A historical novel


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The year is 1917. Ten years after leaving his home on bad terms, Klim Rogov returns to Russia to claim his inheritance after his wealthy father’s death. As a famous journalist now holding Argentinean citizenship, he wants nothing to do with the ongoing Great War, Nicholas II, or the collapsing Russian Empire.

Klim knows that he should leave the country as soon as possible, but then he meets Nina, a young businesswoman, and falls in love with her. She is, in some ways, an “immigrant,” too—a brave soul who dared to enter the hostile, man-dominated world of business and succeeded despite the odds. But all of her achievements are ruined during a gloomy October night, when the Reds seize power and ban all private property.

People like Klim and Nina suddenly become public enemies. As a foreign citizen, Klim has a chance to escape the civil war unleashed by the Bolshevik revolution, though now he feels like a first-class passenger on the Titanic, who has to save only himself or die.

Time is running out, and Klim must make a fateful decision that will cost him dearly either way.

From the editor

The Russian Treasures series is beloved by readers throughout Eastern European countries. Now it is presented to the English-speaking audience that appreciates uplifting, insightful, and highly emotional historical novels based on extensive research.

It’s a totally new look at Russian history and the origins of the communist regime as well as a compelling story of love, loyalty, and the triumph of the human spirit.


When Klim Rogov ran away from home, he took what his father cherished most—his dreams of Klim’s bright future. At the time it felt gratifying.

Did you seriously think I would want to follow in your footsteps and become a Public Prosecutor, a man who preys and profits on others people’s misfortunes? Klim had thought. No way, Father. No way.

Ten years had passed, and Klim found himself once again standing indecisively on the threshold of his family house on a balmy summer’s night. It was shabby and overgrown with lilac and ivy but still luxurious with two marble bears guarding the entrance and a white balcony protruding like the drawer of a dresser.

There had been a time when Klim had dreamt of his triumphant return to his hometown as a successful foreign journalist, whose writing had made him famous all over Argentina. But in the Russia of the summer of 1917, this would not have been the safest guise to travel in. Klim’s home country had been at war with Germany for three years now, its economy had collapsed, and the railroads were packed with armed deserters. Foreigners with their fancy suitcases were easy pickings for them, and Klim decided it would be wiser to melt in with the local population. He grew a layer of dark stubble, acquired a soldier’s uniform and a shabby trunk for his belongings, and arrived in Nizhny Novgorod looking more like an opera villain than an heir to a fortune.

He felt uneasy in the knowledge that the moment he knocked on the door and re-enter the once-forbidden family home, the life that he had cultivated for himself would become irrelevant and meaningless.

Cousin Lubochka, who was renting the second floor in his father’s house, would come running to greet him, the sleepy servants would gather at the doorway, oohing and aahing at him. “Why did you leave us so suddenly like that?” The renowned traveler and journalist would once again be regarded as no more than his father’s son, and he had no idea where that was going to lead him.



Book 1

A novel about the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917

white ghosts baryakina

Book 2

A novel about Shanghai in the turbulent 1920s

the prince of the soviets baryakina

Book 3

A novel about foreign journalists in the USSR


Text by Elvira Baryakina

Translation by Rose France, Simon Geoghegan, and Elvira Baryakina

Book cover art by Olga Tereschenko

Book cover design by Alex Mintz

Illustrations by Ivan Vladimirov

Website design by Taras Karpyak