Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Coming October 17, 2023

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An urgent, immersive alternate history set in an imperial Russia on the brink of disaster, following a surprising cast of characters seeking a better future as Saint Petersburg struggles in the wake of Napoleon’s failed invasion.

Meanwhile, the Koalitsiya plan to gridlock Saint Petersburg with a city-wide strike in hopes of awakening the upper classes to the grim realities of the laboring people’s circumstances. Marya, a resourceful sometimes-thief and trusted lieutenant of the Koalitsiya, also falls under Sofia’s spell, and allied with Felix and her fellow revolutionaries, finds herself in the middle of a battle she could never have predicted. As Sofia’s influence grows and rising tensions threaten the Tsar’s peace, Sasha, Felix, and Marya are forced to choose between the ideals they hold close and the people they love.

Allison Epstein combines cleverly constructed plot with unforgettable characters in this exuberant historical page-turner, intercut with fractured retellings of traditional Eastern European folk stories that are equal parts deadly dark and slyly illuminating. Vividly written and emotionally intense, Let the Dead Bury the Dead reminds us that the concerns of the past aren’t quite as far behind us as we like to believe.

Early Praise for Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Set against the backdrop of early nineteenth century Russia, Let the Dead Bury the Dead combines political intrigue and a touch of magic with a cast of characters you’ll be rooting for until the very end. Epstein’s atmospheric, compelling sophomore novel is not one historical fantasy fans will want to miss.

Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch’s Heart

A haunting portrait of an alternate 19th century Russia on the brink of revolution, Let the Dead Bury the Dead is dizzy with betrayal and intrigue, snowy owls and whispering winds. Epstein is a master of suspense and characterization, and her folktales are inspired.

Mary McMyne, author of The Book of Gothel

Epstein weaves a sweeping love story set against the backdrop of a cleverly reimagined Imperial Russia, glittering, gritty, and pushed to the very edge of rebellion by a dark creature of legend, a delightfully powerful femme fatale that will seduce anyone who meets her—or destroy them.

Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, author of The Witch and the Tsar

Allison Epstein pulls readers effortlessly into a world of tsars, revolutionaries, and ancient magic in this triumphant work of historical imagination. Woven from the threads of both the country’s history and its haunting folklore, Let the Dead Bury the Dead is atmospheric and propulsively suspenseful, a brilliantly crafted alternate vision of a Russia on the edge of revolution. Readers will find themselves breathless.

Molly Greeley, author of Marvelous