Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn (The Bolshoi Saga #3)
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. Sveta’s dream is to make a new life as a dancer.Her dream comes true: she’s invited to join The Bolshoi Ballet, whose power as a symbol of Soviet prowess is unmatched—except perhaps by the dreaded KGB secret police. Sveta is stunned when officers show up at her door. Inexplicably, they know about a fainting spell she once had: a trance she slipped into. Something like a vision.Some very powerful people believe Sveta is capable of serving the regime as much more than a dancer. They want to enlist her against the West as a psychic spy. She must explore this other talent 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.

Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn (The Bolshoi Saga #3) Details

TitleOrphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn (The Bolshoi Saga #3)
Author
ReleaseAug 22nd, 2017
PublisherSoho Teen
ISBN-139781616956554
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn (The Bolshoi Saga #3) Review

  • JoLee
    January 1, 1970
    Featured in "Reading on a Theme: Young Ballet Dancers" on Intellectual Recreation. In 1958 Russia, Svetlana is a resident of an orphanage for children of Enemies of the People. Sveta is also an incredibly passionate and talented ballet dancer, and she's determined to be a star of the Bolshoi Ballet. Her road to stardom is hindered thanks to the black mark on her family's record. But Svetlana has other talents that the government finds useful; talents which a certain KGB agent promises will help Featured in "Reading on a Theme: Young Ballet Dancers" on Intellectual Recreation. In 1958 Russia, Svetlana is a resident of an orphanage for children of Enemies of the People. Sveta is also an incredibly passionate and talented ballet dancer, and she's determined to be a star of the Bolshoi Ballet. Her road to stardom is hindered thanks to the black mark on her family's record. But Svetlana has other talents that the government finds useful; talents which a certain KGB agent promises will help erase that scar. Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn is part of Elizabeth Kiem's series that follows three generations of dancers in the Dukovskaya family. I haven't read the second book in the series, but I did read the first, Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy several years ago. I don't think that you need to read the other books in the series first. I haven't read the middle book, and, although I admit I may have missed a few things, it didn't feel like missing that book hindered by enjoyment or understanding of the story.When I saw that Kiem had a book coming out that was from Sveta's perspective, I was very interested. I've been reading a lot of books about Communism recently, and I always love books about dancers, so this book definitely checked off a couple of my current interests.I really enjoyed this addition to the series. Svetlana's story is really where it all begins in the heart of Cold War Russia. I thought all the historical elements were really well done. The general atmosphere of the Cold War was conveyed very well. I liked the side characters a lot, and it just felt good to have Sveta's decisions explained. In the first book, I was a little iffy about the whole psychic aspect of the tale, but I thought that it worked so well in this addition. Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn is out August 22, 2017. Review copy from NetGalley.
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  • Jessica Macaulay
    January 1, 1970
    Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn has a lot going for it from the integration of Russian words and phrases to the incorporation of meticulously researched historical fact, and from the beautiful imagery to a complicated love story that could have entertained on it’s own. But what I love the most about this book is how strong and prominent the female characters are – very rarely do we see a damsel in distress, and the only mention of hormones comes from the protagonist herself in a completely understand Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn has a lot going for it from the integration of Russian words and phrases to the incorporation of meticulously researched historical fact, and from the beautiful imagery to a complicated love story that could have entertained on it’s own. But what I love the most about this book is how strong and prominent the female characters are – very rarely do we see a damsel in distress, and the only mention of hormones comes from the protagonist herself in a completely understandable situation. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for it to hit the shelves later in August as I have a whole host of little ballerinas that I think will absolutely love it! I loved Orphan, Agent, Prima, Pawn as a stand alone text as it was easy to follow, but I have no doubts that I will be tracking down the first two texts in the series ASAP. If you love Ballet, the Cold War, and the KGB and their alternative warfare this might just be the book for you!
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  • Bayla
    January 1, 1970
    Very Russian-feeling
  • Doreen
    January 1, 1970
    8/5/17 Full review tk. Definitely going to look up the first two books, tho.
