This is the seventh installment in a series of book recommendations, all of which will introduce you to kickass women from mythologies around the world, all of them written by women. All books listed had to pass the following criteria:
Be written by a woman
Have a woman as (one of) the protagonist(s)
Feature Russian or Slavic mythology
This recommendation list comes on the heels of the Asian mythology rec list, because I really wanted to include Russia (which falls under both Asian and Slavic mythology), but I wanted to keep the country as a whole in one post. @kostromas
(x) and @lamus-dworski (x) (x) were kind enough to take some time answering my questions.
While I mainly looked for books ft. Russian and Slavic mythologies (I used this Wiki file as a measure to determine the Slavic region), I also include a few books with other origins, such as Norway and various Eastern European countries, because I think - out of all the recommendation posts I have done and plan to do - this is the one they would fit best in.
Please note as well that there is a lot of overlap among most of these cultures, with different versions of a character appearing in many, so some of the below classifications may be rather arbitrary (I usually go with what’s 1) listed in the summary, then see if 2) the writer specifies a culture, or if 3) readers had helpful input).
UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that this post could do with some clarification and additions. To start with, I’d like to address the small number of books listed under Slavic. I don’t mean to say that only the countries listed are Slavic countries. The list is as limited as it is because I found it difficult to locate books that met all the above listed criteria, and an unconscious fifth - that they be written in English. If you take out any one of those criteria, a larger pool of books would open itself up, and I encourage you to consider that as an option.
While I understand that limiting these lists to books written in or translated into English is not ideal, I also don’t think I am the right person to judge which books written in Slavic languages should be included, as I am not Slavic and don’t speak or read Slavic languages. Readers should be aware though, that reading a book featuring Slavic mythologies or cultures, which are not written by someone who identifies as Slavic, may promote a stereotypical or otherwise harmful depiction of those cultures.
Moreover, those authors who do hail from the relevant region are more likely to be published if they don’t push the envelope too much to be acceptable for a generic Western audience. Therefore, additional reading of books on and / or featuring Slavic mythologies or cultures can aid in understanding the context of these tales. I have listed a couple of books in the honourable mentions with that in mind, and I have decided to add an asterisk (*) to all works written by an author who is confirmed as hailing from the region their work is set in. Typically, I’ve listed one or two books per author, but do check for their other writing.
Finally, I should add that I might have made a mistake in including Russia in this list. This was done because I wanted to keep the country in one post, rather than splitting it between the Asian list and this one. The Asian one was sufficiently long I didn’t want to add it there, but I might have been better off creating a completely separate list for it rather than including it here.
With the above reasons in mind, I have decided to move the Slavic section up, I have added a number of entries throughout, and expanded the resources list at the bottom.
I’m reading The Lost Hero again and… Wow. There are so many things I had forgotten!
Well, this is how I see Piper in my mind now. Smol kiddo 100% ready for a fight.
She’s not the kind of girl I would befriend in school though. In Brazilian portuguese we have a word that kinda fits her: “Barraqueira”.
At the beggining of the book she wants to fight every single girl who looks at her and especially every girl who looks at Jason, and this is really annoying. She basically wants to punch everybody to “show the world she’s strong". Of course I understand that, suffering from bullying all her life, it’s natural that she’s always in a defensive mood, but c’mon girl, just calm down. Pls.
And to make it better, she kinda demonizes everything girly. I don’t blame her, the damn Riordan wrote her this way, but WOW it pisses me off. It starts with her judging Drew by her looks. “Too pretty, makeup, fashion style. Hum, must be evil.” And this judgement is then applied to almost every female character who does not follow the line “100% good”.
And oh well, Aphrodite and her children. Do you guys remember the Hipnos Cabin? These guys sleep all the time, and do not seem to be good at battles. But still, whose fame is it to be useless in fights? Aphrodite’s children.
“Ah but Hipnos’ children can make the enemy sleepy, blah blah blah”
Aphrodite was born from Uranos. She’s probably as powerful as Zeus, or even more, because as we all know, even the gods can’t escape from love.
Love is a powerful thing. Love can be BRUTAL. So that story of Aphrodite’s children being always portrayed as supermodels who only care about their looks and boyfriends and can’t fight a bug is just RIDICULOUS
Sorry about it, is just something that really bothers me.
“Laney knew; she had always been meant for breaking, not building.” - end of Chapter 20, Beanstalk
This line whacked me in the face when I read it because of how much it contrasts with Jack, while also drawing a parallel between them. They are both destroyers, but only one of them accepts it, and they both come from cultures that emphasize building / creation. In the Forest, building is connected to life and safety from the Shadows; in the desert, it is a woman’s role to maintain camps and negotiate peace. This could probably be a proper post but my writing brain isn’t present so here, have a rambly compare/contrast list of traits connecting Laney Jones and Jack Farris.
