This really is a remarkable author and I am sincerely wondering why she doesn't have more readers and fans. Deathless has firmly put me in the fan camp. This interpretation of Russian folklore dared me not to put it down as I read but I had to in order to savour it. Ms. Valente's writing is like no other I have read. While she manages to portray Kolschei in all his wicked and selfish glory she also makes you note that he has human feelings and failings. Her ability to balance dark and light with most of characters held me entranced. Even Baba Yaga cannot be said to be completely heartless.All the while changing the backdrop from a family home to a Dali like fantasy world and then back to a bitter reality yet never jarring the reader with these changes.Some of the scenes in war torn Russia where horrific while still holding some of the beauty of of the more fantastical areas. The thought of boiling wall paper for it's flour paste so as not to starve may well haunt me for a long time.I said it before and I did meant it. I really want to read more by Ms. Valente.