Ooooooo, this is a book from the time when Mercedes Lackey used to write LESS than four books a year and I used to really love her books.
It is wonderful, wonderful retelling of classic russian fairy tale. It is not done in subversive style a la Wicked, you will not be sympathizing with the villans here.
Oh no, Lackey just breathes live into fairy tale characters, she makes them three dimensional, she really fleshes out the plot of one of my very favorite russian fairy tales ever and she ends it with great twist.
Highly recommend to anybody.