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Vodník by Bryce Moore

By / March 26, 2014 / no comments

It’s taken me way too long to get to this book. I got it in the fall, but haven’t gotten around to reading the book and write a review for it yet. Most of you have probably not heard of Vodník or Bryce Moore and neither had I until they both popped up on Facebook, courtesy of Brandon Sanderson. I was already sold on the cover, and knew I needed to get my filthy paws on this specimen.

Vodník is a YA urban fantasy story, revolving around 15 year old Tomas. He lives in America and has Slovak roots. As a very young boy, Tomas and his parents moved to America following a tragic accident, involving Tomas nearly dying in a fire. At age 15, Tomas parents decide to move back to Slovakia, which is when the Slavic folk tale elements start being important.

What’s really cool about Vodník is the fact that it’s a cross between urban fantasy and Slovakian folk- and fairy tales and it works really really well. Because of Tomas nearly dying as a child, he is able to commune with beings from Slavic mythology, which is a key element in the story.

Slovak fairy tales are pretty much like you would expect. Dark and very different from your everyday greek, roman and egyptian lore. Dont get me wrong, I love that aswell, but slovak lore seems like something I might like a hell of a lot too!

When I think back on the book, I think of the Brothers Grimm. In some ways, the Slovakian fairy tales add a freshness I haven’t experienced for quite a while. It’s not something I’ve read before, and it’s more exciting for it. It’s dark and more Abercrombian than any lore I’ve encountered in a fantasy setting to date . The mythic beings of Slovak folk tales are neither good nor evil (ok ok, there are some Joffrey-level evil baddies out there), but it’s more like shades of grey.

The ending finishes the book nicely, but it leaves us readers with a lot of potential for future adventures. There are a few very cool concepts in the ending, that makes me excited for this series.

The weakest part of the book are the characters. They don’t always feel believable from my point of view, but that might be harsh, since this is a book aimed at YA. As such, it’s a great book, where the characters do tend to be a bit “lighter” than what I wanted them to be.

Should I compare this book to anything, it would be Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Only, Vodník was published before Steelheart. In both of these books there is more focus on writing a damn good story and less on the characterization. This is a great YA book and a good one for adults as well.

Need something light and Steelheart-y? Vodník is your go to book!

About the author


Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!


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