Jan 17, 2021LoganLib_Sheridan rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
I don't know why but I have a weird soft spot for Russian folklore. This one is definitely a feminist take. Despite women having literally two choices in life (the home or the nunnery) this story manages to empower the protagonist and still have the femininity.
The priest lusts after Vasya but this too is feminist as he sees it as a weakness and controls it. This is also part of his toxic masculinity as he wants to rid her of her demons and make her a 'proper' woman. He doesn't necessarily want her under HIS power but he wants her under SOMEONES power.
I like the inclusion of horses as allies and Vasya's ability to understand them.
There is also the difference between Vasya and Anna. They both see the old gods but Anna thinks they are demons and wants to be rid of them to the detriment of her mental health. Vasya listens and becomes stronger for it.
I like the relationship between Vasya and the winter god. Give me an enigmatic all-powerful being whose seeking the help of a mortal woman he can't resist and I'm hooked. Add a mystical horse that is not exactly a horse and well... I was already won over okay!
The way Alyosha looks after Vasya is also loveable. He wants to help and protect his sister and he sees how everyone around her treats her and what they think of her. He's still on her side. To be fair I think all her family is but they aren't all there or able to do something.