The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko

Wowee. Wonderful cover. (Weird, though, that it has the same title as another Tor title, written by mega-personality, China Mieville.) If only I knew who the artist was, so I could slaver over the rest of their art. Looks a little like Justin Sweet, but I’m not convinced.

Continuing their newfound tradition of mining Eastern Europe/Russia for popular, untranslated works (like Alexei Pehov’s Shadow Prowler), The Scar is coming over to North American shores after finding much critical success in its homeland.

Reaching far beyond sword and sorcery, The Scar is a story of two people torn by disaster, their descent into despair, and their reemergence through love and courage. Sergey and Marina Dyachenko mix dramatic scenes with romance, action and wit, in a style both direct and lyrical. Written with a sure artistic hand, The Scar is the story of a man driven by his own feverish demons to find redemption and the woman who just might save him.

Egert is a brash, confident member of the elite guards and an egotistical philanderer. But after he kills an innocent student in a duel, a mysterious man known as “The Wanderer” challenges Egert and slashes his face with his sword, leaving Egert with a scar that comes to symbolize his cowardice. Unable to end his suffering by his own hand, Egert embarks on an odyssey to undo the curse and the horrible damage he has caused, which can only be repaired by a painful journey down a long and harrowing path. Toria, the woman whose fiancé Egert killed, hates Egert, and is saddened and numb, but comes to forgive the drastically changed Egert.

Plotted with the sureness of Robin Hobb and colored with the haunting and ominous imagination of Michael Moorcock, The Scar tells a story that cannot be forgotten.

It sounds like a tight, personal story, which is something I always appreciate in a novel. There’s also something to be said about Fantasy conventions and settings being approached by people raised in other countries and cultures (Ukraine, in this case). It’s firmly on my rader for that reason alone (and, well, that cover. Yum!)

(The final sentence of that blurb is patently ridiculous, though, no matter how good the book is.)

  • Justin September 23, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Cover gives me some UNREMEMBERED vibes artistically. And yes, that last sentence is nonsense. Almost like they pulled two authors out of a hat.

  • aidan September 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    You’re right, there’s *is* some Kekai Kotaki in there. Being compared to the cover of The Unremembered is hardly a bad thing, too!

  • Martin September 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Yeah, that is a lovely cover.

  • kara-karina September 24, 2011 at 4:09 am

    “ike Sergey Petrov’s Shadow Prowler” – did you mean Alexei Pehov? :)
    Sergei and Marina Dyachenko are very good as far as I can remember.

  • Phil September 24, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Beautiful cover, but at first blush I thought the guy was taking a whiz as the world burned. Then I blinked and realized it was his sword. Unfortunate angle.

  • aidan September 24, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Whoops! You’re right, Kara! I’ll fix that right now.

  • Biblibio September 25, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I love seeing the presence of translated fantasy or sci-fi in the English speaking world. Within the grossly limited world of translations to English, it’s almost impossible to find fantasies from around the globe (though Russia in particular has had a longstanding and thriving sci-fi/fantasy literary culture). I’m glad to see someone is finally making an effort to find some of these books.

  • […] Cover: The Scar by Sergey & Marina Dyachenko, posted by A Dribble of Ink […]

  • Giedre September 27, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Finally finally this book was translated! Believe me, it is SO worth reading. And it’s only one book from the quartet. Hope there’s not much that was lost in translation. :)

  • Serge Berezhnoy November 22, 2011 at 1:07 am


    If you as curious on THE SCAR as before, you can try the prologue and the first chapter of the translation:

    Take care!

  • Irene November 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    That would be the great Richard Anderson:

  • aidan November 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    @Irene — I can’t stop picturing MacGuyver painting the cover for Fantasy novels now!