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Two men, born on the same day on opposite sides of the world, driven to oppose each other—for only one man may be the Grandmaster.
Justin Gilead and Alexander Zharkov, two men driven by powerful forces they can neither understand nor deny—driven to fight each other in a battle for power that only one of them may win.
Gilead, a magnificent athlete, an American, a genius, and a spy. Zharkov, a master strategist, head of the feared secret service agency, Nichevo, a determined, ambitious man.
They first meet as ten-year-old chess prodigies-both lonely, both meaning to win, both born under the magical sign of the gold coiled serpent. They will come to know the uses of pleasure, the secrets of pain, the impact of evil turned upon itself.…[more]