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Thistlefoot  By  cover art

Thistlefoot

By: GennaRose Nethercott
Narrated by: January LaVoy
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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of modern fairy tales like Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver comes a sweeping epic rich in Eastern European folklore—a debut novel about the ancestral hauntings that stalk us, and the uncanny power of story.

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. 

©2022 GennaRose Nethercott (P)2022 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Thistlefoot

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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I can't decide if I liked it

I enjoyed the story, but is it a favorite, no. I liked the concept and the melding of culture/storytelling, but I found the protagonists whinny and selfish. While I get that it was part of the story and understand why, I am just getting to the point that I don't find it interesting anymore. I believe I would have enjoyed this 20 years ago.

2 people found this helpful

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Strange

Such a strange book. Narration was done well but the story wasn’t my cup of tea.

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Too ambitious

I wanted to love this as it was so unique but wayyyy too many elements were woven in

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Beautiful Through and Through

Incredible magical realism that addresses the horrors of the past, generational trauma, folk stories, and coming into your own. Unlike any book I know. Beautiful, detailed language that doesn’t get too heady. Highly recommend.

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Fantastic read

Nothing like I expected, but everything I needed! Funny and tragic, profound in its telling, a beautiful version of a folk story. This book captured the history of a people and how we carry our ancestors' traumas in our own bodies.

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Breathtaking

What a powerful story! Absolutely shattering. Worth your time (and tears…) Loved every word (but especially “thistle” :)

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A fairy tale, cautionary tale.....remember.

Such an engaging story. The characters are lively and pop into your mind easily. It made me think a lot and not just about houses with chicken legs but life, family, today and the many yesterday's that make us who we are.

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An Amazing Tale

Very well thought, felt, told. Certainly not a fairy tale but this breathes the same air. Not a folk tale, remembering all the same. It’s an amazing tale that ties existing stories to a new one. Working in great device to carry a timeless plot on a never before seen journey. I really enjoyed this one.

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Treat yourself to this wildcard!

I’ll be listening to this many times over the years. January LaVoy did an outstanding job narrating this book too. Such a delightful find!

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Ugly Crying

Loved this book, sobbed like a babe, laughed, and absolutely recommend it. I need more books like this in my life.