Hearth and Bard Tales Book 1
“Forest born! Ogre child! You’re nothing but a demon wild!”
Vasilisa has always been strong. She’s strong enough to break the arm of the bully that daily taunts her. She won’t because she and her mother are servants at the Orlov manor, and her mother would be punished for her retaliation. Instead Vasilisa bides her time until she is sixteen and can return to the forest.
Only Staver, the master’s son, shows her kindness. His friendship pulls as strong as the forest, but their classes are divided forever by law. She is a forest born, fatherless servant and her future at the manor holds mockery filled drudgery.
War threatens. The forest calls. Will she stay to protect the one who can never be more than a friend, or flee to the peace that the forest offers?
A high-adventure, clean fairy tale retelling of Vasilisa and Staver
Available on Amazon
This is a rich, beautiful story that feels like historical fiction set in medieval Russian with strong flavors of old fairytale magic and romance. I was familiar with Vasilisa from an old Baba Yaga story, but Farb’s Vasilisa is a living, breathing, heroic young woman for whom I immediately felt a strong empathy. She is an inspiring fictional heroine! The plot was full of surprises and SO difficult to put aside the book! The extras at the back were fun, too. I highly recommend this book!
- Katy Huth Jones, author of the YA-fantasy series He Who Finds Mercy
I couldn’t put this book down! … Vasilisa is such an engaging and interesting character that I was swept into her narrative. Stopping to take care of other responsibilities was difficult, and the story would run through my mind the whole time until I could get back to the book… My only complaint is that the book ended. The author’s prose is beautiful, the imagery spellbinding. I can’t wait until the next book!
- Amy Klaus, author of Royals of Andorvia
I absolutely loved this book! What a great tale of adventure, love, and courage. It’s almost more historical fiction than fantasy, so fans of either genre (or of Russian mythology) are sure to enjoy it. The characters are vivid and distinct, the settings clearly described, and the plot gripping. I highly recommend this story (and everything else by this author)!
- Annie Douglass Lima, author of the Annals of Alasia and the Krillonian Chronicles
I loved this, and enjoyed the rich story telling and seamless weave of Russian folklore and historical fiction that mashes the fantasy and historical genres in a magical way! Readers of either genre can easily enjoy this story, and it’s so unique and well done, that likely even readers who don’t read much fantasy/historical fiction would enjoy it! The characters are original, complex, and unforgettable, and I loved it! There’s romance and action, struggles both internal and external, Fae and fantastic writing to bring it all together. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out M. L. Farb’s other books!
- Stephanie, Books Less Travelled Reviews
M.L. Farb is such an amazing storyteller. The adventures she tells are so poetic and powerful and beautiful, despite the struggles her characters face. Vasilisa is an incredible story of overcoming one’s past, sacrificing for love, and finding strength within. This is a beautiful story full of adventure readers will be sure to love!
- Kimberly King, author of The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers
This incredible novel tells of a young woman who finds herself while protecting those she loves. Called evil by others, now she proves her skills of trickery and deception can also be used for good… Farb labels her books YA, but adults will love Vasilisa as much as any other fantasy book. Public unrest, self-discovery, war, romance, and the choice to be good or evil pack these pages.
- Kameo Monson, author of When Love is Lost
I can’t stress enough how much I loved this book. It’s a sweet, innocent romance with fantasy and magic, as well as history and adventure. I love it when books can combine genres like this. Top it all off with a strong female leading character who is easy to love and support, and you have one of the best books I have read all year.
- Official Review from onlinebookclub.org