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Legends of the Five Directions 2

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The Shattered Drum

C. P. Lesley


Nasan Kolycheva has endured more than one crisis since her marriage to a Russian nobleman four years ago. Still only twenty, the Tatar princess welcomes the possibility of a calm and happy life with her charming husband, Daniil, and their adorable baby, even if she silently wishes that the three of them could retreat to the steppe that she still calls home.

But peace has few friends in Russia in 1538. Turmoil roils the steppe, a palace coup leads to Daniil’s arrest, and his father’s decision to retire to a monastery leaves Nasan as the only person who can procure her husband’s release, even if it means dusting off the skills that once won her renown as that legendary hero, the Golden Lynx. Then her infant son falls ill, and Nasan faces a choice she desperately wants to avoid. Who deserves her loyalty more: her husband or her son?




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“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 emerita of history, University of Nebraska

“The characters of Nasan, Daniil, and the others leap off the page. Perhaps most intriguing is the portrayal of the clash between the two vibrant but alien cultures of the Russians and the Tatars—frequently at war, occasionally bound by an uneasy and watchful peace.”

—Ann Swinfen, author of Voyage to Muscovy


The Shattered Drum is a great yarn, an adventure in which to lose oneself as you travel back through time to this age of conflict, treachery, power and politics. Highly recommended!”

—Liza Perrat, author of The Silent Kookaburra and other novels

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