Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse, by Jane Yolen — A Review

Fairy tales are endless.  Various takes on fairy tales for the modern era have been written about here at City on the Moon, from Andrzej Sapkowski’s Season of Storms to Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver.  The fairy tale is one of the earliest forms of fiction and one of the few genres to truly adapt to the times.  These are tales meant to teach, to warn, and to help their audience find their ways in the world.  Fairy tales have been spoken aloud, written as short stories, filmed as movies, and transformed into poetry.  Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse follows the tradition of Geothe’s “Erlkönig” and turns a familiar fairy tales into a work of epic poetry.

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Tearing Down the Walls: A Review of The Seclusion, by Jacqui Castle

Dystopia.  One of the most popular genres of fiction across all formats.  Novels, television shows, movies, plays, comic books, and more.  This is one of the most enduring genres, with one of the oldest being Thomas More’s Utopia.  Despite the name, this is a satirical work of fiction, a utopia as seen only by its inhabitants.  Every year, more and more works of fiction embrace this genre.  So why is it so popular?  Why do audiences enjoy seeing awful worlds?  It is the opposite of escapism.  However, dystopian fiction is concerned with messages of hope.  No matter how bad things get, there are always people willing to work and fight to fix the world.

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Tyrannicide: A Review of Kill the Queen, by Jennifer Estep

Fantasy is a realm of endless imagination where all it takes is one idea, one small change to our world, to create a brand-new reality unlike anything anyone has seen before.  Castles can float in the sky, anyone can learn magic, and the gods walk among humankind.  Fantasy is the genre for those who can dream, who can create universes in their heads and put them to paper.  Despite its power, fantasy is looked down upon in the literary community.  It is not “high art.”  It is not literature, it is one of the “genres.”  But the fantasy genre wields a power which literary novels do not: it makes you see past the words written on the page and stimulates your own imagination.  In direct opposition to literary fiction, the best fantasy novels are the ones that make you forget that you are reading a book.

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