Baba Yaga has a reputation as a baby eating, ruthless badass witch. Finding love has never been on her list of things to do with her life. She was content with the way things were. Until Calypso and Aphtodite decided to play a little matchmaking game. Now Baba is psir with Freyr a god of sex and lust as they battle five other "couples". The goal? To fall in love and proclaim their love for one another before the deadline or they will be punished. Will Freyr break through her tough exterior or will Baba be too stubborn to admit that to love doesn't mean weakness.
I got interested in this book based on the fact that it involved Baba Yaga. For those unfamiliar, Bsba Yaga is a figure in Russian/Slovak folklore as a witch with iron teeth. Many stories have her as having two sisters also named Baba Yaga, others have her having three forms. It is said that she hold power over the elements and is the goddess of wisdom and death even though she isn't a goddess. I find her to be a fascinating character and was happy to see her used in a story. This story uses her in the form of having three forms to which Aphrodite and Calypso requests she be in maiden form for the "games." We do see the crone form at another point in the story, but not the mother, which part of me wishes we had. It would have added a different dimension to the story.
I enjoyed the romantic build up of their relationship even if it was far from romantic, but their banter back and forth was adorable. There was a scene where Freyr was a frog in her bodice that made me laugh of loud. The beginning of the stort takes a while to build up and really take off. I almost wanted a little more of the battles, especially with the Pied Piper, but I understand why there wasn't more. The dialog was well done, as I said the banter between them was funny and when theygot serious it was believable.
I enjoyed the general concept of the story and the idea that love isn't a weakness, or allowing oneself to be vulnerable in order to allow love to enter into our lives. I loved seeing her becoming soft and growing love in the beginning with Phlegm, and agreeing to the challenge that Freyr poses to her after their first battle. There seems to be a lot happening in the story, but it all works well together and doing feel forced or unnatural. When you read this book you not only get a story, but you get transplanted into different worlds as each battle takes place and have a front row seat to the love forming between Baba Yaga and Freyr.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think anyone who enjoys fantasy, romance, and folklore would enjoy this book. It was something different and unique to some of the other books I have read recently. I give this a 4 out of 5 and hope others enjoy it as well.