Finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award: “Beautiful and brutal nightmares . . . made all the more terrifying by the history in which they’re grounded.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Three neighboring villages on the Ukrainian/Romanian border are the final refuge for the last of the mythical creatures of Eastern Europe. Now, on the eve of the war that may eradicate their kind—and with the ruthless Night Police descending upon their sanctuary—they tell their stories and confront their destinies.
The Rusalka, the beautiful, vengeful water spirit who lives in lakes and ponds and lures men and children to their deaths. The Vovkulaka, who changes from her human form into that of a wolf and hides with her kind deep in the densest forests. The Strigoi, a revenant who feasts on blood and twists the minds of those who love, serve, and shelter him. The Drevniye, an apparition that impersonates its victim and draws him into a web of evil in order to free itself. And the Bone Mother, a skeletal crone with iron teeth who lurks in her house in the heart of the woods, and cooks and eats those who fail her vexing challenges.
Eerie and unsettling like the best fairy tales, these incisor-sharp portraits of ghosts, witches, sirens, and seers—and the mortals who live at their side and in their thrall—will chill your marrow and tear at your heart.
“A fable filled with mythical creatures ranging from werewolves to witches . . . set, in part, among the villages of eastern Europe on the eve of the Second World War.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Extraordinary . . . A dark and shining mosaic of a story with unforgettable imagery and elegant, evocative prose.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Longlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Winner of the 2018 Sunburst Award
Longlisted for the 2018 Toronto Book Awards