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Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn

Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn by Elizabeth Kiem
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Moscow, 1958: sixteen-year-old ballerina Svetlana’s dreams come true when she is invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet, but not is all as it seems. Now Svetlana is caught between the sinister worlds of very powerful people in the regime and the KGB, and the other world—one she was trying to escape through dance, the gift she’s been afraid of her entire life.  

The Bolshoi Saga: Svetlana is the third and final book in the series that is described as a feminist take on The Godfather, set in the world of Russian ballet.

The year is 1958, and sixteen-year-old Svetlana is stuck in a Moscow orphanage designated for the unwanted children of Stalin’s enemies. Ballet is her obsession and salvation, her only hope at shedding a tainted family past. When she is invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet—the crown jewel of Russian culture and the pride of the Soviet Union—her dreams appear to have been realized. But she quickly learns that nobody’s past or secrets are safe.

The dreaded KGB knows about the mysterious trances Sveta has suffered, inexplicable episodes that seem to offer glimpses of the past. Some very powerful people believe Sveta is capable of serving the regime as more than a ballerina, and they wish to recruit her to spy on the West as part of the nascent Soviet psychic warfare program. If she is to erase the sins of her family, if she is to dance on the world stage for the Motherland—if she is to survive—she has no choice but to explore her other gift.

The story of teenage Svetlana, matriarch of three generations of ballerinas, is both the end and the beginning of the Bolshoi Saga. This title, and the debut, Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy and its follow up, Hider, Seeker, Secret, Keeper can all be read as stand-alone novels, although reading all three will provide a deeper understanding of the often thrilling—and surprisingly dangerous—world of the Dukovskaya ballerinas.
Soho Press; August 2017
ISBN 9781616956561
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Title: Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn
Author: Elizabeth Kiem
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