Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Vassa in the Night: A Novel Hardcover – September 20, 2016
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Vassa Lisa Lowenstein's mother is dead, and her father is gone. She has a stepmother and two stepsisters. It's an odd living arrangement but no more peculiar than a lot of things in her working-class Brooklyn neighborhood. The nights have been especially strange, growing longer and longer. When her stepsister sends Vassa out in the middle of the night for lightbulbs, the only store that's still open is the local BY's. Everyone knows about BY's, and its owner Babs Yagg, but people do tend to remember a store that dances around on chicken legs and has a habit of decapitating shoplifters. When things don't go as planned in BY's, it will take all of Vassa's wits and her enchanted wooden doll Erg's cunning to escape the store alive and maybe even break whatever curse has been placed on Brooklyn's nights. This stand-alone urban fantasy is inspired by the Russian fairy tale "Vasilisa the Beautiful." Although Vassa is described as incredibly pale, the rest of the book is populated with characters who are realistically diverse for its urban location. Evocative settings and imagery help bring this bizarre corner of Brooklyn to life. Vassa is a cynical, no-nonsense character who is quick to make jokes and take risks with the delightfully sharp-tongued Erg at her side. A deliberate lack of romantic tension makes this a refreshing read, and elements of traditional horror blend well with high-concept fantasy in this surprising and engaging tale. VERDICT A must-have for YA urban fantasy collections.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library
“With a deft hand, lovely prose, and an eye for details, Porter reworks the Russian story of Vassilissa the Beautiful, setting it in an industrial Brooklyn where magic seeps into the mundane.... the end result is an ethereal, almost dreamlike fairy tale that generates a magic all its own." ―Booklist, starred review
"In this urban-fantasy take on the Russian folk tale 'Vassilissa the Beautiful,' Porter weaves folk motifs into a beautiful and gripping narrative filled with magic, hope, loss, and triumph." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“[E]lements of traditional horror blend well with high-concept fantasy in this surprising and engaging tale.... A must-have for YA urban fantasy collections."―School Library Journal, starred review
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The very beginning, “Prelude in Night,” shows how lyrical the writing can be: “When Night looked down, it saw its own eyes staring back at it. Two big black eyes, both full of stars.” “Lyrical” is not the writer’s only strong mode, however; she can do humor just as well. She does a particularly wonderful job of designing icky fantasy foods and other products to stock the magical convenience store in which most of the story takes place.
Her characters are also excellently developed, particularly Vassa, the teenage heroine, who matures in many ways in the course of the story. Other characters are also interesting, including Erg, Vassa’s talking-doll protectress; Vassa’s mother, who appears in memory/flashbacks; and Babs, the modern version of evil Russian witch Baba Yaga, who owns the convenience store chain. (The story is a contemporary retelling of a classic Russian fairy tale, “Vasilissa the Beautiful.”) The idea of Baba Yaga, complete with traditional chicken-footed house, in charge of a convenience store is fun enough to make me give the book at least four stars for that alone.
Finally, the book has a feeling for magic that is found only in the best fantasy authors, such as Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, and newer arrival C. S. E. Cooney (Bone Swans). They recognize that magic is not simply a matter of waving wands or reciting spells, but grows out of who you are and what (for better or worse) you are willing to let yourself become. Like those other authors, Porter does not merely adapt the form of a fairy tale for a modern audience; she gets at the soul of what fairy tales are really about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is quite possibly the most bizarre book I've ever read. But I actually ended up liking it a lot.Read more