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A Rusalka--the spirit of a maiden drowned by accident or force--will return as a ghost to haunt the river and woods where she met her death. The locale for this fantasy by SF writer Cherryh ( Downbelow Station ) is pre-Christian Russia. Two young men flee the village of Vojvoda--Pyetr, accused of killing a wealthy noble, and Sasha, an accessory to his escape. They are making their way to Kiev when, in the middle of a forest, they become involved in the search for the wizard Uulamets's dead daughter Eveshka, a Rusalka and a wizard herself. Uulamets wants to resurrect her, but evil forces oppose him, among whom may be Kavi Chernevog, Uulamets's former student, and a suspect in Eveshka's death. Cherryh fills her story with myriad magical creatures from Slavonic mythology. A richness of detail and characterization enliven this drama about the human (and unhuman) greed for power and the redemptive power of love. (Oct.)

When a youthful prank turns suddenly sour, two young men flee their village and embark on a perilous journey through a forest inhabited by magical creatures, a secretive wizard, and an irresistible ghost: the life-draining ``rusalka.'' Veteran fantasy/sf author Cherryh ( Rimrunners , LJ 5/15/89) turns her storytelling expertise to a vivid re-creation of pre-Christian Russia's rich folk legends in a fantasy to be highly recommended.

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