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Legends of the Five Directions 1

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The Golden Lynx awards

The Golden Lynx

C. P. Lesley




Russia, 1534. Elite clans battle for control of the toddler who will become their first tsar, Ivan the Terrible. Amid the chaos and upheaval, a masked man mysteriously appears night after night to aid the desperate people. 


Or is he a man? 


Sixteen-year-old Nasan Kolychev is trapped in a loveless marriage. To escape her misery, she dons boys’ clothes and slips away under cover of night to help those in need. She never intends to do more than assist a few souls and give her life purpose. But before long, Nasan finds herself caught up in events that will decide the future of Russia. 


And so, a girl who has become the greatest hero of her time must decide whether to save a baby destined to become the greatest villain of his.




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Revised July 2018


“Cultural clashes between Russian and Tatar on matters of religion, family, women’s roles, and food provide a rich background for the storylines. There’s a bit of tension between genres of romance, adventure, political intrigue, and the almost mythological sense that introduces the book … a good read with compelling main characters and a lively story.”

Historical Novel Review

“Swiftly paced, with compelling characters and vivid scenes evoking distant Muscovy, The Golden Lynx is a find for lovers of historical fiction.”

Russian Life

“A ‘ripping good yarn,’ as adventure stories have always been. Enter the exotic, cut-throat world of sixteenth-century Muscovy in the company of a Tatar princess whose skills would have made her equally a heroine on the American frontier. The Kremlin court of the not-yet-Terrible toddler Ivan and his mother-regent Elena Glinskaia, boyar intrigue, arranged political marriages, spirit animals and ancestors pointing the way to restoring balance and order in the universe—what more could a reader want except further adventures, which are heralded by the advent of another animal messenger?”

—Ann M. Kleimola, professor of history, University of Nebraska


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