Published by: Bulgaria - Партииздат (1989), Croatia - Svjetlost (1989), The Netherlands - Contact (1989), USA - Faber and Faber (1996)
Rights sold: Italy - Salani
A novel about growing up in a small provincial Russian town on the Black Sea before and partly during World War II. The ambience is of a multi-ethnic (in the Russian provincial sense), close-knit working-class community, seen through the eyes of a bright, bookish child.
A crime story set in fictionalized Moscow in 1622, The Fifth Kingdom is "an exciting, soul-searching, instructive, and amusing story in twelve chapters - according to the number of gates of the Heavenly City - featuring secret agents of the Kremlin, Scottish Guards, walking dead, foreign spies, enchanting women, hired assassins, alchemists, freethinkers,kings, monks, vampires, boyars, bastards, aeronauts, drunken witches, as well as one marble Venus and the Great Tree."