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Thistlefoot by GennaRose Nethercott



We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, GennaRose Nethercott, on your first book!

by GennaRose Nethercott

Quick take

House on chicken legs + girl who can bring inanimate objects to life + prophecy foretold adds up to a perfect fantasy.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BasedOnAClassic

    Based on a classic


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.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Thistlefoot.

Why I love it

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!

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Member ratings (8,749)

  • Heath C.

    Moultrie, GA

    This is probably the strangest novel I have ever read. But, I just loved it. At first I thought maybe I had chosen the wrong selection for me, but it quickly took me in and I was hooked.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Melissa L.

    Aurora , CO

    “…all it takes is one survivor, and the story lives on…” It was a slow burn, but the end was breathtakingly strong. What a heartbreakingly beautiful tribute to a people who won’t soon be forgotten.

  • Ashley C.

    Huntsville, AL

    “What is a house but a container for life? What is life but a container for a story? When a container is broken, it does not destroy the contents. It sets them free.” Loved this chicken-legged house.

  • Isaac W.

    West Hollywood, CA

    An INCREDIBLE book! The story and characters are just remarkable but the language Nethercott employs to create this story is breathtaking! So many beautiful passages!!! And it’s a PERFECT fall read!!!

  • Kimberly K.

    Bethel Park, PA

    I’ve been a member of BOTM for years and this book is my favorite BOTM book of all time. It’s beautifully written and the story and characters well crafted. I loved the story. More like this please!