FREE Shipping for Club Members
Not a member? Join Today!
Surrounded by servants and animals, Prince Alexander Velitzyn and his twin brother, Andrei, have an idyllic childhood on the family's large country estate. But as they approach manhood, stark differences coalesce. Andrei is daring and ambitious; Alexander is tentative and adrift. One frigid winter night on the road between St. Petersburg and Moscow, as he flees his army post, Alexander comes to a horrifying revelation: his body is immune to cold.
J. M. Sidorova's boldly original and genrebending novel takes readers from the grisly fields of the Napoleonic Wars to the blazing heat of Afghanistan, from the outer reaches of Siberia to the cacophonous streets of nineteenth-century Paris. The adventures of its protagonist, Prince Alexander Velitzyn--on a lifelong quest for the truth behind his strange physiology--will span three continents and two centuries and bring him into contact with an incredible range of real historical figures, from Mary Shelley, the author of "Frankenstein," to the licentious Russian empress Elizaveta and Arctic explorer Joseph Billings.
"The Age of Ice" is one of the most enchanting and inventive debut novels of the year.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-05-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Sidorova’s sprawling debut opens in 1740 on the frozen Russian tundra, where twins Prince Andrei and narrator Prince Alexander Velitzyn are conceived under unusual circumstances. For her amusement, Empress Anna Ioanovna demands a wedding for the twins’ court-jester parents, whose nuptial bed is made of ice. “I was born of cold copulation,” relays Alexander, “white-fleshed and waxy like the crust of fat on beef broth left outside in winter.” The twins’ mother perishes after their birth and their father returns to Moscow unable to shake the stigma of his time at court. The Empress’s whim has a profound effect as Alexander grasps the startling reality that he is impervious to cold (anyone who attempts to get close will encounter a frosty exterior) . Keeping his secret, Alexander sadly drifts apart from his brother during their military duty. Searching for scientific reasons behind his physical anomaly, Alexander joins famed Captain Joseph Billings on an Arctic expedition. His physical abnormality acts as a preservative and carries him across the globe and through the centuries, where he has a chance meeting with writer Mary Shelley. Sidorova’s lyrical prose complements her protagonist’s fantastical tale of isolation on his mythic journey. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (July)