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Twentieth-century Russian history provides a background for Valente's lush reimagining of folkloric villain Koschei the Deathless and his dalliance with Marya Morevna, a clever but troubled young woman. After Koschei sweeps Marya away from her family's home in St. Petersburg-Petrograd-Leningrad, Baba Yaga assigns her three tasks that will make her worthy of marrying Koschei. As she spends more time in Koschei's Country of Life, Marya starts to become too much like her unearthly lover, until naïve Ivan Nikolayevich helps her regain her humanity (as well as the sympathy of the reader). Valente's lush language and imagery add to the magic and fundamentally Russian nature of the story, drawing pointed parallels between the Soviet Union's turmoil and the endless war between Koschei and his brother, Viy. Readers used to the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault will find this tale peculiar but enchanting. (Apr.)
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I highly recommend it! Beautiful writing & excellent use of imagery.Published 7 days ago by Chloe S.
The writing was gorgeous, and the research was stellar. In fact, I got the feeling that the author research it so well that she forgot that not all of her readers will actually... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lulu
Deathless is a dark tale, perfect for mature readers and those who love Russian myths. I myself have read few Russian myths, but I find them very interesting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ally
This was a compete surprise once I opened it up and started reading-it's a wonderful dark story set in Russia during the revolution and a young girl who lived through it-it had... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lisa C. Gramling
It's weird it's peculiar and has a very distinct voice. I ran out and bought everything she has written.... what an author. Cannot recommend her enoughPublished 2 months ago by Gary P
At one level, folk traditions belong to everybody. At another and more fundamental level, they belong to those who are part of the living tradition, and to nobody else. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Philip Hobbs
A very interesting telling of what is apparently some old Russian folktales, an urban fantasy that feels magical and scary at the same time, weaving a strange and wonderful... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andrew M. Hauge
Not knowing anything about the original Deathless folk tale, this ended up being an interesting read. Read morePublished 4 months ago by theblackdog