In The Witches of Kyiv and Other Gothic Tales by Orest Somov the supernatural is present throughout Ukraine, from a cemetery in Kyivan Rus, to an isolated forest cottage in the seventeenth century Kozak era, to the society ballrooms of Somov’s own world – the early nineteenth century. Gothic horror appears in many guises including witches, warlocks, demons and vengeful ‘rusalka’. Strange soothsayers and malevolent visitors represent the forces of good and evil. In her foreword Dr Lana Krys describes Somov “as an initiator of an indigenous literary tradition of the Gothic in the Ukrainian literary canon”. Native folk traditions, ghost stories and European Romanticism are twisted together in Somov’s imaginative tales, most of which are published here in English for the first time.
This particular book my husband found it while we were investigating rusalkas, because we were watching a video about mythical monsters and they mentioned them and wao the jewel we found on this book.
All the stories are pretty good in their own way more the supernatural elements and the cover was absolutely beautiful. If you like short stories and would like to know a little more about Ukraine mythology this one is a perfect entry to that world.
Witch of Kyiv
This one it’s the opening story of the book and it’s so sadly beautiful.
the concept of this young man falling in love with a witch even after being warned repeatedly was awesome, it dwells on the concept of trust and it proven at the end that sometimes curiosity can doom us all.
This one was the one that actually attracted me to the book since I was trying to investigate what a rusalka was, since I saw a trailer that mentioned them, it wasn’t overwhelming or anything, but the story was very sad but it had on my opinion a very interesting and satisficing ending.
On this one I really didn’t understood at all what the situation really was since, yes there was this stranger coming to the house of our a family asking for food and lodging and all of the sudden since the man didn’t want to give any daughter hand he just went and curse all three with the evil until they died? I mean it was a little harsh.
The shortest so far in this book, but it was a very nice love story in a way, tragic yes but beautiful.
This one I found very nice, its about a young warrior coming back home, until to encounter in the middle of the journey a rusalka and inadvertently going with her to his demise.
The most down to earth story in my opinion, it was very curious since we had Vasyl, that seemed to posses the power of knowing the future of people and he put himself on harm’s way for this officer that seemed in a way very kind to his friends and even help him overcome death.
In an all it was a very interesting collections of stories that had a little of everything in them.