Rated Reads

Egg & Spoon

by Gregory Maguire

Rated: Mild

Elena Rudina is a peasant in pre-Revolution Russia. She is everything that embodies: destitute and practically an orphan, her father dead and her mother nearly so. So when her brother gets conscripted into the tsar’s army, Elena decides she needs to do something.

Ekaterina is the daughter of semi-noble parents who have put her in a London boarding school. The only person who truly cares is her Great-Aunt Sophie, and she’s determined that Ekaterina is going to show up at the tsar’s party for his godson and be presented as a possible match. This, however, is something Ekaterina does not want.

So it is fortuitous when Elena and Ekaterina meet by accident — the train stops in Elena’s village when the bridge is out — and then (again by accident) switch places. Each gets exposure to a different world and is led on the adventure of a lifetime.

Egg & Spoon is a mix between Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper and a fairy tale. It is overly long, I thought, and often uneven, but there are elements that are a lot of fun. In particular, Baba Yaga is delightful. There is so much to love about her character. However, there was something that kept me from absolutely loving this one. Partially, it was the odd use of an intrusive narrator. Partially, it was the meandering of the narrative. Either way, I liked this one well enough, but didn’t absolutely love it.

Rated: Mild, for some thematic elements.

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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  • Egg & Spoon
  • by Gregory Maguire
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: