Vykup: A Novel of the Koldun (paperback) by Andi Marchal

(about this author)

  • Drawn into a mysterious world of Russian sorcery, Kaat Collins struggles to rebuild her life after the death of her mother, an author, who wrote of a world that may not be entirely fictional.  Kaat's grief turns into a compulsion to complete her mother’s final book.

    A full-time college load becomes one class, a Russian lit course. She meets Kolya Orlov, a classmate who becomes part of her reclusive life. Drawn to the darkly handsome, enigmatic Kolya, Kaat finds a kindred soul facing challenges of his own. Kolya finds Kaat intriguing as well, so unlike the women in his past.

    As she interacts with him and the exclusive town called Vykup, she finds love, hate, and prejudice, while uncovering the secret of her mother’s past and the truth of who she is. Will Kaat and Kolya’s differences divide them, or can their love overcome the obstacles they face?

    Rating: Sensual
    Page Count: 216
    Word Count: 50872
    978-1-5092-2130-1 Paperback
    978-1-5092-2131-8 Digital

    Excerpt

    “Lisa, this is Kaat Collins,” he said introducing me. She shook my hand and after her initial worshipful look at Kolya, she became quite business like.

    “I have looked through the purchase and donation records for the Antiquarian books and this is a list of what your mother help to acquire and what she donated to the library.” She handed me about half dozen sheets of paper with titles hand written on them. “Thank you very much,” I said, “this is an immense help.” She nodded her head as if she already knew that and told me to go through the door at the farthest end of the stacks and that was where I would find the Antiquarian book library and the books on the list. “Go ahead Kaat, I just need to talk to Lisa for a minute and I will meet you back there.”

    The door had some sort of seal, I guess to keep humidity out and protect the books. I had to push hard to get it to open, and when I did, my hand covered my mouth in surprise. This room, this room in the library in Vykup, was exactly the same as the library described in the last scene my mother had written in Blood Taken: the stacks, the Clerestory stained glass windows, the mahogany tables with scratch marks on the legs that ended in a claw foot. I couldn’t believe this, I could barely breath as I started to remove the books I needed off the shelves. When Kolya walked through the door, he found me sitting on the floor surrounded by books. He sat next to me not saying a word.

    “Did you find what you needed?” he asked.

    “More than I needed, Kolya. Did you set this up?”

    “Yes, I called Lisa last night.”

    “When did she have time to do this?”

    “She found the time and did it because I asked her to.”

    “You have some kind of influence here, Kolya?”

    “Kind of, yes.”

    “Maybe you should run for Mayor.”

    I think he knew to keep up the banter because if it stopped, I was going to start crying. Overwhelmed as I was that he would do this for me, as well as overwhelmed at the connection I was feeling to my mother, I finally looked up from the books and saw him watching me.

    “You know that this library is featured in Blood Taken, just like the rest of the town.”

    “Actually, I didn’t until Lisa pointed it out to me.”

    “Who is she?”

    “Lisa is obviously our amazing librarian.”

    “She’s so young.”

    “Something of a library savant, if there is such a thing.”

    I scooted my body closer. “Thank you,” I said bumping his shoulder.

    “I get a shoulder bump for staying up half the night coordinating this, for getting up at the crack of dawn, making coffee, and driving your butt, as cute as it is, all the way here, and…

    “Shut up,” I said and kissed him. I climbed into his lap and he put his hands around my waist as I deepened the kiss. He tightened his grip on me and guided me even closer. I sat back, our kiss broken and whispered in his ear, “Do I really have a cute butt?” His breath, as he laughed, was so warm against my hair.

Reviews

Grade 
08/23/2018

A Coming Home

A Coming Home...there are many ways that this book is a Coming home of sorts for both the characters and, in my opinion, the reader. All of us have things in our lives that require us to find acceptance and resolution in our hearts whether it be with family, friends, a job...or ourselves. Vykup: A Novel of the Kolden is a beautifully and emotionally crafted telling of Kaat, a young woman needing to find acceptance of a tragedy in her life. She sees herself as different or “unconventional” ~ not entirely fitting in with others her age...just about to finish college and embark on the world. All of us have a bit of Kaat in us, for who hasn’t had a feeling once in their lives of not being certain of the path or of feeling a bit on the fringes. Then there is Koyla. I will allow you to enjoy the descriptive words that bring him to life...suffice to say that he is a man that is not only handsome to look upon, but a heart and soul to match. His own life has a bit of a Coming Home as well...acceptance of a circumstance in his life that may pull him from the woman he loves as he works to disentangle himself from a years old committment. Here, I will leave to the reader whether or not these two can come home to each other, but I will say that their respective and mutual journeys are ones that I was pulled to from the first page.

