“A dark, thoroughly modern fairy tale crackling with wit and magical mayhem.” —Leigh Bardugo, New York Times bestselling author of Shadow and Bone
“An enchantingly twisted modern fairy tale, perfect for those who prefer Grimm to Disney. Inventive, darkly magical, and beautifully written, it will stay with me for a long time.” — Kendare Blake, New York Times bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns
Vassa in the Night is a powerful and haunting modern retelling of the Russian folktale “Vassilissa the Beautiful” for teen fans of urban fantasy, fairy tales, magic, and horror who enjoy books by Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, Catherynne Valente, and V. E. Schwab.
In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.
In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.
But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair....
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Porter (the Lost Voices trilogy) delivers a suspenseful reinvention of the Russian fairy tale "Vasilisa the Beautiful," set in a darkly magical version of present-day Brooklyn. "Traps don't get more obvious than this," reflects protagonist Vassa at one point. "And they don't get more irresistible." The wryness and impulsivity in Vassa's comment are emblematic of her personality, and it's that very mix of qualities that drives her to make a fateful stop at the infamous local bodega, BY's, which sways on chicken legs and advertises its right to behead shoplifters (the head of one of Vassa's classmates hangs outside, as proof). Accusing Vassa of stealing, the proprietress, Babs, forces her to work in indentured servitude for three nights, during which time Vassa discovers that Babs's magic may be connected to the growing imbalance between day and night affecting the city. With help from her talking wooden doll, Erg, Vassa endeavors to bring down the witch. It may take a little effort for some readers to ground themselves in the near-hallucinatory strangeness of Porter's setting, but those who do will be rewarded with a feverishly imagined and deliciously surreal adventure. Ages 13 up.