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Sonja's Run: Colonel Cut and the Romanov Rubies

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At the 1852 Christmas party hosted by Tsar Nicholas I, the plucky half-Chinese, half-Russian poet Sonja Sankova decks Peter "Colonel Cut" Koslov, who is infamous for his necklace of ears taken from serfs and Jews. In London that same night, American Jack Sandt, the Matthew Brady of Asia, conspires with Karl Marx to con the tsar into letting him take daguerreotype images inside Russia.

So begins this immaculately researched, wildest of romantic wild rides, an odyssey of two ...

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2005 Hardcover First Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0765306158. Mylar covering; 8vo 8"-9" tall; 352 pages.

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Overview

At the 1852 Christmas party hosted by Tsar Nicholas I, the plucky half-Chinese, half-Russian poet Sonja Sankova decks Peter "Colonel Cut" Koslov, who is infamous for his necklace of ears taken from serfs and Jews. In London that same night, American Jack Sandt, the Matthew Brady of Asia, conspires with Karl Marx to con the tsar into letting him take daguerreotype images inside Russia.

So begins this immaculately researched, wildest of romantic wild rides, an odyssey of two lovers fleeing for their lives through the vast reaches of the Russian empire. The period details are splendid: a supper with Ivan Turgenev; a visit with the craftsmen who designed and cut gems for the Romanov tsars, a ball in a frontier town in the Urals, a glimpse of life inside the yurts of nomadic herdsmen.

With Koslov and his special unit, the Wolfpack, in hot pursuit, Sonja and Jack flee St. Petersburg, cross European Russia, and go down the Urals, there risking their lives on a turbulent mountain river. Sonja and Jack take turns telling their story, as they fall in love and marry in a Siberian chapel. In a narrow escape, Jack shoots Koslov in the ankle.

A sadistic Kyrghyz nomad grabs Sonja and spirits her away. Jack and a Cossack pursue the nomad and his men across the Asian steppe, but Koslov gets to him first. Koslov takes Sonja to a fabled mountain near Lake Baikal, where he is to retrieve rubies destined for a new Romanov throne. He waits, vowing revenge for his stiff ankle. Jack rescues his wife, and with their lives and a fortune of rubies at stake—-and real wolves howling in a blizzard—-Sonja and Jack face down Colonel Cut and the Wolfpack.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765306159
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 1.17 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2005

    Not Hoyt's best effort.

    While of some historical interest, this is more a travelog than a novel in the Hoyt tradition. It is a rapid fire discourse on the geography of Tsarist Russia rather than a gripping story of two lovers elusively seeking each other. Colonel Cut is an unconvincing villian just as Sonja and Jack are bumbling lovers. The James Burlane and John Denson novels are really the stuff that Hoyt does exceptionally well. This is readable but not memorable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2005

    Sonja's Run

    Set in 1852. Sonja Sankova attends a Christmas party hosted by Tsar Nicholas I. She did not really wish to attend, but it is unwise to say no to the Tsar. Peter Koslov 'Colonel Cut', commander of the Wolfpack, is enthralled with Sonja and begins telling awful, bloody tales to impress her. Instead of being impressed, she ends up slugging him with a roundhouse right cross, which the Tsar finds hilarious. Koslov vows he will someday have her ears on a necklace for the offense. Sonja and her father flee. ............................................ That same night, in London, Jack Sandt meets with Karl Marx to conspire about conning the Tsar into letting Jack take daguerreotype images into Russia. Jack and Sonja meet while she is disguised as a boy. They end up fleeing with each other while Koslov and the Wolfpack pursue them. .......................................... **** Toward the beginning of the novel the scenes change too often. However, soon the plot and characters of this story entice the reader to settle down and enjoy several hours of fictional bliss. Once Sonja and Jack meet, things do not seem to hop around so often and scenes become smoother. From then on, everything is non-stop action. Recommended reading. ****

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fantastic historical thriller

    In late 1852 or early 1853 depending on which calendar you use, Tsar Nicholas hosts a Christmas gala in which he invites Mikhail Sankov, but the ailing poet is unable to attend. Instead his daughter also a poet, but with a revolutionary fervor, Sonja Sankova goes escorted by her father¿s friend mathematician Arkady Migalkin. At the party, Peter ¿Colonel Cut¿ Koslov, head of the vicious wolfpack, decides that the pretty waif Sonja would make an ideal addition to his ¿collection¿. He woos her by boasting about his powers that include cutting off the testicles and ears of peasants. Angry and a student of Tzu, Sonja punches Peter knocking him to the floor. She flees as he vows to cut off her ears. Sonja, garbed as a boy, takes her father towards the Urals so he can die in his birthplace while Koslov follows having already mutilated and killed Arkady. At the same time American daguerreotype photographer Jack Sandt tours Russia with the lofty goal of making pictures of the various races he meets. When he and Sonja meet, they fall in love, but first she must complete her father¿s final mission of being buried in his birthplace and than there is Colonel Cut who will not rest until he retaliates for his humiliation. SONJA¿S RUN is a fantastic historical thriller that brings to life the mid nineteenth century in Russia. The story line is action-packed from the moment Sonja knocks down the abusive Koslov and never slows down until after he finally catches up to confront her. The secondary cast like the Tsar and Karl Marx add depth to an insightful tale that centers on the seeds of the Revolutions sixty plus years later were already deeply ingrained by 1853.--- Harriet Klausner

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