YVGENIE by C.J. Cherryh

YVGENIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Third of Cherryh's medieval fantasies (Rusalka, Chernevog) describing the tangled relationships and doings of a wizard family living in the primeval forests of Russian Kiev. Rebellious teenage wizard Ilyana, suffocated by her overprotective mother, the wizard Eveshka, seeks instead the pleasant company of a mysterious, ghostly boy who appears in the woods. Ilyana's father, Pyetr, an ordinary mortal, and her wizard uncle, Sasha, try fruitlessly to persuade Eveshka to give Ilyana a little leeway. So when handsome noble Yvgenie appears half drowned during a storm, just as an inexplicable fire burns down Sasha's house, the wizards suspect the presence of Chernevog (another wizard, a former adversary, dead but still able to wreak harm, and the power behind the ghostly boy). Indeed, Chernevog takes Yvgenie over and proceeds to seduce Ilyana. Eveshka, returning hurriedly to the scene, warns against still other meddling dead wizards, and perhaps even the ancient elemental powers of the forest. Pyetr and Sasha, meanwhile, strive to protect Ilyana and restrain Eveshka's rage. The most bothersome aspect of all this is the sourceless, effortless magic--you're born with it, and to make it work you just wish. The multiple points of view don't help, and overall this won't win many new converts--though teenage readers will sympathize with Ilyana's plight.
Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-345-36784-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1991




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