Spring’s Arcana

Tor. (The Dead God’s Heart, Bk. 1). May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781250791658. pap. $17.99. FANTASY
Nat Drozdova placates her dying mother by visiting Mrs. de Winter in New York City’s Morrer-Pessel Memorial Tower, but she doesn’t expect what she finds in the penthouse office of Y.A.G.A. Fine Arts and Antiquities. The mysterious de Winter claims to be her grandmother who’s willing to save Nat’s mother’s life if Nat can retrieve a few items that her mother stole before she left the old country. Thus Nat launches on a mysterious, magical tour. Saintcrow (Duty) returns to her roots in this epic-tinged urban fantasy. It’s a road-trip story, like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, in which Nat will find the roots of her heritage as she takes a dangerous foray into the mystic places where the Slavic myths such as Baba Yaga and the deathless Koschei still guard their secrets—and her own.
VERDICT There’s much to savor here for readers looking for a deeper dive into the same legends as those in The Witch and the Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, but in a more contemporary setting. Also a good choice for readers seeking stories imbued with the sensibilities of urban fantasy, like The Book of Night by Holly Black.
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