- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
The Empress Anna Ioannovna has issued her latest eccentric order: construct a palace out of ice blocks. Inside its walls her slaves build a wedding chamber, a canopy bed on a dais, heavy drapes cascading to the floor—all made of ice. Sealed inside are a disgraced nobleman and a deformed female jester. On the empress’s command—for her entertainment—these two are to be married, the relationship consummated inside this frozen prison. In the morning, guards enter to find them ...
The Empress Anna Ioannovna has issued her latest eccentric order: construct a palace out of ice blocks. Inside its walls her slaves build a wedding chamber, a canopy bed on a dais, heavy drapes cascading to the floor—all made of ice. Sealed inside are a disgraced nobleman and a deformed female jester. On the empress’s command—for her entertainment—these two are to be married, the relationship consummated inside this frozen prison. In the morning, guards enter to find them half-dead. Nine months later, two boys are born.
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.
"In this marvelous first novel, J.M. Sidorova combines the various properties of ice—its grotesque mutations, its flaws and cracks, its rotting swells, its bitter and consoling beauty—and builds them layer by layer into a metaphor for the emotional and political forces that encase us and the world. Ice binds the characters and shatters them apart, and the far reaches of the novel—Siberia, St. Petersburg, Paris, Herat, Calcutta, and New York over hundreds of years—are spanned as if by bridges of ice. Sidorova has created a tale at once familiar and foreign, thawed out of history and yet still fresh.”
“It is rare, but sometimes a book wanders in from the cold, sweeps you off your feet, and kicks you in the face… The Age of Ice is a wonderful, impressive, and satisfying novel. Calling it the best epic fantasy novel that I have read in years is hyperbolic, but not far from the mark. This novel has plenty of appeal for readers on either side of the genre-literary divide.”
"The Age of Ice is an incredible journey, in all senses of the word."
“The Age of Ice is a big book—big in ambition and big in achievement. From magical opening to lyrical close, Sidorova moves with ease and authority across the globe and through the centuries. The writing is crystalline and the adventure never ends. Everything you could want in a novel.”
“Packed with incident large and small, and alive with rich, memorable characters, J.M. Sidorova’s novel is a lush, lyrical saga about science and pseudoscience, history and fantasy, love and war—and cold weather. You won’t read this novel; you’ll surrender to it.”
"I'm in awe. The Age of Ice is a luminous vision, a waking dream, utterly delicious. Sidorova is the best new writer I’ve come across in years."
"If you are going to read this book (and I recommend that you do) take some time away from life. Find a quiet place, and devote your mind to the story. It will consume you, amaze you and remind you that there are authors out there who use common words to create uncommon magic."
Verdict Sidorova’s sweeping scope is impressive. Romance, warfare, science, history, and exploration all take turns in this epic work that spans centuries and empires. Unlimited by genre boundaries, it is sure to delight awe all types of readers. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/13.]—Catherine Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Posted July 25, 2013
First novel that I could not finish this year. I stopped at 65% of the story, sighing and shaking my head to try to force me to read until the end.
It's really not my habit. I even admit feeling guilty when I have to read diagonally to finish a book that bothers me. This one, I have not even managed to read it this way to overcome my boredom.
However, the synopsis was promising. I was thrilled to begin and immerse myself in this strange story. I expected to know what supernatural adventures these twins, born in the ice, would be living.
All the elements were there to make a thrilling novel including resistance to cold. After many trips through Europe, battles and after many dead ... Nothing.
No explanation, no answer, nothing special. I have been really frustrated.
The reader follow the hero through his life. In the latter part, he lost all beings who were close to him, but no explanation of his condition, any surnaturel event just endless descriptions that do not enrich the story.
Knowing it is Russian literature and a book of over 400 pages, of course I expected to read descriptions. But they haven't succeed in making me traveled.
The author transported me back in time without creating a link or a bond with her characters. Yet, I believed in them!
I tried to unravel the mystery of Prince Alexander Velitzyn and this is why I felt swindled. I did not exchange with the story.
I waited some actions, got bored waiting. After waiting too long, I got annoyed to have persevered without receiving emotions back.
Attention, other readers appear to have been captured by this story and the author's style. So, I hope you will be luckier ...
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 12, 2014
No text was provided for this review.