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The Scar Hardcover – February 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780765329936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765329936
  • ASIN: 076532993X
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,429,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Egert Soll, born into the ancient, militaristic city of Kavarren, is a confident young soldier who believes himself invincible. He takes whatever and whomever he wants, with no consideration of the impact on others. However, his careless actions have serious repercussions when he takes the life of a young scholar, a weaker opponent. This unnecessary death draws the attention of a mysterious man known only as the Wanderer. The Wanderer slashes Egert with his blade, from cheek to chin, leaving him with a deep wound and a festering curse of unimaginable constraint. The curse is reserved for those who destroy the weak to inflate themselves. Reduced to a broken coward, Egert flees his home and embarks on an odyssey that will either heal or destroy him. Although this novel taps into the predictable theme of redemption, the authors take two-dimensional characters and place them in an unorthodox story fringed with magic, romance, secret societies, and whispers of the end of time. --Alison Downs

Review

"Rich, vivid, tactile prose, with a solid yet unpredictable plot—and an extraordinary depth and intensity of character reminiscent of the finest Russian literature.A truly spellbinding work even audiences jaded by standard U.S./U.K. fantasy will devour."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Sergey and Marina Dyachenko’s The Scar blends the simplicity of a parable with the complexity and richness of a Russian novel."
--Library Journal

“…An unorthodox story fringed with magic, romance, secret societies, and whispers of the end of time.”
--Booklist

 


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By H. Pace on March 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Scar is the type of book that makes you weep for the limitations of sub-genre delineations. Not epic in scope and apparently intended to stand alone despite being part of a larger cycle. The epic and fantastic elements that presumably tie together the larger cycle are there, but very much in the background. This is really a novel about three people. Where so much fantasy is so very epic, The Scar is incredibly intimate. At the same time, it does not share the heavy reliance on action and violent conflict of most Sword & Sorcery. It perhaps better resembles a fully formed, and in many ways very traditional, fairy tale.

At its heart, The Scar is a tale of two people (and another person linked to both) whose lives are eternally altered and inextricably linked by a senseless murder. It is a tale of a terrible and well deserved curse. It is a tale of arrogance, fear, humiliation, cowardice, and redemption. It is a tale of pride, grief, and forgiveness. The great strength of Russian literature is its ability to plumb the depths of the tortures of the human condition. The Scar shares this ability and brings it to a fantasy setting.

The other tremendous strength of Russian literature is, oddly enough, the language. The prose is halting, haunting, and lyrical, as that of all great Russian literature seems to be. E.g., "A delicate, sweetish, slightly smoky fragrant was soon added to the bitter smell of the velvet. As he gazed at the black partition in front of him, Egert's hearing became unusually acute. He heard a variety of sounds: far and near, subdued and susurrant, as if a horde of dragonflies were creeping about the inside of a glass jar, brushing their wings against the transparent walls.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sergey V. Berezhnoy on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
15 years ago I'd got the original manuscript of THE SCAR from Marina and Sergey - it meant to be published soon, one of the novels initiated "Spellbound Worlds" series of Russian fantasy books, Terra Fantastica and AST publishing houses joint project.

By 1996 I'd read Dyachenkos' debut novel already, THE GATE-KEEPER, and I liked it. Some of their shorts and novellas were really nice too. But THE SCAR turned to be something completely different. Absolutely new level of artistry. Not just good, but literally masterpiece - compelling, deep and sharp, frighteningly strong. Could it be the second novel of the newcomers? It was really hard to believe.

Being published in 1997, THE SCAR got a notable success and immediately placed Dyachekos' name on the list of most valuable domestic writers, border-breakers of the genre. In fact, the book never was out-of-print since the first edition in Russia, and it's no wonder that it was translated abroad in time - for example, in Poland, the country with a strong traditions of genre reading.

And now THE SCAR casts overseas, thanks to Tor Books. I just hope the novel will be as impressive in translation of Elinor Huntington as original was, but my English is far from perfect and I cannot judge this.

But you can. And you will.

I'll read you soon. Take care.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Holly on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you've been bemoaning the wait for the next Patrick Rothfuss book, or wondering why nothing modern ever reads like Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, read this. The Scar is epic in a personal sense, lyrically haunting, and felt on every human level. (New incentive to learn Russian: I don't think I can wait for the sequels to be translated!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bob Milne on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Scar is one of the most original and most intriguing fantasy novels I've read in quite some time. Considering this is a novel that begins with an entirely unlikable protagonist, it's surprising that the read so that immediately captures your attention. The writing is so fluid and poetic, and the characters so well established, that you find yourself easily drawn in to a world that's dark and bleak, with a shadow of gloom that hanging over all, but also one in which people can be good or bad, not because of their environment, but in spite of it.

The speed and depth of Egert's fall from grace is almost as stunning to behold as it is chilling to experience. I can honestly say I have never before seen an author do such a compelling job of detailing a character's rank cowardice. To see the fearless, arrogant young captain reduced to whimpering against the coming of night, fainting from a fear of heights atop his horse, and nearly soiling himself at the slightest sound outside his door, is stunning. By the time his cowardice is exposed to those around him, and Egert is quite literally shamed out of his home, you're beginning to feel sorry for taking such delight in his comeuppance.

Really, above all else, this is the story of Egert's fall from grace, his grudging acceptance of his new place in the world, and (ultimately) his hope for redemption. Had this been a typical fantasy novel, that redemption would likely have come about halfway through the story with the breaking of the curse, sending a once again brash young hero out to avenge his fate. Instead, Sergey & Marina leave their protagonist to cope with his bleak situation, with only the beautiful Toria around to provide any semblance of hope or joy.
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