The reserved daughter of a much declined, unusually affectionate St. Petersburg family, Irina Morozova senses death before it comes. Her arcane powers, unleashed with a few herbs and a candle’s flame, can summon the dead and bring them into the world of the living.
Yet that is the least of the pretty aristocrat’s worries. In Hyperadamantine (Part I), when their brothers rise up against the new Emperor on a cold December morning, the Morozov sisters lose their good names, their prospects for marriage, and their limited means. Irina’s brothers are sent to prison in Siberia, and the despairing Irina resolves to stage her own rebellion, diving into the shady margins of St. Petersburg’s artistic and literary circles, until her mysterious abilities come to the attention of the conservative but brilliant Prince Pavel Pozharsky, close confidant of the tsar.
The historical entwines with the darkly fantastic, and the glittering world of Russia's elite serves as a backdrop for an intimate exploration of political rebellion and personal faith. Based on years of research into the personal letters, writings, images, and scientific works of the era, this novel is the first in English to take a close look at the world of the Decembrists, Russia's first democratic rebels. It does so from a distinctly feminine perspective.