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CJ Cherryh's Russian novels

I've been revisiting a number of books which I originally read in 1992 (gosh, 16 years ago!) written by one of my favourite author's, CJ Cherryh. They are Rusalka, Chernevog and a recently acquired copy of Yvgenie. I've really enjoyed them, but they've been harder work that some of the other books which I've read recently. The books are Cherryh's exploration of her Russian heritage, and quite dark in subject, full of ghosts, magic and dark forests.



The first book,
Rusalka, tells the tale of Sasha, the unlucky pub stable lad, who ends up fleeing town with Pyetr, one of the local ne'er-do-wells, and getting lost in a very dark forest where they encounter a magician and a terrifying ghost. Sasha slowly comes to terms with the fact that he actually has magical abilities himself, and the truth about the ghost is established.

The second book,
Chernevog, was a harder book to read, as Cherryh takes her usual approach of telling the tale from the POV of the characters, who spend a lot of the novel confused as to what is actually going on. However it came to a satisfactory conclusion.

The final book,
Yvgenie, is the one I'm on now. This is a voyage of discovery, as I only found out it was published recently, and managed to get a second hand copy as it is long out of print. It's the reason that I re-read the first two books, as I wanted to remind myself what had gone on before. The story is some 16 years later than the previous book, and deals with a resurgent threat from the past which menaces Pyetr's daughter.

I love Cherryh's writing, and these books are no different. However, they are more difficult to get on with than her usual books (which normally take 50 pages to get me hooked), and have left me wanting to get a clear bit of time to dedicate to reading them. They definitely aren't novels you can just dip in and out of!