I've been kicking around possible titles that might be more...pronounceable...than The House of Arkhangel'sk. While I'm kicking, I thought I'd share some imagery of various places and events that occur in the book. First, the current title: The House of Arkhangel'sk represents both the family name of the celestial Supernal Family and stands for the house in the city of Arkhangel'sk in which an important part of the story takes place. Below is a dacha similar to the one I had in mind for this second "house of Arkhangel'sk," along with some interior views of an Arkhangel'sk dacha.
And here are some possible alternative titles I've come up with:
City of Archangel – the former English name of the city of Arkhangel'sk. At left is a photo of Arkhangel'sk at night.
The Malachite Room – after an infamous room in the Winter Palace in which Russia's provisional government set up its administrative headquarters in 1917 and from which they briefly held off the Bolsheviks who stormed the Winter Palace to overthrow them during the October Revolution. It's also the scene of a bloody massacre and a crucial part of the climax in the celestial version of the Winter Palace.
Flower of the Fern – the mythical tsvetok paporotnika, a fiery flower that blooms only at midnight on the eve of Ivan Kupala (Midsummer Night), and which my heroine stumbles upon. I can't, of course, provide a picture of a fern flower, but at right is an image of one of the Ivan Kupala traditions in which my heroine takes part. Girls wear garlands of flowers in their hair and then float them out to sea with a candle in the center to carry their wishes. (It's after this that young men and women traipse off into the woods to, ahem, "look for the flower.")
And the last option, Prince of Tricks, simply refers to Belphagor's nickname. ;)
Which do you prefer? Have another suggestion?
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