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The Veil of Gold (Europa #3)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  410 ratings  ·  75 reviews
When the statue of a golden bear is found walled up in a dilapidated St. Petersburg bathhouse owned by her family, Rosa Kovalenka knows in her heart that this is no trick of fate. Her uncle thinks of treasure, but Rosa fears the bear is much more. She pleads with her old friend and lover, Daniel St. Clare, to help identify the relic and perhaps take the bear far away from ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Tor Fantasy (first published August 31st 2005)
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Why is this story of modern characters entering a Russian mythic fairy-land not getting 5 stars from me--a self-identified mythic fairly-land enthusiast? Well, it's a wee bit predictable at times, which wouldn't necessarily be all that bad except the narrator frequently challenges the reader to figure out who's who and what's what in what he obviously thinks is a blindingly complex web of mystery. And then there's this tension between this mythic, pagan world and Christianity--and rightly so, pe ...more
I'd never heard of this author, but apparently she's a bestseller in her native Australia. Tor has so far released 2 of her 20+ novels in the US, and if "The Veil Of Gold" is any indication, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to release some more. "The Veil Of Gold" is a modern fantasy set in Russia. I'd call this urban fantasy, except most of it takes place in the Russian country-side, but aside from that minor detail, it has most in common with that sub-genre.
When a mysterious golden statuette
While this was slow going, and I did have some major problems with it (1. A good hundred pages of walking could easily have been cut, 2. The narrator cutting in and breaking the 4th wall was jarring in the beginning, 3.All of the characters fell flat) the myths used were what made the book for me. There just aren't enough books with Russian folklore, and this one was packed with it. For example, did you know that there is no true Russian word for "bear" because the beast itself holds so much pow ...more
Hannah Notess
I liked the use of creepy Russian folklore in this fantasy novel. I am very fond of Russian fairy tales, and I enjoy fantasy novels that blend the fantastical and real. I can't give it more stars because I thought the main characters were a little flat, but it was still very entertaining.

I also want to add that this book was recommended to me when I used Seattle Public Library's book recommendation service. I asked them for fantasy recommendations that weren't too fantasy-ish (lots of hard-to-pr
Not too bad... but not too good either.
While I loved 'The Autumn Castle' by the same author, I found the other books that I tried after that one to be a bit disappointing. While this one was faster paced and more gripping than 'Angel of Ruin'/'Fallen Angel', it just had too many flaws.

The writing is alright. Not terrific, but certainly good enough to at least not bother me, which means it's not so bad since I'm fairly hard to please. The storyline was interesting enough, so that wasn't the prob
I heard about this book from a blog that I read and I was not disappointed. I'm not usually a fantasy reader, but this novel wove Russian folklore and history together to make an engaging story that I greatly enjoyed.
Enjoyed it greatly. Set in Russia in present day with travels into the magic and folklore world and characters who travel back and forth between them.
This is a fascinating contemporary fantasy beautifully interwoven with Russian folktales, myths, and history. It's a sizeable read, but well worth it!
Kelly Mutzelburg
The ending was clever but not satisfying. If it had been the other way around, I may have given this book 5 stars instead of 3.
I think this book just left me with too many questions.

Like, why is the golden bear such a biatch? (They're taking you where you want to go, asshole. Maybe stop trying to kill them in their sleep?)

Or why are Daniel and Rosa so into each other, when she's clearly shallow and he's an ineffectual wuss?

Aspects of the book were cool - some of the mythology and the magic, the twist regarding the golden bear. But the characters were off-putting, which made it hard to care what happened to them.

Excellent read, loved all the Russian myth references.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2011 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
(originally reviewed on starmetal oak book blog)

Well, I never heard of this author or book before in my life until Calico's book club (she's well known in her home country of Australia) and so going into this I wasn't sure what to expect. Boy, was I given a gem! I really enjoyed this story! I can easily say it's a Squee! type of book. You know, one that by the end of it, you're *squee*ing because it was so awesome?

Anyways, I better go into some detail here. There are some very specific reasons
Rachael Pruitt
I am a fan of Kim Wilkins fantasy work--she is not afraid to explore the dark side of folklore, her research is excellent, and she explores the folklore of cultures usually overlooked by western fantasy novelists such as Scandanivia & Russia. However, I almost always have trouble warming to her human characters and "Veil of Gold" (set in Russia) is no exception.
Other reviewers have already described Wilkin's premise of a mythic Russian world existing parallel to our own that three modern cha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Morrigan
Review from my blog:

In Rosa and the Veil of Gold, Kim Wilkins seamlessly interweaves Russian myths and fairytales with the events of our world. In her story, Russian myths intersect with Russian history, and three modern day people with their own secrets are drawn into the dark worlds of legend. It took me a little while to get into this novel, but when I did, I was hooked, and read it over the last couple of days. I loved the way it was narrated, slowly revea
A golden bear statuette is the catalyst for a tale of two worlds in The Veil of Gold. Mir is the place where humans live, while its counterpart, Skazki, is the parallel world of stories and folkloric gods and magical creatures. The engimatic little bear was discovered discovered in a construction site in modern St. Petersburg; finding herself back in the light of day, the bear has a mission, and "marks" two people to carry it through. Rosa, whose uncle now owns the bear, entrusts Daniel, her for ...more
In a nutshell:

