Posts Categorized: YA historicla fiction

Dreaming Anastasia

26 Jan, 2010 by in review, Sourcebook Jabberwocky, YA historicla fiction 1 comment

published September 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

details Paperback, 310 pages

isbn 1402218176

Summary from Goodreads “Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn’t. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.

In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn’t know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…

The premise of this book is fascinating and deeply rooted in Russian history and folklore. What really happened to Anastasia Romanov the day her family was shot and killed during the Russian Revolution? Who is Baba Yaga the mystical witch who haunts Anne’s modern day dreams and why is she keeping the Princess captive?
I must say reading this book got me fascinated in the facts behind the fiction. It also had elements which I love…the talking matroyshka doll, dance, family roots and the story of brave Vasilisa plus an old woman in the forest, much like our Hansel and Gretel.

Images from Wikipedia.

Ethan was a great hero. I am not myself drawn to Marlboro smoking, vodka drinking, stand offish men…but I think he captured the essence of his pre-cold war Russian ancestors. And he does have that mystique, the beautiful blue eyes and the pull of Anne’s dreams which drew me in. I was a little disappointed by the peripheral sexual talk. In my opinion it really did not add to the plot in any way and could have just been left out.

Other than that, though, “Dreaming Anastasia” adds a very interesting twist to history that made me want to learn more. And I can’t wait to make some new stuff to go with it! I would give it three stars.