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Soho Teen for sending me a solicited physical copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!"Three woman robbed of their fathers, hobbled by their mothers, left on their own. Three injured dancers- prisoners, pawns, and devoted acolytes of the Bolshoi Ballet."When I first heard about this book and what it was about (History, and Spies) I knew I had to get my hands-on it and review it as soon as possible!MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS IF YOU'RE READING IT IN AS A SAGA.Rather you're readin Thank you to Soho Teen for sending me a solicited physical copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!"Three woman robbed of their fathers, hobbled by their mothers, left on their own. Three injured dancers- prisoners, pawns, and devoted acolytes of the Bolshoi Ballet."When I first heard about this book and what it was about (History, and Spies) I knew I had to get my hands-on it and review it as soon as possible!MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS IF YOU'RE READING IT IN AS A SAGA.Rather you're reading this as a stand-alone or as the final one in the sage. I'm sure you will love reading about what started this journey and how Marina and then Lana were shaped because of Svetlana's choices.Orphan Agent Prima Pawn is separated into four different parts just like the first two books in the saga DANCER DAUGHTER TRAITOR SPY being the first and HIDER SEEKER SECRET KEEPER being the second book. Each part is a different stage in Svetlana's life all the way from being a child to an adult who is making very tough choices, in order to protect the ones she loves.It starts off right where the second one ended with Lana meeting Svetlana and starting to learn what happened all those years ago. Told in memories that Svetlana has, we get to see what happened, as well as when we come back to present day, how Lana is handling/processing everything.We see Svetlana deal with the stigma of being an Orphan (because of her parents becoming enemies of the people), and how she was able to overcome that with Ballet. Then, we see her mom come back into her life and put her in touch with a KGB person who thinks that the 'visions' Svetlana has can help the USSR gain information they need. Meaning Svetlana has to make tough choices when it comes to managing her Ballet career and working for the KGB. We see her find love and real happiness with Viktor and starting a family. And of course we have Georgi (Gosha) throughout the book as well. I really loved getting to see how exactly he was connected to the family, and why he was so loyal to them even after such a long time, and so many losses.I absolutely loved this book! The history in it is very well researched, and the author did an amazing job of making it seemed like it really could have happened. The Russian language and traditions throughout were well explained, but not overdone. Learning about how Svetlana was able to know the secrets she did and what caused them and how she worked for the KGB was fascinating to me. Getting to see characters from the first one and how they all came to be together was really nice as well."No-this much is perfectly clear to Lana: her grandmother, like her mother and like Lana herself, is a victim of their Rodina's tradition in tearing down the pedestals on which heroes are placed. A tradition of recasting roles in the middle of a performance, turning orphans into primas, turning stars into spies, turning dancers into pawns."It was a wonderful conclusion to a three generation saga and I'm honestly going to miss these characters. (Can we get a companion Georgi novel?)Blog Twitter Instagram Facebook
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  • TJ Burns
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Soho Teen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
  • Miriam Joy
    January 1, 1970
    I've had this from Edelweiss for ages, but only just got around to reading it. Although it says it's the third in a trilogy, the note at the beginning says you don't have to have read the others, and that seemed to be the case, as I haven't but still followed this one with ease. I think I might've understood or engaged with it on a deeper level if I could remember more of my GCSE History module on Soviet Russia and the Cuban Missile Crisis and so on; instead that's only a dim memory, taunting me I've had this from Edelweiss for ages, but only just got around to reading it. Although it says it's the third in a trilogy, the note at the beginning says you don't have to have read the others, and that seemed to be the case, as I haven't but still followed this one with ease. I think I might've understood or engaged with it on a deeper level if I could remember more of my GCSE History module on Soviet Russia and the Cuban Missile Crisis and so on; instead that's only a dim memory, taunting me with the knowledge that I used to know this stuff and I don't anymore. That said, I didn't need that knowledge to follow the plot, I just think it might've helped. My interest in Russian history and in ballet meant this was in many ways an ideal book for me. And I did enjoy it, but I would say that I never felt I entirely connected with it on an emotional level. I was interested in the plot -- I was reading while cooking dinner and while eating it, because I wanted to know what happened -- but I didn't FEEL all that much. I also found I was occasionally confused about how much time had passed, because there were periodically jumps forward and I couldn't quite figure out how many years had passed. Paying more attention to chapter headings might've helped there, but it's hard on Kindle and I think some were missing due to it being an ARC, as well, so that didn't make it easy. More detailed review to hopefully follow when I'm home with more consistent WiFi.
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