REVIEW: “Teeth” by Jessamy Corob Cook

Review of Jessamy Corob Cook, “Teeth”, in Skull & Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga, edited by Kate Wolford (World Weaver Press, 2019): 150-176 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology).

In the final story of the anthology, Cook explores how it is that Baba Yaga ended up where and who she is. It’s not told from her perspective, though, but from the perspective of one of the three riders (the white one who rides at dawn; the red one who rides at noon; and the black one who rides at night show up as side characters in the traditional stories). The black rider is not who she seems, at first, and as we alternate between the black rider’s present experiences and her memories of her past, we are given pieces of both her story and Baba Yaga’s.

At the very last the 1st person POV shifts from the black rider’s perspective to the white rider’s, which I found a bit abrupt; however, I’m not sure the final resolution (which worked beautifully) could have been brought about without this change in perspective. I wonder what the story might have been like if the perspectives of the black and white rider had alternated throughout — but it’s not fair to criticise a story by saying “I wish it had been a different story”, so don’t take that as a criticism, but rather as a hope for another story I might someday read.

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