House on chicken legs + girl who can bring inanimate objects to life + prophecy foretold adds up to a perfect fantasy.
Good to know
Based on a classic
Why I love it
Author, The Cartographers
Like many of you, I’m never without a book, and will take any opportunity to stick my nose into some pages. Subway ride? Check. Vacation? Check. In line at the grocery store? Double check. I can read absolutely anywhere … except a plane. I’ve never been able to get more than a page or two deep before something interrupts me or my mind wanders. So, when I tell you that I feverishly binged this entire book on a 4-hour flight without looking up even once, that really, really means something. Thistlefoot is extraordinary.
Inspired by old Baba Yaga folk stories, Thistlefoot starts as a fairy tale for grown-ups but then morphs into something much more. Isaac and Bellatine, two estranged siblings, learn they’ve been left an inheritance. This inheritance turns out not to be money, but a home—a sentient house that walks on giant chicken legs, in fact. But what Isaac and Bellatine don’t know is that they haven’t just inherited the magical house. They’ve also inherited a dark legacy of violence, trauma, and loss that stretches across generations and oceans. This legacy stalks them in the form of a foreboding pursuer who is both a man and yet not. As they go on the run, Isaac, Bellatine, and their house Thistlefoot must make a choice: surrender that legacy for their own safety or fully embrace its pain and power to stop an evil that seeks to silence forever what makes us all human.
Thistlefoot combines Eastern European folklore, Jewish myth, and real history into an incredibly compelling family saga that will stay with you for a long time. Do not miss this book!
The Yaga siblings—Bellatine, a young woodworker, and Isaac, a wayfaring street performer and con artist—have been estranged since childhood, separated both by resentment and by wide miles of American highway. But when they learn that they are to receive a mysterious inheritance, the siblings are reunited—only to discover that their bequest isn’t land or money, but something far stranger: a sentient house on chicken legs.
Thistlefoot, as the house is called, has arrived from the Yagas’ ancestral home in Russia—but not alone. A sinister figure known only as the Longshadow Man has tracked it to American shores, bearing with him violent secrets from the past: fiery memories that have hidden in Isaac and Bellatine’s blood for generations. As the Yaga siblings embark with Thistlefoot on a final cross-country tour of their family’s traveling theater show, the Longshadow Man follows in relentless pursuit, seeding destruction in his wake. Ultimately, time, magic, and legacy must collide—erupting in a powerful conflagration to determine who gets to remember the past and craft a new future.
An enchanted adventure illuminated by Jewish myth and adorned with lyrical prose as tantalizing and sweet as briar berries, Thistlefoot is an immersive modern fantasy saga by a bold new talent.