A sideways homage to the story of Marya Morevna and the war between life and death. I would say this book is even more bewildering than the original Russian folklore, a fact which is definitely conducive to reading it.
'“Oh, Marya Morevna! Do you know how the church-folk call me, me and my daughter Gamayun, when they paint us on their ceilings? They call us archangels, and say that we live in heaven, where no vine of sorrow or memory grows. That is where I sent you, not to heaven—tscha! I know nothing of that place. But to a place like the ceiling of a church.”'
-Alkonost, Tsar of Birds