Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon

A Novel

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In this tour de force, master storyteller Gregory Maguire offers a dazzling novel for fantasy lovers of all ages.

Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar's army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg -- a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena's age. When the two girls' lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and -- in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured -- Baba Yaga, witch of Russian folklore, in her ambulatory house perched on chicken legs.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780763672201
Branch Call Number: FIC Magui
Characteristics: 475 p
Alternative Title: Egg and spoon


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Cynthia_N Jul 22, 2015

Good story but it just did not pull me in.

JCLChrisK Dec 01, 2014

I quite enjoyed the story at the heart of this book and its central characters. As long as the narration was focused on the misadventures of Elena and Ekatarina, with their prince and pauper accidental reversal of roles in tsarist Russia, I found myself swept up in the tale. The secondary characters developed nicely into multi-dimensional people and all the characters experienced interesting growth. I especially enjoyed the way Maguire worked traditional Russian folklore into his story, with the figures of the firebird, the witch, and the ice dragon playing prominent roles.

However, the narrative voice itself did not work for me. I'm sure this is a matter of preference more than writing quality, but immediately from the series of false starts on the first few pages I took a dislike to the monk who narrates the book and his storytelling style. Every time he intruded on the story with his frequent thoughts, comments, and overblown prose, my teeth grated. My one other big gripe that keeps me from rating the book higher is the fact that Baba Yaga's constant anachronistic patter--that makes her seem imbalanced to the other characters and is meant to make her feel timeless and immortal to readers--is entirely composed of 21st-century jokes; were she truly timeless and immortal, her references would have come from all times instead of winkingly at the readers' time and place, so it made her ring false. Nitpicky, I know, but it bothered me.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top