A fantasy set in Tsarist Russia.
Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg — a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena’s age. When the two girls’ lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and — in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured — Baba Yaga, witch of Russian folklore, in her ambulatory house perched on chicken legs.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Library Thing Early Reviewers and Candlewick Press!*
This book was SO MUCH FUN! I haven’t been on a good adventure in ages, and that’s exactly what this book was: pure, unadulterated adventure.
I tend to forget how much I enjoy Gregory Maguire’s writing and then I pick up another one of his books and have my mind blown all over again. He just has this way of spinning fairy tales that is absolutely amazing!
There are so many things that I loved about this book! I loved the rich descriptions, the awesome narration, and the witty dialog. I loved Elena’s determination, Ekaterina’s transformation, and the Parent Trap swap that gets the whole party started. I loved the Russian folklore: the Matroyoshka, the Firebird, and the Ice Dragon. I loved Mewster the smart-mouthed kitten and Dumb Doma the house with giant chicken legs and a mind of its own. And Baba Yaga. I loved Baba Yaga SO MUCH!
Egg & Spoon is an extremely well crafted tale full of quirky characters, gorgeous imagery, and beaucoup imagination. In it you’ll find princes and paupers, folklore and fairy tales, magic and morals, and a ton of just plain fun. I mean, what more could you ask for? :)
p.s. Have you read this? I would love to get all spoiler-y with someone! If you’re interested, shoot me an email or a message on Facebook and we’ll have ourselves a bookish good time!