Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga

Blackstone Audio. Nov. 2022. ed. by Lindy Ryan. 8:02 hrs. ISBN 9798212256803. $19.95. HORROR
Take 10 women horror writers; mix with a house walking on chicken legs (or sometimes kitten paws for a change of pace) and a crone in a babushka. The result is a brilliant collection of tales centered on the legendary witch Baba Yaga, featuring unique takes on ancient archetypes of women as maidens, mothers, and crones. The anthology contains 23 newly minted tales of Baba Yaga, each narrated by one of seven all-star narrators—Betsy Foldes-Meiman, Rachel Jacobs, Kimberly M. Wetherell, Mikhaila Aaseng, Zura Johnson, Angela Lin, and Chanté McCormick. Each narrator is perfectly matched to the tales they tell; taken together, their chorus of voices captures the many sides of this often-misunderstood Slavic witch. Listeners will hear grown-up versions of “Hansel and Gretel” as well as an unsettling post–Roe v. Wade allegory. The stories are often set in the present, bringing a contemporary flavor to these timeless retellings.
VERDICT A sometimes harrowing, sometimes gruesome, but always entertaining collection; listeners may want to take care not to listen near a forest! Fans of feminist folklore retellings will find much to love.
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