Beyond the actual story, I want to add a couple things. This book is written in such an interesting way that I found kept me in tune with each new instance and situation in the story. It was written going back and forth between Kaat and Koyla, so the reader gets a glimpse into each character’s thoughts and feelings relating to their experiences. An intriguing and captivating way to write! Finally, no matter if you are a lover of romance, of legend, of fantasy and even a bit of history, this book has it all. I am personally drawn to anything Russian in history and legend. This is threaded through this story ~ woven into the fabric of the plot. .... One last thought...for anyone that is caught in the hands of grieving over the loss of a loved one, this book will gently guide you to acceptance, and coming home. There is a beautiful tradition written of in the pages here...that brought tears to my eyes. As I was reading those pages, I had not only the characters and their situation in my head, but my own personal loss of a loved one. I was “participating” in the tradition with them...just another step in my acceptance and coming home to hold the memories in my heart.

Every page and word in this book is written and crafted beautifully. My wish is that the story of Kaat and Koyla continue.

    Grade 
    08/21/2018

    Well Written Blend of New Adult Romance and Magical Realism

    Barrington and Vykup, two towns separated by a dangerous mountain road. In Barrington, Kaat Collins is facing the decisions most young women her age face, until tragically, her parents are killed in an automobile accident. Now her decisions must change: college, finishing the last book in her novelist mothers’ best selling series-Blood Taken, her inheritance, and the sudden realization she is alone.

    In Vykup, Kolya Orlov also faces life changing decisions: marriage to a women he doesn’t love, his career, coupled with the fact that he is a Koldun, a Russian sorcerer, living in a town settled by Koldun, once secluded but now interacting with the outside world.

    Their chance (or maybe not) meeting in a Russian literature course changes both their lives as they discover a connection that involves not only the two of them, but Kaat’s mother and the fictional world she created.

    Marchal writes two characters in Kaat and Kolya this reader could relate to, and I genuinely cared about. The struggles of emerging into adulthood are poignantly written. The minor characters are well developed and add a richness to this tale.

    All in all this is a deeply layered romance, where a young woman’s seemingly normal life is transformed , not only by love, but by the magic of the Koldun.





    Barrington and Vykup, two towns separated by a dangerous mountain road. In Barrington, Kaat Collins is facing the decisions most young women her age face, until tragically, her parents are killed in an automobile accident. Now her decisions must change: college, finishing the last novel in her novelist mothers’ best selling series-Blood Taken, her inheritance, and the sudden realization she is alone.

    In Vykup, Kolya Orlov also faces life changing decisions: marriage to a women he doesn’t love, his career, coupled with the fact that he is a Koldun, a Russian sorcerer, living in a town settled by Koldun, once secluded but now interacting with the outside world.

    Their chance (or maybe not) meeting in a Russian literature course changes both their lives as they discover a connection that involves not only the two of them, but Kaat’s mother and the fictional world she created.

    Marchal writes two characters in Kaat and Kolya this reader could relate to, and I genuinely cared about. The struggles of emerging into adulthood are poignantly written. The minor characters are well developed and add a richness to this tale.

    All in all this is a deeply layered romance, where a young woman’s seemingly normal life is transformed , not only by love, but by the magic of the Koldun.


      Grade 
      08/13/2018

      A Quirky and Engaging Tale

      I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

      A sassy, unconventional redhead, what's not to like. There's that and a whole lot more to like about this author's debut novel. Kaat Collins life changes drastically when her parents are killed in an auto accident. She feels grief, guilt and the need to finish her mother's last book in a series she was writing. Kaat re-arranges her life to fulfill this need and in the process meets Kolya Orlov from the mysterious town of Vykup, a town where Russian Koldun (witches/sorcerers) had settled generations before. Kaat and Kolya are intrigued with one another and grow close while navigating two worlds, Kaat's life in Barrington and Kolya's life in Vykup. Culture clash, prejudice, jealousy and through it all, Kaat coming to terms with her grief makes this a many layered romance. I enjoyed it and recommend it highly.

        Write a review

        Vykup: A Novel of the Koldun (paperback)

        Vykup: A Novel of the Koldun (paperback)

        Related Products

        30 other products in the same category: