The Sins on Their Bones (Paperback)

The Sins on Their Bones By Laura R. Samotin Cover Image
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Set in a Jewish folklore-inspired reimagining of 19th century Eastern Europe, this queer dark fantasy debut pits two estranged husbands and a daring spymaster on opposite sides of a civil war. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, C.S. Pacat, and Katherine Arden.

Dimitri Alexeyev used to be the Tzar of Novo-Svitsevo. Now, he is merely a broken man, languishing in exile after losing a devastating civil war instigated by his estranged husband, Alexey Balakin. In hiding with what remains of his court, Dimitri and his spymaster, Vasily Sokolov, engineer a dangerous ruse. Vasily will sneak into Alexey’s court under a false identity to gather information, paving the way for the usurper’s downfall, while Dimitri finds a way to kill him for good.

But stopping Alexey is not so easy as plotting to kill an ordinary man. Through a perversion of the Ludayzim religion that he terms the Holy Science, Alexey has died and resurrected himself in an immortal, indestructible body—and now claims he is guided by the voice of God Himself. Able to summon forth creatures from the realm of demons, he seeks to build an army, turning Novo-Svitsevo into the greatest empire that history has ever seen.

Dimitri is determined not to let Alexey corrupt his country, but saving Novo-Svitsevo and its people will mean forfeiting the soul of the husband he can’t bring himself to forsake—or the spymaster he’s come to love.

About the Author

LAURA R. SAMOTIN and her spouse live with two enormously large felines. When she’s not pursuing her academic research on military tactics, power politics, and leadership, she relishes her role as a full-time cat servant.

Praise For…


"Samotin’s breathtaking debut is a Gothic, deeply Jewish tale about love’s power to both wound us and set us free. Passionate and gruesome, heart-pounding and poignant, this story will be carved into your very bones." —Allison Saft, New York Times bestselling author of A Far Wilder Magic

"The Sins on Their Bones is a novel of grief flayed open with surgical care, a story like a broken bone healing stronger than before. From war-torn shuls to opulent palaces to hidden rooms with cold secrets, Samotin has created a queer Jewish fantasy world that feels real enough to step into. The journey is dark, but never lonely." —Lauren Ring, World Fantasy Award winner and Nebula finalist

"Intense and visceral, with a romance that showcases the restorative power of love on the wounded, this stunning debut will leave you spellbound from the first page." —Aden Polydoros, author of The City Beautiful and World Fantasy Award finalist

"Samotin's debut is both epic and intimate, both sharp and sumptuous, both painful and ultimately hopeful, with Jewish magic in its bones. Novo-Svitsevo will linger in my heart for a long time." —Rebecca Podos, Lambda Award-winning author of From Dust, A Flame

"The Sins on Their Bones is a book that will break your heart and then fuse it back together, stronger for having been broken. It's a story of agency and abuse, about what we deserve and what we owe ourselves, about finding the strength to forgive ourselves and to accept the forgiveness of others. Samotin is a powerful new voice in the genre, with this queer dark fantasy that reminds us that there is always, always a light in the dark.” —Kamilah Cole, bestselling author of So Let Them Burn

“Samotin has crafted a modern classic which explores love, family and loyalty whilst dabbling in dark magic, high octane sexual tension and a web of romance that I will never stop thinking about. The Sins on Their Bones is a book that you will devour with ease, but be careful, because it too will devour you—soul, heart and mind. I CANNOT stop thinking about this book.” —Ben Alderson, author of Heir to Thorn and Flame
"An enthralling story that never flinches away from its darkest moments—Dimitri, Vasily, and even Alexey will carve themselves into your hearts and linger with you long after reading. With impeccable world-building, gut-wrenching prose, and a deeply compelling plot, The Sins on Their Bones is a must-read book of 2024. I can’t wait to read whatever Samotin writes next." —Lillie Lainoff, author of One for All

"Gothic and glorious, The Sins on Their Bones is the dark Jewish fantasy I've been craving. Novo-Svitsevo will stay with you long after you've finished the last page." —Natasha Siegel, author of Solomon's Crown

"An implacable tangle of dark histories and intense passions, damaging desperation and many kinds of healing love." —Davinia Evans, author of Notorious Sorcerer

“Set in an imaginative, lived-in world steeped in Jewish mysticism, The Sins on Their Bones walks a tightrope between darkness and light, between heavy themes and levity, between escaping the monsters from your past and becoming one in the present. Get ready to fall in love with Samotin’s characters—even the villain! Especially the villain.” —Genoveva Dimova, author of Foul Days

“A heart-wrenching tale of love, loss and the long, difficult road to healing, The Sins on Their Bones is an unmissable debut from a powerful new voice.” —K.M. Enright, author of Mistress of Lies

"Wrenching, brutal, and fiercely loving, The Sins on Their Bones is a remarkable and unflinching fantasy debut." —Emily Skrutskie, author of Bonds of Brass

"Clever and inventive, Laura R. Samotin's debut novel filled me with giddy nostalgia for the heady days when a younger me first discovered fantasy adventures, deliriously unhinging my jaw to devour entire books whole in a single night. Which is exactly what I did with The Sins On Their Bones: it was simply too much fun to put down! It's left me desperately craving both blinis, and the second book in the series!" —Rose Sutherland, author of A Sweet Sting of Salt

"Rich in wrenching intimacies, The Sins on Their Bones is a paean to healing and endurance against all odds." —Foz Meadows, author of A Strange and Stubborn Endurance

The Sins on Their Bones is absolutely unique and potently atmospheric. The darkness nearly wafts off the page.” —Ariel Kaplan, author of The Pomegranate Gate

"Immersive and original, The Sins on Their Bones is the Jewish fantasy I've always dreamed of reading. Samotin has created a world that is rich and evocative and absolutely steeped in Jewish folklore, and a cast of wounded, messy, enchanting characters that grab you by the heart and never let go. Every page took my breath away, and the ending left me absolutely clamoring for more. This tender, violent, breathtaking debut will keep you on your toes until the very last word." —Shelly Jay Shore, author of Rules for Ghosting

Product Details
ISBN: 9781039007567
ISBN-10: 1039007562
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English