Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reviewette – “From Russia, with Love” by C.E. Murphy

From Russia, with Love is a story about Janx and Daisani, the dragon and vampire characters from C.E. Murphy’s wonderful Negotiator series. Told in a Grimm’s fairy tale style, this story alone is worth the purchase of A Fantasy Medley.
"She eats men alive," one man said, and that was true, so I said nothing.
"She flies on a giant mortar," said another, and that too was true, so again, I said nothing.
"Her house has chicken legs and goes where it wants," said another, and once more spoke truth, and I held my tongue.
"Her daughter is the most beautiful woman in the world," said the first, and now too many things had been said, and so I said, "But Vasili, you tell me I am the most beautiful woman in the world," and he spread his arms and spilled his grog and said, "Why then you are Baba Yaga's daughter, and I bet neither of these fine lords can win your heart."
In From Russia, with Love, Murphy reveals how old and enduring the friendship between these two supernaturals is. Set in pre-twentieth century times, Janx journeys to Russia to seek out another dragon who has held sway over Moscow for centuries and may have a treasure that Janx covets. They encounter the daughter of the ancient and powerful witch Baba Yaga and both are immediately intrigued by her and she with them. Janx hopes to capture and offer up Baba Yaga to the Moscow dragon in exchange for the treasure he seeks. But the deliciously evil Baba Yaga turns the tables and uses her daughter as bait and manages to magically bind Janx to her will. This leads to heartbreak for all concerned.
"It was not a trap," I said heavily. "I thought we might steal a while without my mother knowing. But we are beneath her house, and nothing passes here that she doesn't see." Gaze lowered, I stepped past him, but he caught my arm with a fingertip touch. Compulsion brought my eyes to his, and if he had not been chained by my mother's will I might have thought that compulsion to be one he laid on me. But no: it came from within, burgeoned by apology, seeking forgiveness.
Utlimately Daisani must make a difficult decision and terrible choice to rescue his friend. The ending is suitably dark with an engaging twist. I highly recommend this stylish story. A great companion to the Negotiator/Old Race novels.

Subterranean Press
Published: April 28, 2009
ISBN #: 9781596062245
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 128

  1. Zen and the Art of Vampirism by Kelley Armstrong (An Otherworld story)
  2. Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott (A Crown of Stars story)
  3. Words Like Coins by Robin Hobb (a Farseer story)
  4. From Russia, with Love by C.E. Murphy (a Negotiator story)


  1. Oh, how cool! Two of my fave characters from this series--aside from Margrit and Alban, anyway. Wow, thanks for the heads up!

  2. Carolyn Jean I really liked this story and we learn some new tidbits about these characters not revealed in the novels.


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