Part Gone with the Wind, part Doctor Zhivago, and thoroughly captivating, Ruslan is the epic story of a destitute young countess in Tsarist Russia who tries every avenue to restore her fortunes.
In glittering St. Petersburg, we meet Countess Alexandra Korvin: beautiful and intelligent, but also unmarried and—thanks to her late spendthrift father—quite penniless. In her polarized society of aristocratic grandeur and crushing poverty, a woman's only option is to marry well.
Alexandra makes her way through St. Petersburg society, attending dazzling balls, lavish dinners, and operas in search of a spouse. She pursues the charming but unattainable politician Rybynsky and spurns the advances of Ulynov, a rakish army captain who falls desperately in love with her. Finally, craving freedom and rebelling against the confines of her life as a woman, she cuts off her hair and joins the army as a man—only to find the ultimate test of her feminine heart.
Rich with decadent trappings of Tsarist splendor and alive with the indomitable spirit of an unforgettable young woman, Ruslan is a novel to savor from first page to last.
From the Hardcover edition.