Friday, September 11, 2009
The Pravda Messenger (Book Review)
Shared by Kristi Herbrand
Title: The Pravda Messenger
Author: Robert Cornuke with Alton Gansky
Publisher: Howard Books
First sentence: Yuri tucked his chin under his coat collar, trying to ward off the stabbing wind that gusted across the frozen Neva River.
I read this book a few weeks ago, and posted a few sentences on the First Wild Card Tour - but I wanted to give it a full review. You can read the first chapter of The Pravda Messenger.
The story starts out in 1975. Yuri had promised his wife, as she was dying, that he would take Tanya to a certain monastery in Russia. She was thought to have the Pravda - a gift that only showed up every 4 or 5 generations - and it was always a girl who received it. The gift was that she could tell in a person's voice when they did not speak the truth.
At the monastery she and her father were taken to a tomb that bore the name Feodor Kuzmich. Here they were given a golden snuff box that was said to have belong to the Czar Alexander I of Russia. The KGB tracked them there - as Tanya's gift was very valuable to them - and they tried to escape. Tanya made it out of the country and went to live in America with a family friend. Yuri was not as lucky. He was shot in the leg and did manage to get away that night - but was later found and imprisoned in a work camp in Northern Siberia.
It is now 1982. Another player in this story is Sir Richard Cooper. He is a very wealthy, very old, very sick, man. He has spent the last years of his life collecting what he calls holy talismans in the hope that they will make him well. He has discovered the Bible - a very old Bible - that he believes he carried during WWI. He has sent his attorney to go to America to purchase it. Unfortunately, on her way home, the private plane crashes in Colorado and she is killed. The Bible, being in a fire-proof, crash-proof case survives. Enter Tanya - now a teenager - but some locals know of her uncanny ability to find missing hunters, deer that have been shot and got away, etc. They are hoping that she can locate the Bible - which she does. She discovers the name Feodor Kuzmich written inside it and her past comes crashing down.
Well, that sets the story up - it brings together many of the people that this particular Bible has touched along it's journey. The first book in this series is The Bell Messenger, which I have not read. This book was good as a stand-alone though. When the Bell Messenger was discussed, enough of the background was given for you to understand this one. You must read it to discover how Tanya is connected to this Bible and the circumstances that brought them together. During the process she travels to Washington, D.C. where she meets an expert in Soviet Studies as well as an undercover KGB agent. The same KGB agent that she escaped from 7 years earlier. I found it to be a very engaging read as all of the pieces start to fall into place.
The Pravda Messenger
Publisher/Publication Date: Howard Books, September 2009