. J. Cherryh. Del Rey Books, $18.95 (328pp) ISBN 978-0-345-35954-4

In this strong sequel to Rusalka , Cherryh continues her fantasy series based on ancient Russian folklore. During the hoary time of the book's setting, wizards have power to influence events by wishing things to happen--but sometimes unlooked-for side effects occur. Here the former destructive rusalka (ghost) Eveshka, killed by the sorcerer Chernevog in the earlier volume and resurrected when her father sacrificed his life in her stead, is living with her husband Pyetrsp ok and the young wizard Sasha. Both Sasha and Eveshka worry about the power of their often unconscious wishes, concerned that their thoughts are being influenced by still-functioning wishes remaining in the atmosphere from a former time. When Eveshka suddenly leaves home without reason, Sasha and Pyetr feel sure someone has been wishing or magicking her, and set out in search of Chernevog. Cherryh's lyrical, vivid depiction of lonely northern forests and their supernatural inhabitants creates a believable backdrop for her three-dimensional characters and their emotionally involving story. (Oct.)