Books on Tape. Sept. 2022. ISBN 9780593628751. $95. FANTASY
Estranged siblings Bellatine and Isaac Yaga, descendants of Baba Yaga herself, reunite to accept an inheritance from a Russian relative they’ve never met. They were not expecting their endowment to be Thistlefoot—a sentient house that walks on chicken legs. As Bellatine and Isaac prepare the house, and themselves, for their traveling puppet show, the menacing Longshadow Man, a sinister Russian figure, pursues them, intent on finding Thistlefoot. Although the action of the story is occasionally ponderous, listeners will appreciate the Baba Yaga lore and enjoy the unique perspective from Thistlefoot itself. This modern-day fairy tale is narrated by the extraordinary January LaVoy, who imbues each character with a unique voice and personality. The audio is so full-bodied and multilayered that listeners may even forget that this is not a full-cast audio. LaVoy even sings!
VERDICT Outstanding narration and an enchanting story line make this book a must-buy for all audio collections. Recommend to listeners who enjoy fiction with a fairy tale twist, such as that found in Rena Rossner’s The Sisters of the Winter Wood or Olesya Salnikova Gilmore’s The Witch and the Tsar.
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