The Wise and the Wicked
Although I don’t read much YA contemporary these days, this had enough tropes that I like that I wanted to give it a try: contemporary fantasy, witches, and Russian folklore.
This ended up being an enjoyable mystery about the history of a family of Russian witches. The modern witch vibes were fun. Also, there was unexpected LGBTQ+ rep that I loved! The main character’s love interest is a trans boy (with frank discussions about binders, coming out, etc) and his sister is dating her cou ...more
The Wise and the Wicked is a contemporary fantasy story following Ruby Chernyavsky, a 16-year-old Russian-American girl from a "slightly magical" family in which every woman gets to know at which age she will die. Or so they thought.
I fell in love with this story right from the beginning because of Ruby. She is the youngest of three sisters, and her mother left them when Ruby was really ...more
This is going to be a review in Three Acts. Because I had three very distinct experiences while reading this book, so... seems legit I guess.
Act One: Oh Crap I Might DNF
Okay I hate DNFing, we know this. But Val suggested I call it quits, because she didn't love it, and honestly when Val tells me to DNF something I really need to listen because every time, I regret not listening, and here
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
From page one, The Wise and the Wicked swept me into a world of ancient Russian fairy tales, long-hidden family secrets, and a main character trying to make sense of the world and her place in it. The writing was immersive, the characters were interesting, but the main, glaring issue with this book that I was left fee ...more
I'm obsessed with slightly witchy stories set in a contemporary setting, and this is exactly that. The pacing was amazing, the romance had me itching for more, and the complicated family situation felt very real to me.
The only problem I had with the whole book was the end (no spoilers!) It really was slow (but in a good wa ...more
The narrator of this book is 16 year old Ruby (3rd person POV). She comes from a family where the women have powers. At a certain point in their lives they will have a vision of when they will die.
This was an original story with a pretty cover. There is some romance in the book. But to me it wasn't the main focus.
Ruby had two sisters. But I honestly I did not feel like we saw enough of them for me to really know them. He ...more
TW: attempted murder, underage drinking, death
Rep: trans boy LI, (two) lesbian major SCs, Russian-American family (and MC)
The writing in this book was very atmospheric and felt very fitting to the setting. I especially loved the descriptions of the different houses and the detail that went into all of that. I felt transported into the small town and it felt very homey and creepy at the same time and I loved that so much.
The plot felt like it was a bit a ...more
To be honest, I actually really loved about the first 70% of this book. It was a little slow, sure, but I could feel that pull back to the old stories and ...more
I don't feel like writing a full review, but if you want my informal thoughts, or notes on content, comment below [or message me!]
*sadly & solemnly chucks this book onto the growing pile of "Russian inspired fantasy that I thought would make me super happy but instead ended up making me super mad"* ...more
this book has been hanging over my head since goddamn june of last calendar year. it's ridiculous how many times i genuinely tried to sit down and immerse myself into the story, kept waiting for it to pay off (yes you guessed it right, i got tricked into buying a book by a "russian inspired fantasy" premise AGAIN) and it just. i don't know. doesn't feel worth the wait, you know?
3rd person narration just does Not work with bland, basic writing style. the in ...more
This story is about Chernyavsky family who had fled from Russia and had long-hidden secrets. They were being hunted for their powers but now their power has weakened as they suppress them to keep themselves safe. Ruby lives with her two sisters and has grown up being told this story. The Chernyavsky family is predominantly women, with men appearing only to a point to father a daughter. When the girls reach teens years, at some point they see their Time in w ...more
The Wise and the Wicked is Russian inspired. I am Russian. The main characters are a magically gifted Russian family that ran from Russia to escape people trying to kill them. The research is good, there were definitely little things that told me that Podos didn't half-ass her research. However, what annoyed me was her language choices. Again, for the most part it was good. But there was a mix up of plu ...more
*I initially gave this book 3.5 stars but I lowered it to 3 stars after sitting down to write the review and getting frustrated
"We're Chernyavsky women, and the dark is scared of us."
Stuff I Liked
There was so much to like about this book. Matter of fact, if you follow me elsewhere online, you know I have been talking about how much I’ve been loving this one. And I was loving it.
First of all, I really enjoyed the writing. It’s very ...more
Ruby and her sisters come from a long line of wise and powerful women. When their grandmother and her sisters fled Russia they lost most of their magical powers. Today only one of their great powers remain. The power to have a vision of their own death.
The cover on this one was what initially got me. It justs screams Russian folklore. It gives a great representation of what this novel is about.
The only type of magical realism that I really ...more
And then some nights, rare but constant for the last few years, they were different peopl ...more
Lots of delightful Russian culture, folklore and wonderful story detail. The characters in this are great. It reminded me a little of “The Raven Cycle” with the quirky, small, intimate feel of it. But that ending...What?!?!
I initially picked up this book because I loved the cover design of it! It is simplistic, gorgeous and reminds me of the old fairy tales. The plot is unique and interesting and held my interest for the most part. I had heard of the basic tale of Baba Yaga before but did not really know much about Russian folk tales. This book sparked my interest for reading more about Russian folk tales in general.
I think the main ...more
A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing Program at Emerson College and the Creative Writi ...more