Have you ever heard about the legendary City of the Sun? If so, it is Stanislav (previously part of Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now known as Ivano-Frankivsk in Western Ukraine). The city was established in the mid-17th century as the citadel of the famous Polish Potocki noble dynasty.
Designed by French and Italian architects, Stanislav’s fortress is an intricate hexangular construction with numerous secret passages where danger and mysteries lurk around every corner. It is a perfect sanctuary for keeping the enigmatic heritage of the city’s founders safely buried. Some 200 years later, the main protagonist stubbornly strives to uncover mysteries despite someone’s attempts to thwart his plans…
In the 1860s, Ignatius Kaminski, a Polish patriot, lawyer, smuggler, and later Stanislav’s mayor, accidentally gets hold of the old letters. They mention some prominent leaders of the past whose lives were weirdly interwoven through centuries.
Kaminski believes they were all members of a clandestine league that still operates in Stanislav. Their goal is to establish an alliance of free countries, a realm of justice and equality between various nations – the true Malkuth, which means ‘The Kingdom’ in Hebrew.
Following the best traditions set by Umberto Eco, Dan Brown, and JRR Tolkien, the story blends a variety of plot threads with historical facts, Hutsul mysticism, and European magic. By the way, Kaminski is a real political figure considered Stanislav’s best mayor ever. In 2015, his statute was unveiled in Ivano-Frankivsk.
Every city must have its own myths. If it does not, create them…
About the author
Born in Western Ukraine, translator and writer Ostap Ukrayinets works within the genre of historical fantasy. He started writing fiction in 2016 and within a year completed his first big novel Malkuth. His translated works include TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, and books by HP Lovecraft, Erin Hunter, and Neal Stephenson.