Jack Farris - forest culture; building = life (but the trees might see it differently. Jack Farris sometimes feels like a tree.); his mother describes him as being of fire / he will destroy everything if he thinks it is for good, and this chills him; he is a fighter and a warrior, compelled to destroy in the hopes of building safety / protection / justice for others; when he geeks out over the Northern Rangers he specifically draws attention to the fact that they also build houses and provide food for struggling communities; he destroys but is not at peace with that part of himself; also he fulfills roles, he is literally Jack the Giant Slayer, but he also knows his place in his family; when Grey accuses Jack’s family of being bullies, he explains that this is simply his identity / place with them
Laney Jones - desert nomads; women are the peacekeepers, meant to construct tents and knit peace, and you see that in her smile which is “very sweet indeed”, in her strategy to give people what they want so she can get what she wants, a strategy that also allows her to get close enough to destroy anything that thinks it can control her; her smile hides a sharp tongue and a bullet aimed wherever will hurt you most; this entire world is in need of a strong dose of feminism and Laney Jones will destroy every conception you want to force on her; she is of fire and she embraces this; she will rip the very barrier between worlds, will burn every box you try to put her in, because she is the choices she makes for herself and nothing else
Starting with the chatty person of the bb Plough you’re pretty but you never shut up and you’re always in an argument even if you haven’t started many of the arguments lately you still have a long history of narcissism and arguing with everyone around you. Props for being more relaxed and mature now and even tho you love confrontation you care for your friends and you are pretty woke for a confused mulatto. There’s moments where I like you.
Next is homeboy Wrap you’re cool and I don’t get why some people don’t like you. You had a fight with Chapo over Deport which was the very first 100+ note post on the bb and it was funny but now that it’s over I think you’re a chill guy and props on not being involved in drama a lot.
The dynamic duo Sister and Eyeroll are pretty chill. I like you both but Eyeroll takes the lead in the friendship. Sister you’re more laid back but you’re funny and Eyeroll you can be a raging bitch but you’re pretty funny too. You care about each other and your friends so props to you for that. I like you but I don’t know you too good.
Ask anyone whos the friendliest girl on IMVU they’ll say Abuses you’re hot and nice to everyone and I hear you’ve helped a lot of people with their problems so I like you for being caring and having a cool personality. You’ve also dated a lot of guys that were mostly fuck boys and I hear you’re a fuck girl yourself but you’re still pretty cool in my book.
Ask the Devil for a girlfriend and he’ll send you Alliegant you’re hot but you’re weird. You call yourself an angel but you have a long history of being a mentally unstable raging bitch but props on being more chill now. You care for everyone and I hear you’re a good therapist even if you need to see one yourself but I like you.
A class clown and funny girl Pauia you’re cute and funny but annoying sometimes. You had a thing with Appear and you’re still friends with him. Just date already. You take the crew meme too serious and you can be a bitch sometimes but you’re funny and you’re always happy.
They call her the queen of IMVU Alchemy you’re pretty and you’re the sane voice around IMVU when you’re not having an on and off relationship with Vrib@IMVU and feeling sad in your own mind. You can be demanding and narcissistic but I like you in your element and you’re your best you around your misfits of Auuuu crew.
If sane voices are royalty then Jords must be the King. You’re nice to everyone and you care about more people then you should. I don’t know about your dating history but from what I can tell you’re a one girl kind of guy. I like that you don’t follow the crowd and you treat people good even if your annoying friends don’t. I like you because you’re a chill person.
The interesting Chapo is next you’re a lady killer and every girl wants a piece of you but your heart belongs to one girl because of your long history. You’re chill but you’re an asshole when people cross you but props to caring about your friends and being a ride or die for them.
Another dynamic duo Nmad and Celebro people get you confused but you have different personalities. Nmad you’re laid back and you don’t let your gemini side out much and you have your own wolf to fight your battles and Celebro you’re a bitch but props on being loved by your friends when people get to know you they see a different side. I like both of you.
I like Cuckt but you always change your personality to be liked. You are the laid back tomboy and gamer girl and you’re chill when you’re just being yourself.
Another person in the chill girl gang is Krystal you’re a cute girl and I like you and I don’t think you’re a follower like others say but you do jump to conclusions sometimes without knowing all the facts which is the most annoying thing about you but I think you’re cool and I like you because you’re quiet sane and a good therapist to your friends.
If the devil walked the earth he’d be Orb you’re an asshole and you don’t care. You’re into weird and dangerous stuff so you probably scare people a lot. Your friends love you so you’re probably a cool guy somewhere in your black soul. You’re also the face of xxx crew.
She’s always dating someone Aldi you’ve dated a lot of people but you’re not a fuck girl because you care about every person that you date. You can be s bitch when people cross you but you’re funny and relaxed and I like you a lot.
The big scary boyfriend and dad friend Mwolfe my opinion has changed a lot on you but you’re just a guy who cares about his friends. You’re happy all the time and you were a fuck boy but you’re loyal to nmad now. I like you because you’re the nice guy that can be the bad guy when someone crosses your friends so you’re a real ride or die but you can be an asshole sometimes.