This was the right ending to the story, but I started disliking Vasya in the previous story and she does not redeem herself much. She still refuses to consider how other people might be affected by her actions, but at least she spends most of her time in the folkloric realm and not the real world.
Vasya’s “reveals” were a little cliche, as was what happens when she goes to free Morozko. Saw that coming two books ago. For the reveals she discovers about herself and her family’s history, on the one hand it does help set up her conclusion, but on the other it’s pretty standard for the chosen one sort that she has been since the beginning.
I did like the ending for Father Konstantin, and most of the folklore characters. The key interestingly to both of these pieces is the Bear, who finally gets some personality as opposed to random evil spirit/counterpart/evil twin of Morozko. Both what he gets and then enables Konstantin to do and figure out was actually pretty interesting, particular given how one note Konstantin had become in the second book and the first bit of this one. Then his (Bear’s) association with Vasya gives him some further depth, and he ends up actually playing a part in helping at the end, although it was a little bit of a cop out on Vasya’s part. Vasya starts to get in touch with her violent/chaotic side, but she realizes that and doesn’t like it about herself, so what’s she do? Let Bear take over for that on a battlefield, which he’s more than happy to do. Ded Grib the mushroom spirit is a good addition for comic relief.
I did not like Sasha’s ending. I realize that part of it had to do with his historical analogue (see the appendix), but why did that have to happen to the one character I actually kind of liked who was involved in the fight? I mean Vasya suddenly decides to respect people’s wishes at exactly the wrong point, although if she hadn’t respected Sasha’s explanation at this moment, I would have thrown the book across the room.
Oh well, at least it’s over, and in a way I can mostly accept.