Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading.
– Grab your current read and open to a random page.
– Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
This week’s teaser comes from The Age of Ice by J. M. Sidorova, releasing July 23rd from Scribner (an imprint of Simon and Schuster).
I was born of cold copulation, white-fleshed and waxy like a crust of fat on beef broth left outside in winter.
I was born of seed that would have seized with frost if spilled on the newlyweds’ bed.
I was born on the twenty-seventh of September because in the month of January my parents had been sealed in a wedding chamber made of ice.
The Empress Anna Ioannovna has issued her latest eccentric order: construct a palace of ice. Sealed inside are a disgraced nobleman and a deformed female jester – they are to be married, the relationship consummated inside this frozen prison. In the morning, guards enter to find them half-dead. Nine months later, two boys are born.
Surrounded by servants and animals, Prince Alexander Velitzyn and his twin brother, Andrei, have a seemingly idyllic childhood. Then one frigid winter night on the road between St. Petersburg and Moscow, Alexander comes to a horrifying revelation: his body is immune to cold. He is immortal.
Ice is a chrysalis of degradation. The first coat of ice, when it forms on a live creature, is paper thin and translucent; it humbly repeats every curve and crease of the creature’s body. It could be just a second skin, a molting layer. It could, one fancies, reveal a beauteous metamorphosis when shed — a firebird, an angel. However, ice is never shed. It thickens, instead, not a skin now but a cocoon; no longer humble, it soon abandons any resemblance to the creature it covered. A lump, a rock, it joins with other rocks; a sheet, a glacier; it never releases those it had captured. I dreamed of Anna. I touched her bare shoulders only to feel the first skin of ice under my fingers. It terrified me, because it was I who infected her with ice.