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The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina…
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The Secret History of Moscow

by Ekaterina Sedia

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4542422,953 (3.4)1 / 61
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English (23)  German (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Moscow itself is the most intriguing character of this urban fantasy. It's an ancient place with an often brutal past, and the book's setting of the early 1990s isn't very kind, either. The premise here is intriguing, and really, the book acts as a gentle primer to the wonders of Russian mythology. I'm largely ignorant of Russian fables beyond Baba Yaga; I tried to read Cat Valente's book Deathless a while back and was overwhelmed by the other-worldlyness of it. Sedia applies a deft hand as she brings in Russian history and storied characters. The pace is perfect.

That said, I never fully connected with the main character from the present day, Galina. She's too singular in her goal--to save her sister--and as a reader, we never get to know her sister before she's lost. Galina never felt like a person beyond that, and that made the ending too predictable in that regard. ( )
  ladycato | Mar 2, 2014 |
A very quick read. The story was occasionally a little disjointed, but it had a sort of dream (or fairy tale?) logic, so I'm okay with it. I liked getting to see into the depths of each character's history, and the sense that... well, that none of them were really invested in saving the world per se, they each had their own, very private motives for their actions. ( )
  wirehead | Jul 9, 2013 |
Could have used better editing - it felt a lot like trying to read a long Mad Lib. Maybe I'll try it again sometime when I'm feeling more patient, as it's gotten a lot of good reviews. ( )
  paperloverevolution | Mar 30, 2013 |
Modern fantasy, Russian folklore variety - a subgenre I have found myself reading rather a lot of lately. This is an examination of life in modern Moscow, as interpreted through the lens of Russian folkloric and historical figures (a conflation that seems rather common - maybe there's just not much of a distinction in modern Russian culture?) Pleasant prose, some interesting characters, and overall a lovely atmosphere, although it was not quite outstanding enough to make me forgive the serviceable but not dreadfully engaging plot. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
While I'm sure I missed a lot of nuance due to my unfamiliarity with Russian history and folk tales, enough is explained as things progress that it's just a fantastic story. I expect nothing else from Sedia and The Secret History of Moscow did not disappoint. ( )
  bluesalamanders | Dec 5, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ekaterina Sediaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schenk, OlafTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Моим родителям, Нине и Алексею, зта книга посвящается
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She had long pale fingers, tapered like candles at the church.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Every city contains secret places, and Moscow is no different, its citizens seeking safety under the city during tumultuous times -- a cavernous dark world of magic, weeping trees and albino jackdaws, where exiled pagan deities and fairytale creatures still whisper strange tales to everyone who would listen. Through their interlocking stories, a very different history emerges, full of betrayals and unseen hostilities, between the real world and the world below . . . and now, in the early 1990's, the conflict is escalating.

Galina is a young woman, caught like many of her contemporaries in the new economic uncertainty and apparent lawlessness of the country. In the midst of all this chaos, her sister Maria turns into a jackdaw and flies away . . . prompting Galina to help Yakov, a policeman investigating a rash of recent disappearances. Their search will take them to the underground realm of hidden histories and archetypes, to find themselves caught between reality and myth, past and present, truth and betrayal . . .The Secret History of Moscow.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809572230, Paperback)

Every city contains secret places. Moscow in the tumultuous 1990s is no different, its citizens seeking safety in a world below the streets - a dark, cavernous world of magic, weeping trees, and albino jackdaws, where exiled pagan deities and faerytale creatures whisper strange tales to those who would listen. Galina is a young woman caught, like her contemporaries, in the seeming lawlessness of the new Russia. In the midst of this chaos, her sister Maria turns into a jackdaw and flies away - prompting Galina to join Yakov, a policeman investigating a rash of recent disappearances. Their search will take them to the underground realm of hidden truths and archetypes, to find themselves caught between reality and myth, past and present, honor and betrayal . . . the secret history of Moscow.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:39 -0400)

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