Category Archives: Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, an Incarnation


VasilisaThe legend of Baba Yaga has fascinated me since I discovered the Russian fairytale of Vasilisa the Beautiful, many, many moons ago. Vasilisa’s story shares basic commonalities with the Western fairytale of Cinderella: both lost their mother at a young age, their fathers remarried women who already had two daughters of their own, and both heroines were forced to work as servants in their own home. At this point, the stories diverge, each having its own unique qualities.

Vasilisa’s stepmother, determined to rid herself of her husband’s offspring once and for all, destroys all the lamps in their home and forces the young woman to visit Baba Yaga to request a light, knowing that those who entered the witch’s home rarely left it. But with the help of a magical doll inherited from her mother, her own innate honesty, and a little hard work, Vasilisa survived her encounter with Baba Yaga, returning home with the gift of a burning skull, which consumed the evil stepmother and her daughters, sparing Vasilisa.

Since then, I’ve been fascinated with the mythos of Baba Yaga. When researching Slavic mythology several years ago for my medieval fantasy novel, Serpent on a Cross, I again encountered her. This time, I delved deeper into her legend.

Bilibin._Baba_Yaga_CroppedIn most tales, Baba Yaga is portrayed as a hag who flies in a mortar, using the pestle as a rudder, sweeping away her tracks with a broom made of silver birch. She lives in a log cabin that balances on one or two chicken legs, surrounded by a disturbing palisade made of bleached bones, skulls perched atop each pole, some with rubies gleaming in the eye sockets. She’s a merciless, powerful witch, and depending which legends you believe, she’s also a Guardian of the Waters of Life and Death. THAT legend scintillated my imagination, as did the one that suggested “Baba Yaga” was more than one woman.

Thus, one of my secondary characters in Serpent on a Cross – Miraum – evolved into a Baba Yaga. In the incarnation of Miraum, Baba Yaga is a powerful healer and witch, but a mostly benevolent one. Her home doesn’t stand on chicken legs and while she’s ruthless, she’s not merciless, and just the current in a long line of Baba Yagas who serve as Guardians of the Waters of Life and Death. She becomes the mentor of my protagonist, Dennah, a young Jewish healer who’s recently discovered the unsettling fact that she’s a Weather Witch.

Serpent on a Cross is forthcoming from Booktrope, in print and epub re-release. I’m currently working on the sequel, Veil of Menace, where Miraum as Baba Yaga has more surprises up her sleeve. Stay tuned! 🙂

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Serpent on a Cross – Cover Reveal


My debut novel – Serpent on a Cross – is being re-released by Booktrope (http://booktrope.com/) later this month! I’m sooo excited! This time it will be available in PRINT (Trade Softcover) as well as eBook! Squweeee!!! I decided not to use a pseudonym this time around, because once I finish writing the sequel and my books make it onto bookstore shelves (such as my local Barnes & Noble), my own last name will earn me a place on the Fantasy/Sci-Fi shelves right next to Neil Gaiman!!! THAT, ladies and gents, is the place to be for any fantasy writer worth her salt. 😉

So. In addition to a new publisher, the book has a brand new first chapter (the previous first chapter wasn’t replaced, it was simply merged into the second chapter), and other extended scenes. There’s also A NEW COVER!! I’m sooo excited about this new cover as well! The talented Loretta Matson over at Booktrope was kind enough to take on the concepts – both visual and oral – already drawn up and create something new and fresh that somehow encompassed everything I wanted in a cover for the rebirth of my Medieval/Fantasy novel. And because I can only have one cover, she made the runner up into an “emblem” for one of the characters. If you’ve already read the book, you’ll recognize right away the emblem and who it was created for. If you haven’t, then I’d love to have you purchase a copy upon its availability. 🙂 I’ll reveal the emblem tomorrow.

Now for the COVER REVEAL!

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Isn’t it beauteous?! I could (and have!) gazed at it – enthralled – for hours! Me wants it! I CANNOT WAIT to hold this book in my grabby little hands!! 🙂 🙂

 

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Filed under Baba Yaga, Blogging, Booktrope, Fantasy, Literary, Literature, Medieval, Published, Serpent on a Cross, Writing