Aleksei Ivanov

Shades of the Teutons Historical mystical blockbuster. Ripol Classic. Moscow 2021. 384 pages.
with geographical maps
Awards: 2021 Audiobook of the Year

The main action of the novel takes place in May 1945, immediately after the end of the war between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The setting is the town of Pillau in East Prussia (now Baltijsk). But through the events of May 1945, events of the 15th century at Marienburg Castle shine through and mystically influence the events in Pillau. Two epochs, two historical catastrophes – the decline of the Teutonic Order and the collapse of National Socialism – seem to mirror each other in a strange way.

„The ponderous historical novel of the twentieth century now seems archaic. It no longer corresponds to the language of our time.... Fantasy or mysticism, paradoxically, are not at all at odds with historicity. What is the essence of the historical novel? It is not about decorative scenery. It‘s about the protagonists being motivated by a historical process.... I need mysticism to reveal important ideas. My hero talks to the devil. And the devil explains that God is the creator of everything and that he, the devil, cannot create anything, he can only imitate, repeat, copy. And conspiracy theories and by extension postmodernism mean - copy.“
(Aleksei Ivanov in an interview about his novel)