I've had this book on my reading list for a couple of years and finally got to it. I've never read anything but good about it, but actually struggled at about 100 pages over whether or not I wanted to finish it. There are a lot of characters, all with Russian and Czech names, and the author makes the assumption that you know something about what happened in Siberia in the first World War. I thought that I would probably give it a not-so-good review.
But now that I've finished, I have to say that I liked the book and I'm glad I read it. I wish I had read it at a time when I could really dedicate some time to sorting out all the characters and maybe looking into some background information about what happened in this time period in Siberia. Most of my negative reactions are probably my own fault.
Still, combine a freaky religious sect (apparently based on the truth) with a squadron of Czech soldiers.. lay on top of that the town widow and her son who have past connections with certain characters in the town. Pretty fascinating. And then, out of the forest walks a convict with a story about cannibalism that turns the town upside down. All in all, it requires some patience to read but it's a very good story. You'll learn some things -- and you might just enjoy yourself!