fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews C.J. Cherryh RusalkaRusalka by C.J. Cherryh

I like folklore, and I like novels based on folklore, and I was prepared to like C.J. Cherryh‘s Rusalka, especially after seeing it reviewed elsewhere. It did hold my attention long enough that I was able to finish it, but in the end I had to admit that I didn’t like it.

First gripe: the endless and tedious scenes of Pyetr, Sasha, and Uulamets wandering around in the woods acting like jerks to one another. Pages upon pages of one of the characters musing about what morons the other two are. The use of the word “woodcraft” on what seems like every page, as Sasha or Pyetr admires Uulamets’ skill in navigating the forest. It begins to feel like we are reading the same chapter over and over after a while.

But that’s the little gripe. The big one is what seems like a big continuity mistake. It’s a spoiler, so highlight the following text if you want to read it: About a third of the way into the book, a false Eveshka is brought to life by Uulamets’ magic. He was trying to resurrect his dead daughter, but instead resurrected a version of her who was as he wanted her to be rather than as she really was. Now, Pyetr never had sexual or romantic feelings about Eveshka until this false Eveshka showed up; it was then that he started noticing her beauty. BUT… later, Pyetr claims that he knew all along that the Eveshka look-alike was a fake, and all of a sudden he is in love with the real one. Why? He wasn’t in love with the real one before — He was annoyed by her until he met the fake one. I don’t think I understand. [end spoiler]

The Russian Stories — (1989-1991) Publisher: This is Hugo-Award-winning author C.J. Cherryh’s Del Rey debut — the story of Rusalka, the ghost of a murdered girl still seeking to exist by drawing the energy of life from all nearby living things, and the attempt to bring her back to life by her father Ulamets, and Pyetr, the young man who loved her.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsC.J. Cherryh fantasy book reviews Rusalka: 1. Rusalka 2. Chernevog 3. YvgenieC.J. Cherryh fantasy book reviews Rusalka: 1. Rusalka 2. Chernevog 3. Yvgenie