Deathless

Catherynne M. Valente, Author
Catherynne M. Valente, Tor, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2630-0
Reviewed on: 02/21/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Open Ebook - 178 pages - 978-1-78033-847-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-4418-7042-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4418-7043-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4418-7041-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4418-7040-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4558-4532-3
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-7653-2631-7
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4299-6840-9
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-1-4721-0868-5
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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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