Anna Kashina’s ‘Ivan and Marya’ Is a Fascinating New Story Based on Russian Folklore

It’s been over a hundred a long time because among my maternal great-good grandfathers left Russia to stay away from serving while in the Tzar’s Military. I am nevertheless fascinated with Russian, and indeed all of Japanese European folklore. Anna Kashina puts Russian folklore to excellent use in her romantic fantasy/epic novel Ivan and Marya (Drollerie Press, 2010).

It is not an epic on the dimensions of Lord from the Rings, though like Tolkien did with Anglo-Saxon folklore in his novels, Kashina weaves the kind of tale my Russian ancestors would have told all around their hearths. It is really more on the scale in the Hobbit, but although it may not be as sweeping as War and Peace, the fast-paced storytelling retains the internet pages turning. I read it in a single sitting down.

Ivan and Marya could be the common hero’s journey. Ivan (nicknamed “The Idiot”) is on the quest to fulfill a prophecy. He and his sponsor, Wolf, look for to provide an conclude for the human sacrifice perpetrated through the Tzar, Kashchey and his daughter Marya within the identify on the god Kupalo.

Youthful Ivan (a stock character in Russian people literature, although he hardly ever seems like it in Kashina’s telling) is the type of everyman hero the reader can easily detect with. What helps make this Tale so compelling is rooting for Ivan to finish his perilous, virtually unachievable duties.

Marya, though she is beautiful together with her extensive black hair and pale skin, is compelled by being the priestess of Kupalo being chilly-hearted, incapable of affection. Ivan is not guaranteed if he wants her really like. He wishes to accomplish his activity; the wildflower the peasants phone Ivan and Marya can be an omen to him, a image of hope.

The topic of your annually human sacrifice is a typical a person in historic Pagan storytelling. During the Celtic environment (as in Mists of Avalon), the sacrifice is really a young man who might father as several little ones as he likes before gonna his noble Demise. In this particular Model, the sacrifice have to be a female and a virgin, recalling the Greco-Roman fantasy of Persephone/Proserpina. The virgin sacrifice is an in depth folkloric cousin of the straw effigy (sometimes named Marzana) that may be, even currently, “drowned” in Slavic international locations as being a ceremony of spring. The identify on the death god With this novel, Kupalo, recalls the fashionable Slavic summer months solstice getaway of Ivan Kupala…John the Baptist. The virgin sacrifice’s drowning in a sacrificial pool was replaced and Christianized While using the rite of baptism.

Whether or not The traditional origins of the myths bore you, however, you can expect to appreciate Anna Kashina’s storytelling. She causes it to be both equally fresh and interesting. You will find some Grownup information (this is the romance, In any case), so this enchanting fairy tale is just not for quite younger visitors.

Should you get pleasure from this ebook, you may also like Keith Miller’s The E-book of Traveling, Whispers in the Dark by Marisa Quinn and The Raspberry Lady by VictoriaSelene Skye Deme.


October 2020


New York
07:1816:35 EST
Feels like: 7°C
Wind: 8km/h ESE
Humidity: 82%
Pressure: 1027.8mbar
UV index: 0
min 8°C