I don’t often mention fiction on my blog, but I was recently sent details about a novel that looks like it might be a jolly good read. The book is called Granny Yaga by Vitali Vitaliev. It’s based on Baba Yaga the famous Slavic folklore character, but set in present-day London.
Apparently it includes references to Highgate Cemetery and the Highgate Vampire, the Crouch End Spriggan, an occult bookshop in London called Runes (which might have just a slight resemblance to one of London’s real occult bookshops) and the ponds on Hampstead Heath, which many swimmers have reported as being haunted. The book also introduces readers to a number of other interesting characters from Slavic folklore, which the press release I was sent gave details of. Here they are:
Here are more details about the book:
On a drab winter’s evening, an old flying old woman is spotted in Bloomsbury, an area of London known for its magical, masonic and shamanism associations. This is followed by the arrival of Yadwiga, alias Baba Yaga, one of the most interesting characters of East European folklore – an ambiguous witch, a sorceress and an unlikely super-heroine. She has come to London as part of the struggling Sablins family, recent migrants from a fictitious East European country. It is in London that their adventures really begin.
Yadwiga joined the Sablins when life in the forest, where she had been dwelling inside a hut on hen’s legs for over a thousand years, became impossible due to “deforestation” and the invasion of overly-curious visitors. Baba Yaga can’t take being asked questions, for each question makes her a little bit older – a curse imposed on her by her former partner and now sworn enemy, Koschei the Deathless, the incarnation of all evil.
The story takes the reader on a fascinating excursion through the history of Slavic and British folklore projected on the vicissitudes of modern Western life.
Granny Yaga can be ordered via Amazon. The picture bottom left is from Granny Yaga by Vitali Vitaliev.
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