Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
Copy Courtesy of Tor Books
This is the story of a girl, who saw some birds turn into husbands for her sisters. This is a story of Koschei the Deathless, who is a central figure of many a Russian folklore tale. This is also a story of Communism in Russia.
Fair warning to all of you, this is not an easy read. The style of Valente is a beautifully complex story weaving, and if you try to hurry your way through this book, I promise you will get lost. But, if you take this book at a more thought-engaged pace, this proves to be an excellent book.
It's very rare for a story to make weird seem fitting, and this book has more than its fair share of weirdness as well as more than its fair share of fitting. The characters are reminiscent of a fairy tale, but one which has a much more Brothers' Grimm bent than any Disney version. The backdrop of Communist Russia gives the whole story a tone of hopelessness which will make you ache for the characters.
This a great story, but I will be the first to admit that it is not for everyone. It is not a cliche romance novel to be read and forgotten, nor is it a happy little coming of age tale. No, Deathless is for those who want to be whirled into a world that is at the same time brutal and loving, cold and kind, and definitely out of the ordinary.
Star Rating: 4.0/5.0
For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.