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The Black Pelican (edition 2013)
The Black Pelican by Vadim Babenko
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They fear it more than death, they desire it above all else - those who are able to imagine it in their dreams. It's a myth that is no myth. It's a quest that must be undertaken. It is the Black Pelican. When Vitus, driven to the brink by devastating blows, plans his revenge against the entire world, he cannot even imagine what he is getting into. He hits the road and arrives in the strangest of places, the mysterious, rumor-shrouded city of M., to implement his secret plan to kill his longtime enemy, Julian. However, once there, his search for Julian proves futile. Trapped in a complicated muddle, he makes a desperate move, joining a group of fortune-hunting strangers. Together, they delve deep into the ocean dunes that are home to the most fearsome of legends... To his shock, the legend - the Black Pelican - turns out to be very real. Finally, the world notices Vitus, offering him a chance to demonstrate his potential. Forced to endure fear, pain, and despair, he discovers an unexpected inner fortitude. He suffers defeat - but he also gains victory by insisting on his own terms despite the humiliation and mockery surrounding him.
(summary from another edition)