When development sub-contractors accidentally tear down a wall in an old Russian bathhouse, they discover a small statue of a golden bear. The niece of the developer, Rosa Kovalenka, can immediately tell – through her second sight – that there is some strange magic surrounding the bear. To assist in identifying the bear’s origins and value, she contacts an old lover, Daniel St. Clare, who happens to be elsewhere in Russia as a history consultant on a documentary shoot. Daniel catch
I enjoyed this book like a summer film. That is, I wouldn't recommend it to my book-nerd friends, but I was more-or-less pasted to the pages.

This contemporary fantasy taps in to Russian folklore to bring new life to an tired concept (magical and human worlds separated by a veil), and tell a fairly unique and fast-paced story about the repatriation of a sinister golden bear. There are no ambrosia-drinking elves to shelter with on this hero's quest, however; the non-human characters are generally
For some reason I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. However, once I was in, I was swept away by Wilkins' easy story telling. I blew through the second half of the book in a few hours.

As a lover of Russian folklore, I really enjoyed all of the monsters coming to life. Wilkins must have done a lot of research and got the Russian culture pitch perfect. Even the mythical creatures had a certain "Ruskie" tone. I really enjoyed the thread of supernatural Wilkins weaves through historical eve
This is one of those "oh I'll just read one more page... yikes where did the last 3 hours go?" kind of books. Better still, it's an introduction to a whole batch of folklore I haven't really come across before so I'm looking forward to investigating it as a follow up.

But... the ending? Without wanting to give too much away, I was disappointed. I felt like I spent all this time starting to care about the characters, getting immersed in the world and then it felt like the author passed an invisibl
This novel hit me by surprise. It has a brilliant narrative voice which takes us on a fascinating journey through modern-day and historical Russia. Major historical events are intervoven with fairytale creatures and the main characters are deep and interesting despite their negative traits.

I don't want to give a spoiler but near the end there's a heartbreaking tragedy, so sad but at the same time beautiful and joyful - this scene alone (and the narrative leading to it) makes the book so valuabl
Matthew Chiabotti
This book is not without its flaws, but it is a great mix of dark fantasy, fairy tales, history and mythology. I want to give it four stars, but for can't quite bring myself to do so. Definitely recommend.
This book was a little predictable at times but not to the books detriment. I found that I cared less and less for the male protagonist Daniel the more I read. He is like the proverbial damsel in distress, always getting into trouble and needing his butt saved by his traveling companion Em. That sort of character is annoying enough when it is a woman, when it is a man it becomes all man cold and pitiful. I really enjoyed the world that she built, Wilkins has a talent for supplementing the real w ...more
I had mixed feelings about this book. I liked the characters and how they were so well-defined and I liked the overall story line. I'm sick of faery tales where yes, there is danger, but there isn't ever any REAL danger. These faeries were something sick and scary so it has that going for it. And while I don't like predictable books there were just a few things that put this story on the complete other side of the spectrum. It was so unpredictable at times for me that it seemed almost... off. I ...more
Laura Hayward
I was not dissapointed by this book at all, i couldn't put it down. Although slow to begin with, unlike Autumn Castle and Giants of the Frost it started to turn into the Kim Wilkins exciting page turner i have come to know and love.

Out of all the Kim Wilkins books i have read, Rosa Kovalenka is my favourate heroin by far. She has so much attitude, and is not so much of a goody two shoes, which i absolutly adored about her.
I really enjoyed this book and would recomend it to any one who enjoys a
Jessica Ratcliff
Very interesting- can not wait to read other works by this author.
this is set in Russia and involves contemporary people being drawn into the world of Russian folktales. Intertesting so far. I liked the setting, Russia, both contemporary and folkloric, but it was really slow moving and very very long. I have to get more interested in characters and hve some idea of their motivations to stick with it through the slow bits. In addition, I'm not very familiar with Russian folklore, and no doubt missed some of the resonances that would have added to the interest/ ...more
Christopher Jennings
Amazing amazing book.
A solid gold bear is found in a Russian excavation site. A historian sets out to discover the origins of the bear with a colleague.

Somehow they get lost on the way. Time slips away and they find themselves caught in a time warp.

I simply couldn't put this book down and it is the last time I read something that I didn't want to end. When I got close to finishing. I slowed way down because I didn't want to finish.

It was that good.
Eric Pollard
I picked this up because I know someone with the same name as the author. Turns out this Kim Wilkins is a popular Aussie author with this just her second novel available in the US. The conceit here is great; a parallel spirit world that influences Russian history. The characters were not well developed, likable or particularly interesting. The heroine has real promise, but makes some choices that left me scratching me head.
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Goodreads Librari...: Different titles for same book 4 20 Apr 23, 2014 03:08PM  
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