The novel effectively and beautifully weaves mythology and Russian history into this medieval tale of good versus evil and Christianity versus Paganism. Arden is a fantastic world builder and I cannot wait to read the sequels.
Young Vasya sees things that no one else can see. This is both a blessing and a curse as Christianity spreads and Paganism and magic are pushed into the corners of Russian culture.
At times this novel reminds me a bit of Game of Thrones but for the young adult crowd. It is epic without being overwhelming bawdy and adult.