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Tuesday, 2 February 2021

The East Witch - Cedar Sanderson

The East Witch
Sanderley Studios.
ASIN B08R3BMB8W


This is the fourth volume by Sanderson that I have read. I first encountered the works of Cedar in Cracked: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories, and after reading her piece there knew I had to track down and read something else from her pen. And I have been impressed with each of them. To date this is the longest I have read by her, and I would classify it as Epic fantasy! It was a book that was incredibly hard to put down. Sanderson has drawn from many folk tales, fairy tales, and native legends to create this masterful story. It is an epic adventure where myths and legends come to life Underhill.

This is the story of Anna and the story of Ivan. But not the story of them in a relationship. Anna is a human hunting guide. When she stumbles, literally stumbles over an elf caught in a bear trap she does what instinct tells her to. She saves the elf. Her next task is to get him home safe. But getting herself home seems a much more elusive task. And she is now trapped Underhill. A place with creatures she knows from legends and stories. And a world and politics she does not understand.

Both Ivan and Anna have adventures, together and separate. They are both seeking to help the other. And both want to do what is right. But in a land with Baba Yaga prepping for war. One Queen missing and another dead. And both the High and low courts in disarray how much can a young elf and a human hunter do?

Can Anna remember enough of the tales from her world to help her navigate he way in this one? Will her manners be enough to help her gain an edge and maybe even some allies. Can her past training with her grandfather and her brothers help her in a land where the rules are different? To find out you will need to read this story.

And what about Ivan, can a young elf, redeem himself from a failed task? Can he recover from trying to take a shortcut? Can he live up to his blood oath? 

The greatest strength of this story is the characters. Of course, you will be rooting for Anna and Ivan. But what about some of the others we encounter? The jaeger, the leader of the Wild Hunt, the leshy Algyr and his sister Alaadi And many others. And who could forget the raven. The story itself is written with a unique pace. The story speeds up and slows down several times. And whenever one of these shifts takes place, make sure to pay special attention.

The story reads in part like a Narnian Adventure, and in part like a side story if Tolkien had ever crossed over characters from our world. Though there is a murder, and also much conniving, mischief, and planned mayhem, even for all of that it is a good clean story. And a girl just wanting to get home, but maybe home is where the heart belongs. 

This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it. A perfect mingling of high adventure, legends, and myths in an epic tale.

Books by Cedar Sanderson:
A Time To Die
Legion
Snow in Her Eyes
Warp Resonance
The Dwarf's Dryad
One-Eyed Dragon
Memories of the Abyss
Little Red-Hood and the Wolf-man
Stargazer
The Eternity Symbiote
Plant Life
Sugar Skull
Snow Angel
Inktail & Friends: A Coloring Book
The Twisted Breath of God
Voyageur's Cap
Fairy Little Sister
Milkweed
Mindflow

Pixie for Hire Series:
Pixie Noir
Trickster Noir 
Dragon Noir
Pixie for Hire: Omnibus Edition

Children of Myth Series:
Vulcan's Kittens 
The God’s Wolfling

The Tanager Series:
Jade Star
Tanager's Fledglings 

Witchward Series:
Possum Creek Massacre
… 

Illustrated by Cedar:
Something Wicked #15
Jormungandr's Venom (Fenris Unchained Book 3)
Hunted Behavior

Contributed to:
The Hearts' Enchantment
Calexit- The Anthology
Supernatural Streets
Something Wicked Anthology, Vol One
Something Wicked #15
Mythic Delirium Magazine Issue 0.4

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