Today I’m excited to share with you some book post I have received from Harper Voyager and I’m super excited for as this is a book I have wanted to read for months now although the book post was completely unexpected!  I did send a request a long time ago to the publisher asking if I could get the chance to read this book, but I never heard back from anyone and just assumed I hadn’t been selected for a mailing of this book.  I then saw that there was a blog tour of this book coming up by a popular blog tour organiser, but despite trying to get on the tour, it was completely filled up within twelve minutes, yes twelve minutes later I was apparently too late! 😮  So can you imagine how utterly amazed I was when I saw a finished copy of this book come in the post not long ago! 😀  A character in this book is the reason I’m so keen to read this as being of Slavic origin, and knowing some of the folk tales of the region, I just couldn’t wait to see this interesting new take on a well known charcter from folk tale legend!  Let’s take a closer look at what came in the post…

December book haul Harper Voyager feature image
©The Strawberry Post

Here is the book and a press release.  Now, let’s take a closer look at the cover which has some lovely shiny golden foil lettering and stars😍…

December book haul Harper Voyager close up of book
©The Strawberry Post

The Witch and the Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore – Yaga lives deep in the Russian forest, tending to any that call upon her for her healing potions and vast wisdom.
She has been alone for centuries, with only her beloved animals for company.  But when Tsaritsa Anastasia, wife of Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich, shows up at Yaga’s cottage on the brink of death, Yaga is compelled to travel with her to Moscow to keep her safe.
However, the Russian Yaga sees as she makes her journey to the heart of the country is one on the brink of chaos.  Tsar Ivan – soon to become the Terrible – grows more volatile and tyrannical by the day, and Yaga believes the tsaritsa is being poisoned by an unknown enemy.  But what Yaga cannot know is that Ivan is being manipulated by powers far older and more fearsome than anyone can imagine.
Set in sixteenth-century Russia, The witch and the Tsar upends the stories we know of Baba Yaga as the bony-legged witch of Slavic fairy tales and the stuff of nightmares.  For beyond the rumours of her iron nose, fangs for teeth, and house on chicken legs, is the story of a woman so wise and strong that she has to be cloaked in lies to hide her true power.

And here’s a picture of the back of the book…

December book haul Harper Voyager back of book
©The Strawberry Post

You may not be able to read what it says on the back, so here is the text: ‘I was not a babushka, lying on my stove in the throes of advanced age and infirmity.  Nor was I a hag, a demon, or an illness.  My father may have been mortal, but Mother had been a goddess since before the Christian god had come to Russia.  Those who came for succour found it in my hut.  Healing filled the empty hours of my days, kept my hands occupied and my mind busy, gave me a sense of purpose.  If I could live among mortals, healing and advising them, I would.  But the legend clung to me – the legend of Baba Yaga, built on lies and ill will.’

And here’s the beautiful spine of the book…

December book haul Harper Voyager book spine
©The Strawberry Post


I have to tell you that this book not only looks beautiful and sounds so brilliant but there’s even a map inside which I’ll share a pic of on my review post. 🙂  I can’t wait to start reading!  It’s the idea of a Baba Yaga that is completely different from the legends that makes me so compelled to read this and I hope you’ll look out for a review of this coming as soon as I can read it! 🙂

Do you like the look or sound of this book?  What books are you hoping to get this month or for Christmas?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