Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
A Novel

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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.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Vassa in the Night is an enchanting, modern retelling of the Russian folktale “Vassilissa the Beautiful” for young adults by the critically-acclaimed author, Sarah Porter. Leigh Bardugo, New York Times bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy, calls it, "A dark, thoroughly modern fairy tale crackling with wit and magical mayhem."

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....

Inspired by the Russian folktale “Vassilissa the Beautiful” and her years of experience teaching creative writing to students in New York City public schools, acclaimed author Sarah Porter weaves a dark yet hopeful tale about a young girl’s search for home, love, and belonging.

 

About Sarah Porter

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Sarah Porter is the author Lost Voices, Waking Storms, and The Twice Lost. She is also an artist and a freelance public school teacher. Sarah and her husband live in Brooklyn, New York. Visit Sarah's Watery Den online at www.sarahporterbooks.com.
 
Published September 20, 2016 by Tor Teen. 304 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Vassa in the Night
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 22 2016

In this urban-fantasy take on the Russian folk tale “Vassilissa the Beautiful,” Porter weaves folk motifs into a beautiful and gripping narrative filled with magic, hope, loss, and triumph. An enthralling, magic-tinged read about home, family, love, and belonging.

Read Full Review of Vassa in the Night: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jul 22 2016

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.

Read Full Review of Vassa in the Night: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
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