Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book Review: A Circle of Salt

A CIRCLE OF SALT, by E. J. Weaver

I was completely swept up in this book. It has lovely, lyrical writing, gorgeous imagery, and a wonderful, old-fashioned feel that reminded me of George MacDonald.

E. J. Weaver does an amazing job weaving together Russian fairy tales into a compelling narrative about proud Vasilissa, one of the Folk cast out of the Summer Realm and forced to live among humans.

I was completely fascinated with how NON-human Vasilissa is at first: she shape-shifts into a horse and a fish. She raises towers from the ground. But she finds herself slowly caught up in the affairs of certain humans who she meets and helps along the way, even while she's being hunted by the terrifying Koschei, the Deathless. Koschei is the servant of the witch Baba Yaga, who wants to use Vasilissa to open the door to the Summer Realm…

The book is broken into sections instead of chapters: Vasilissa the Proud, Sivka-Birka, The Fisherman and His Wife, etc., and each section is a mini-story in and of itself, following the thread of Vasilissa's long sojourn in the human world. The stories are steeped in beauty and terror and joy, sorrow and longing, but love and hope, too.

A CIRCLE OF SALT kind of broke my heart, a little, but in a good way. Read it on a rainy afternoon with a big cup of tea and a cat nearby for snuggling if you get too teary.

You can find it on Amazon HERE.


Alexis P. Johnson said...

I'm really interested in Russian fairy tales. I'll have to check this one out! :-)

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

You definitely should!