The Wise and the Wicked

The Wise and the Wicked
Age Range
Release Date
May 28, 2019
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Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time. Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.

Editor review

1 review
Magical Realism
Overall rating
Writing Style
Ruby and her sisters come from a long line of wise and powerful women. When their grandmother and her sisters fled Russia they lost most of their magical powers. Today only one of their great powers remain. The power to have a vision of their own death.
The cover on this one was what initially got me. It justs screams Russian folklore. It gives a great representation of what this novel is about.
The only type of magical realism that I really enjoy is when it is told through a lens of an old world fairytale with fairytales themselves woven into the story. 'The Wise and The Wicked' has this in spades.
I really loved the flow of the story as well as the characters. Podos did such a wonderful job of describing the characters and making each one wonderfully unique.  Ruby and her sisters were just amazing and the details of the story really gave me a vivid picture of what was going on.
One of my favorite elements of Ruby's story was the podcast about a time-traveling scientist. The podcast story is really well developed and I would love to hear more from 'Kerrigan Black'.
I am disappointed with the ending. The story ended on a huge cliffhanger with no resolution to the story. I don't mind an ending that's left up to the reader but this one is pretty extreme. This was foreshadowed a bit with the ending to Ruby's favorite podcast so it didn't come as a complete shock but I really hoped for more.
This was a fun read with a powerful feminine vibe. It had a 'The Rules of Magic' feel (which was actually mentioned in the story).
Good Points
Has 'Practical Magic' vibe. Strong female
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