Deathless is the highly-anticipated new standalone novel by award-winning speculative fiction author Catherynne M. Valente, due out from Tor. Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless is a problematic novel. That’s hardly a damning thing to say about Valente. Even Shakespeare had his. Twentieth-century Russian history provides a background for Valente’s lush reimagining of folkloric villain Koschei the Deathless and his.

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Zmei Gorynych, the legendary three-headed dragon, deals with bureaucracy of the Purges. Of course, it never ends well, because she’s conscripted deathlees his eternal battle with Viy, Death, and regrets it, while simultaneously mastering Life in the middle of Leningrad during WWII, which ought to be considered one of the worst moments in human history.

Only Tanya is left”.

Therefore, it is better to be strong and cruel than to be fair. Petersburg again, th Deathless is the silence at four a.

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

Jun 08, Megan Baxter rated it it was amazing. That sort of self-awareness will probably put some people off of Deathless.

The writing style appears as though derived from poetry, a real lyrical masterpiece. Their stay at Yaichka was ludicrous. View all 7 comments. This story does not wander, it is cyclical.

Ivan proves to be a noble and likeable character, even though he isn’t quite as strong or dynamic as Marya and Koschei I want to understand. This segment does a masterful job of blending reality and fantasy, using fairy-tale elements to create a brilliant allegory of a difficult period in Russia’s history.


Valente’s use of language is exemplary. It reveals more about the writer’s technique and strengths than a polished, impregnable work might. I highly detahless it for all mature readers to enjoy.

Add to that catheyrnne insta-love and a very strange love-triangle with Ivan: About choices and sacrifices. What would be the point? Deathless is a work of art.

I have no idea what to make of what I just read though. No amount of pretty descriptive language is going to save anything when the reader is skipping past it because by this point they’re bored of it. View all 19 comments. View all 3 comments.

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente – Escape Pod

It’s brilliant that Valente has enough going on to have such salutatory mv.alente. I don’t think he’s doing it right! I honestly have no idea. Valente juxtaposes terrifying myths, such as the witch Baba Yaga who grinds the bones of disobedient girls in her flying mortar, with real tragedies — like people putting the bodies of their loved ones on sleds to take to the graveyard, only to die on the way, nameless and alone in the Russian winter.

Deathless by Catherynne M Valente

This is Koschei, and women seem to be far more attracted to him than they are to me Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost through games of Chess, Backgammon – every game under the sun.


As the book continues, Koschei does indeed keep his promise, for better and for worse Even worse the second time around. I once strangled an enemy combatant with my braid! Mani Podcast read by: As Koschei’s sister Baba Yaga says to Marya when revealing that Marya is the latest in a long line of Brides of Koschei, all with similar origin stories at their backs and similar fates before them, “That’s how you get deathless, volchitsa.

The English say, when someone’s having a moment of madness, or of someone generally considered senile, that they’ve “lost the plot,” which seems a cruel but effective description of Deathless. That’s my whole life that you’ve bent in your hands. 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.

What could I have grown up to be? However, the entire segment isn’t so heart-wrenching. Like most fairy tale wives who marry evil immortal sorcerers, Marya’s story isn’t supposed to have a happy ending.