Home » book review » Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



“What mirrors we are, set to face each other, reflecting desire.”


Oh what an incandescent fever dream of a book. I want to start by saying that I can’t tell you what this book is about even if I sat on my laptop for days typing. This is a dream, a folkloric tale, a fantasy, a romance, a winter dance, an unbelievable winter, a cacophony of sounds and a world of tastes in a cold birch tree filled Russia.


Where birds can be husbands, worlds exist in a single house, Trees are goblins and your friends with a veela. I guarantee you this will be the weirdest book you’ll ever read. It doesn’t follow any rules. Anything can happen in a sentence. Its Topsy turvy, wicked and cruel; it doesn’t give a damn about your feelings.


This story is about Marya Morevna, Death and Russia.


“I burn, I freeze; I am never warm. I am rigid; I forgot softness because it did not serve me”.

You never know up from down, everything is written in circles this story doesn’t deal with people as we know it. They don’t speak like us or act like us. This is the most Russian book I’ve ever read and I loved it for that. Its an allegory of Russia. It seems to be a painting with words about the Russian soul.


” I look at you and it’s like my throat being cut.”

There is something so alluring about Russia right? a land in perpetual winter, a language so unlike anything, writing so different from the ones we know….its so ‘other’ so out of reach..its almost seductive.

if you want to be seduced by something eerie, juicy and dark; open your mouth and eat this book, core and all.

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