The Wise and the Wicked

by Rebecca Podos
Release date: May 27, 2019
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, young adult

From the Lambda Literary Award–winning author of Like Water comes a lush, dark, and unforgettable contemporary fantasy about a girl in a family of women with a rare power: to see the moment in the future when they are to die.

“For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” — Carl Sagan

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies — a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.

Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time — seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.

From Lambda Literary Award–winning author Rebecca Podos comes a lush, dark, and unforgettable contemporary fantasy — a story of the power of the past to shape our futures, and the courage it takes to change them.

(updated 2019-05-27)

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