Whenever I tell people I love fairy tales, I can almost see how childish this makes me in their eyes. Fairy tales are so boring, they say, just simplistic love stories. I pity these people, because they just don’t understand. Valente though, she gets it, she understands. She effortlessly combines the magic of Spirited Away, the grit of City of Thieves, with a huge helping of Russian folklore & history.— Jax
Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to western European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories that have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the twentieth century.
Deathless, however, is no dry, historical tome: it lights up like fire as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever child of the revolution, to Koschei's beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing. Along the way there are Stalinist house elves, magical quests, secrecy and bureaucracy, and games of lust and power. All told, Deathless is a collision of magical history and actual history, of revolution and mythology, of love and death, which will bring Russian myth back to life in a stunning new incarnation.