I’ve not really been on many dates, so I don’t have terrifying first date stories like many of my friends, but, Of Swine and Roses is kind of exactly how I picture some of those more horrific first dates. Awkward, unpleasant and just one disaster after another. It kind of makes me grateful that I fell in love with my best friend! Having said that, this great and uplifting short story is in no way a deterrent from finding someone to spend your time with. In fact, the ending is so damn sweet that it reminds you that sometimes the most awkward clouds have a silver lining.
Grace of Small Magics is a fantastic reminder that “offense is the best defense”. Grace’s quiet strength and stability in the face of overwhelming odds is inspiring, and her ability to take control of her future admirable. I love the way that Andrews uses this to poignantly remind us that just because someone appears mousey and weak, they are still capable of great feats.
So far, this is my favourite Baba Yaga novel. It’s the combination of two severely damaged leads (both physically and emotionally), and fire that seems to claw at my heart and make me want to read this story again and again and again. Being terrified to get close to someone is something that I am all too familiar with, and working through this self-constructed barrier is something that Bella does amazingly well throughout the story.
This is a fantastic sequel to Wickedly Dangerous. Beka is a starkly different heroine to Barbara and this contrast between two sister Babas was brilliantly done. Not only did Wickedly Wonderful take me on a whole new adventure, but it also let me fall in love with a new, and striking female lead. I love chief protagonists that are full of self-doubt, I think that it makes them all the more real and relatable. So to go from Barbara’s cocky self-assurance (and total lack of social skills) to Beka’s open and vulnerable persona was endearing and refreshing.
As with the rest of the books in the Baba Yaga series, Wickedly Ever After reminds us all that we get a happy ending, even not-so-wicked witches. Although Barbara and Liam get engaged at the end of Wickedly Dangerous, their story isn’t quite finished, and it was such a pleasure to revisit their love in this short story. No matter what happens in these stories, I always turn the last page with a huge smile on my lips. Who wouldn’t? They are sweet, endearing tales of triumph and love in the face of numerous obstacles.
I love old mythologies and fairy tales. If you gave me a book about ancient mythologies, I would read it page to page before coming up for air. So, when I found out about a book that took the Russian fairy tale of Baba Yaga and gave it a modern twist, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I love when authors are able to take a myth or spiritual understanding of the world that stems from the past and use it in today’s modern context, and Deborah Blake did this brilliantly well. She created a world and series that drew me in from the first moment, and I can’t wait until the next book comes out.
Reading this story left me with an amazingly warm and happy feeling. The bad guy is bested, there is a beautiful happy ending and the ending leads perfectly into the first Baba Yaga book. All in all, it is a beautiful novella that left a smile on my face long after I finished the last page.