I had a hard time with Egg And Spoon.
Part of me wanted it to be over already (because it dragged on and on). And part of me was absolutely in love with the magical uniqueness and the fabulous humour. I AM TORN.
I haven’t laughed like this in a long time.
It was glorious. Witty banter? Bring – it – on. It was all Baba Yaga. She was downright snippy and sarcastic. Of course, along with the cat, Mewster. Their back-and-forth was some of the best wit I’ve read in a long time. Unfortunately, Baba Yaga didn’t come in until a few 100 pages into the book.
I appreciated the story! The setting! The gloriousness of Russian folklore and magic. But the writing felt really thick. It waffled off on tangents I didn’t care about. And it took a long time in setting up the story, which, actually wasn’t really unique. It had a Prince-And-the-Pauper vibe. Rich girl and peasant accidentally swap places? I have totally read this a million times. That kind of disappoints me. From such a famous author as Gregory Maguire, I expected a LOT of greatness. I got a rather tired and very used story.
Yes, so maybe the story was over-told, but this version was still brilliant.
I laughed, I snickered, I rooted from the poor and the rich alternately. The secondary characters were fantastic. And did I mention magic?
I LOVE MAGIC.
This was a totally uniquely magical story. From Baba Yaga’s moving house and talking cat, to the Firebird (kind of like a Phoenix I assume), it was rich with Russian lore. I loved stepping into Russia too, with the Czars and rich parties and balls and starving peasants (though that part totally made me hungry and sad).
We have two main characters: Elena (peasant) and Cat (rich girl, short for Ekaterina).
I liked them both.
Cat was a snobby brat. But they’re always quite fun to read. My only problem was that when Cat met Baba Yaga, she also met Mewster, who is, in fact, a talking cat. Since the actual-cat is sometimes referred to as a cat, it got confusing with Cat’s name being, well, Cat (confused yet?). I loved this story about two interesting and intelligent girls. (They were 13.) I loved Cat and Baba Yaga’s snarky banter and I loved Elena’s cunning even though she had no education.
I’m so glad I read this amazing book, but at the same time I’m glad it’s finished.
A book usually takes me 24 hours to consume. I was reading this one for 4 days before I reached the end. That definitely says something. STILL. I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Original. Fabulous. And hilarious. Seriously, in the light of humour that makes you snort, all sins can be forgiven, right?!
A fantasy set in Tsarist Russia.
Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg — a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena’s age. When the two girls’ lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and — in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured — Baba Yaga, witch of Russian folklore, in her ambulatory house perched on chicken legs.
Cait has been drowning in tinsel. Figurative tinsel. Why is Christmas so insane?? She has prepared 3% of her presents for humans and has lost her room under a mountain of paper creations and good intentions. Help. Currently she’s still reading WICKED (also by Gregory Maguire!).