On Sale: November 13, 2018
Hardcover / e-Book
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Literature and Fiction
The definitive English language translation of the
internationally bestselling Russian novelâ€”a brilliant
dark fantasy with "the potential to be a modern classic"
(Lev Grossman), combining psychological suspense,
enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human
existence in a fresh and provocative way.
Our life is brief . . .
While vacationing at the beach with her mother, Sasha
Samokhina meets the mysterious Farit Kozhennikov under
the most peculiar circumstances. The teenage girl is
powerless to refuse when this strange and unusual man
with an air of the sinister directs her to perform a task
with potentially scandalous consequences. He rewards her
effort with a strange golden coin.
As the days progress, Sasha carries out other acts for
which she receives more coins from Kozhennikov. As summer
ends, her domineering mentor directs her to move to a
remote village and use her gold to enter the Institute of
Special Technologies. Though she does not want to go to
this unknown town or school, she also feels itâ€™s the only
place she should be. Against her motherâ€™s wishes, Sasha
leaves behind all that is familiar and begins her
As she quickly discovers, the instituteâ€™s "special
technologies" are unlike anything she has ever
encountered. The books are impossible to read, the
lessons obscure to the point of maddening, and the work
refuses memorization. Using terror and coercion to keep
the students in line, the school does not punish them for
their transgressions and failures; instead, their
families pay a terrible price. Yet despite her fear,
Sasha undergoes changes that defy the dictates of matter
and time; experiences which are nothing she has ever
dreamed of . . . and suddenly all she could ever want.
A complex blend of adventure, magic, science, and
philosophy that probes the mysteries of existence,
filtered through a distinct Russian sensibility, this
astonishing work of speculative fictionâ€”brilliantly
translated by Julia Meitov Herseyâ€”is reminiscent of
modern classics such as Lev Grossmanâ€™s The Magicians, Max
Barryâ€™s Lexicon, and Katherine Ardenâ€™s The Bear and the
Nightingale, but will transport them to a place far
beyond those fantastical worlds.
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