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Genre: Fiction

Zmyeevich had remained standing and now began to speak in very precise, but very formal and strangely accented French. His voice had a darkness to it that seemed to emit not from his throat but from deep in his torso. Somewhere inside him it was as if giant millstones were turning against one another, or as though the lid were being slowly dragged aside to open a stone sarcophagus…On 12th June 1812, Napoleon's massive grande armee forded the River Niemen and so crossed the Rubicon – its invasion of Russia had begun. In the face of superior numbers and tactics, the imperial Russian army began its retreat. But a handful of Russian officers – veterans of Borodino – are charged with trying to slow the enemy's inexorable march on Moscow. Indeed, one of their number has already set the wheels of resistance in motion, having summoned the help of a band of mercenaries from the outermost fringes of Christian Europe.Comparing them to the once-feared Russian secret police – the Oprichniki – the name sticks. As rumours of plague travelling west from the Black Sea reach the Russians, the Oprichniki – but twelve in number – arrive.Preferring to work alone, and at night, the twelve prove brutally, shockingly effective against the French. But one amongst the Russians, Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, is unnerved by the Oprichniki's ruthlessness…as he comes to understand the true, horrific nature of these strangers, he wonders at the nightmare they've unleashed in their midst…Full of authentic historical detail and heart-stopping supernatural moments, and boasting a page-turning narrative, "Twelve" is storytelling at its most original and exciting.

Genre: Fiction

In the summer of 1812, before the Oprichniki came to the help of Mother Russia in her fight against Napoleon, one of their number overheard a conversation between his master, Zmyeevich, and another. He learned of a feud, an unholy grievance between Zmyeevich and the rulers of Russia, the Romanovs, that began a century earlier at the time of Peter the Great. Indeed, while the Oprichniki's primary reason for journeying to Russia is to stop the French, one of them takes a different path. For he has a different agenda, he is to be the nightmare instrument of revenge on the Romanovs. But thanks to the valiant efforts of Captain Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, this maverick monster would not be able to begin to complete his task until thirteen years later. Now that time has come: it is 1825 and Russia once more stands on the brink of anarchy, and this time the threat comes from within…

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