This is well-written Fantasy with developed characters. Sasha and Pyetr are the two most likeable characters I've come across in awhile. Cherryh shows us their faults and all their redeeming qualities. This book gives a beautiful message about friendship, love and trust.
From Publishers Weekly
A Rusalka--the spirit of a maiden drowned by accident or force--will return as a ghost to haunt the river and woods where she met her death. The locale for this fantasy by SF writer Cherryh ( Downbelow Station ) is pre-Christian Russia. Two young men flee the village of Vojvoda--Pyetr, accused of killing a wealthy noble, and Sasha, an accessory to his escape. They are making their way to Kiev when, in the middle of a forest, they become involved in the search for the wizard Uulamets's dead daughter Eveshka, a Rusalka and a wizard herself. Uulamets wants to resurrect her, but evil forces oppose him, among whom may be Kavi Chernevog, Uulamets's former student, and a suspect in Eveshka's death. Cherryh fills her story with myriad magical creatures from Slavonic mythology. A richness of detail and characterization enliven this drama about the human (and unhuman) greed for power and the redemptive power of love.