Miscellaneous Mondays: My Favorite Indie Authors 2/5 – Ksenia Anske



Here’s the story of how I met Ksenia Anske….

Remember last week when I told you how I met Hugh Howey? The story of how I met Ksenia starts out the same way because… I met her at the Hugh Howey meetup! Part of the reason I love Ksenia so much as an author is because I love her as a person. If you met her in real life you would instantly fall in love with her too. She is dynamic and charming and loud. She gives out hugs and tells you that you can kiss her hand. She is playful and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She has the easy manner you might associate with a movie star and not a writer. She is the writer that writers wish to be and boy can she promote herself! I was charmed when I met her and I’m still charmed today because I follow her on Facebook and her blog. She has a way with talking to her readers and her fans and she’s so entertaining.

Not only is she a great personality and writer in person, but also in her books. Not all of her novels are glitter and roses (one of them has roses) because she has lived a life. She brings so much to the table as a writer through her books and the sometimes hard lessons learned through them. Irkadura and Siren Suicides deal with real issues and when I read them I took away something ddifferent a perspective on suicide and hard times I don’t always get from the normal YA and fantasy that I usually read. Life is not always fun and games, but it can be described beautifully by authors like Ksenia Anske.

Ksenia Anske is on my list of Indie stars to watch out for because she is a wonderful writer with an easy to read and compelling writing style, is so charming, brings up the real issues in her books, and has a great relationship with her readers through both her social media and in person presence.

I’ve read every novel of Ksenia’s and am ready and waiting for her new works, especially the manuscript she’s currently editing/working on: Corners.

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Here’s what Ksenia says and another reason I love her as an author: “I believe that art is not about protecting it from being stolen, it’s about giving it away and inspiring others to create more art. All of my books (and drafts) you can download for FREE on my site indefinitely. You can also buy signed paperbacks or digital/paper copies on sites like Amazon. If you think my writing is worth your money and you want to support me, please buy my books or donate. It’s a pay-what-you-want idea. Any amount spells to me your love. It will enable me to give you more love in return, to write more books for you to read and share. XOXO.”

I’m so glad Ksenia is local and I’m able to see her now and then at events like her book reading and the Gifts for Geeks at the AFK Tavern.

Check back next Monday for the week’s Indie Author Rising Star 3/5

Book Review: Irkadure by Ksenia Anske


Irkadura by Ksenia Anske

A YA Fiction Novel published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (11/03/14)


You know who you are, Irina Myshko? You’re not a mouse and you’re not an eagle, you’re just a dumb mute dura. You’ve never talked and you never will. (Locations 2920-2921).

Irkadura is not dumb, she just said the wrong word at the wrong time to the wrong woman (Locations 917-918) and at the age of two was scarred into a PTSD like silence. Her silence travels with her, affecting her life and how people view her. Most think of her as crazy, stupid, without opinion or protest, or as an invalid. The government has issued her a certificate of disability, which she uses to get a job at a local theatre. Irina is not just mute, but she refers to people as animals. Her mama is a catfish, the man who raped her is a boar and the boy who she is entranced by is a butterfly. Irina herself is a mouse, a timid creature that is stomped and crushed and bitten.


 Russia, Hard Times, Struggle, Teen Issues, Strong Female, Mute, Magical Realism

My Review:

What is Irina’s reality? She escapes as much as possible from the unbelievable horrors of her life through the animals that she imagines inhabiting her environment. Her reality is so horrible and unreal that the only way she can escape is by doing something drastic, to take her mind away. For this, most think she is stupid or crazy. The big finish at the end will toy with your reality and make you wonder what’s really going on.

Just as Irina is a master of making reality disappear in the vividness of her animal descriptions and actions, Ksenia Anske is adept at her vivid descriptions that make the environment and characters seem real. Anske makes Irina come alive through the telling of this harsh and at times depressing story. Anske has created a world that is brusque and to the point. The world for Irina is dim and dreary and hard to survive in. On top of this compelling narrative is the side story of the political environment where the story takes place that flows in and out of the background, intermingling with and influencing Irina’s story. She may be indifferent to what’s going on, but it does have a significant impact on her story.

Irkadura tells more than the story of Irina or the political upheaval in Russia, but of a world where women don’t get to be independent and free. This fact that most people in my world (the USA) take for granted is a fact that does not even register in Irina’s mind because it is not a possibility for her. She has to rely on the charity of others. She has nothing. She owns nothing. She does not even possess full control of her own body. This is like the worst nightmare for any strong independent woman. Irina never got a chance to be one in the traditional sense, but she has her own fight to win. There is a point where she can take control of a part of her life, but she has to overcome so much to get there. There is an immense struggle in Irina’s life, starting from the time she was two and became mute up until the moment she must decide whether she has a future.

Irina has her own kind of strength. She is stubborn. She runs away. She makes plans for revenge… Her triumph is in speaking the truth (at least writing it). She grows her wings off the truth, because in this sordid world she lives in, that’s all she has.

My only unease in the book is the author’s insistence that Eaglet is male because he conforms to the male stereotypes, but I thought the story could have been just as strong had Eaglet been female because then both the females would be getting their revenge. Still, I didn’t think this detracted from the novel at all, just my personal opinion in finding the book’s only criticism.

This novel was published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform November 3rd, 2014 and is available on Ksenia Anske’s Website here.

TLDR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Ksenia Anske’s Website

Goodreads Profile

On Amazon