The Sisters of the Crescent Empress

Leena Likitalo. Tor.com, $17.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9545-0
In Likitalo’s lovely sequel to The Five Daughters of the Moon, based on the last days of the Romanovs, the lyrical prose takes full advantage of the richness of Russian mythology and perfectly captures the enduring chill that surrounds the girls. After the Crescent Empress is murdered, her five daughters are exiled to a desolate house in the wilds of the frigid north. Meanwhile, Gagargi Prataslav leads the revolution against the Crescent Empire, turning the sisters’ allies against them and feeding souls to his Great Thinking Machine to appease the masses. Ghosts haunt the house, and they have secrets to tell, but the sisters’ time is short, and they must escape before it runs out. The sisters take turns narrating the story, and Likitalo succeeds beautifully in showcasing their realistically distinct personalities. The personal and societal consequences of revolution, including the toll it takes and the hope it offers, are explored. Likitalo’s emotional and lyrical dark fairy tale will give readers plenty to think about. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
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