Ivan Obolensky

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Ivan Obolensky grew up regaled by tales of his ancestors while surrounded by high society. Those stories of intrigue and adventure inspired him and nurtured his love of storytelling, which he brings to his writing, both fiction and nonfiction.

"Eye of the Moon" is colored by the stories of his youth. It was inspired by two questions: If life has given us gifts, what do we owe for having squandered them? To whom do we owe exactly and what will that payment be? Set in a family estate at Rhinebeck, the plot is a complex and sophisticated web of mystery, Egyptian occultism, sumptuous elegance, and intrigue. Its Latin American Spanish literary translation, "El ojo de la luna", released worldwide October, 2020.

"Shadow of the Son", the sequel to "Eye of the Moon", launched on June 21, 2021. Its Latin American Spanish literary translation, "A la sombra del hijo", launched in June, 2022.

In May 2023, the audiobook of "Eye of the Moon" was published.

Ivan is a lifelong reader and seeker of the way worlds intersect and connect. His nonfiction articles, weaving history, current events, science, and finance, are published online.

Ivan's hobbies include running, photography, and music.



BY Ivan Obolensky • POSTED ON Feb. 6, 2018

In this debut murder mystery, a pair of friends searches for clues in the darkest recesses of the occult.

Johnny and Percy grew up as close as brothers. So when Johnny asks Percy to accompany him to his family’s luxurious estate in Rhinebeck, New York, he agrees despite some reservations. While rummaging about in the cellar, they stumble upon some personal effects that belonged to Johnny’s deceased aunt, Alice, a larger-than-life figure who died under mysterious circumstances. In response to their curiosity, Stanley, the family’s butler and once Alice’s confidant, enigmatically offers them a contract of sorts: he’ll give them Alice’s diary and tell them everything he knows about her life in exchange for a future favor left currently undetermined. In the spirit of adventure, they both accept, and Stanley regales them with a lurid tale of Alice’s fraught marriage to Lord Bromley, a sinister man rumored to have dabbled in the supernatural. He is an abusive husband—his malignancy is memorably described by Obolensky—and Alice finally conspires to escape marriage to him. The cost of her victory, she believes, is a terrible curse delivered to her by Bromley. She devotes the remainder of her days searching for a reprieve from her dark punishment, indefatigably perusing ancient artifacts and books to that purpose. Johnny and Percy want to discover if her death was the result of murder and follow her lead in summoning demons to divine the truth. Meanwhile, Percy becomes infatuated with Brunhilde von Hofmanstal, the beautiful daughter of a baron and his wife, all visiting Rhinebeck. Though his feelings for her are powerful, he also suspects her interest in him is fueled more by ulterior than romantic motives. Obolensky conjures a remarkably imaginative tale, seamlessly juxtaposing the quotidian and the magical in a way that renders the latter mesmerizingly plausible. Johnny and Percy’s headlong march into the occult world that may have destroyed Alice is shockingly inadvisable and yet seems to make sense all the same. In addition, the author has a morbid gift for the description of human turpitude that simultaneously inspires both revulsion and awe. But his writing, in particular the dialogue, is oddly genteel and strikes a decorous tone that is more suitable to the 1870s than the 1970s, the actual setting of the story. Exchanges between characters include phrases like “pray tell” and “indeedy,” which seem like the author’s approximations of the communicative ticks of the well-heeled. Nevertheless, Alice’s complex character powerfully emerges as the plot’s tonal center, a bewitching amalgam of moral strength, intellectual vitality, and a lust for life. Likewise, Stanley is far more than meets the eye, and Obolensky skillfully portrays him with literary restraint, leaving the reader to deliciously wonder if he’s truly a friend or a secret foe. The principal failing of the novel is its sprawling length (more than 500 pages). The plot unfurls at a sleepy pace, and the author promiscuously inserts narrative detours. Still, the story as a whole remains a transfixing one, ingeniously constructed.

Despite its length, an engrossing tale of mystery and magic.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2018

Publisher: Smith-Obolensky Media

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2017

Shadow of the Son

Awards, Press & Interests

Day job

Graphic Designer

Favorite author

Raymond Chandler

Favorite book

"Rebecca" and "The Tao Te Ching" (Stephen Mitchell translation)

Favorite line from a book

And so it goes.

Favorite word



New York, NY

Passion in life

Connecting concepts and ideas in magical ways

Unexpected skill or talent

Coming up with advertising phrases.

EYE OF THE MOON: Gold Medal Winner of "Fiction: Intrigue" in the Readers' Favorite Book Awards, 2018

EYE OF THE MOON: "Grand Prize Short-List" in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, 2023

EYE OF THE MOON: "Best First Book (Fiction)" Winner in the IndieReader Discovery Awards, 2018

EYE OF THE MOON: "Finalist: First Horizon" in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, 2023

EYE OF THE MOON: Finalist: "Best Cover Design" (Fiction) in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, 2018

EYE OF THE MOON: Finalist "Paranormal" in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, 2018

EYE OF THE MOON: Silver/2nd Place Winner in the "Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Horror" category in the Feathered Quill Book Awards, 2019


A la sombra del hijo

Cuando Percy se entera de que lord Bromley aparecerá en Rhinebeck sin ser invitado, los eventos toman un giro extraño. La reputación de crueldad, astucia y conducta cuestionable de lord Bromley lo precede, y, Percy debe luchar para contrarrestar esta última táctica. Una vez más, hay más cosas sucediendo en Rhinebeck de lo que se encuentra a simple vista y, el hecho de que lord Bromley se atreviera a llegar sugiere una motivación oscura. En esta secuela de "El ojo de la luna", secretos, rivalidades y obsesiones se unen para impulsar a los eventos y personajes hacia una conclusión espectacular. El misterio gótico, "A la sombra del hijo", comienza donde termina "El ojo de la luna", marcando la próxima entrega de una serie que encantará y deleitará al lector. " 'A la sombra del hijo', con su mezcla de misterio, romance, intriga y unas secretas historias de familia, esos pequeños y grandes juegos de poder que son reveladores, alumbrará los días y las noches de sus lectores convirtiéndose, sin lugar a duda, en una de las mejores lecturas del año." - María Cristina Restrepo Novelista y traductora literaria
Published: June 9, 2022
ISBN: 978-1947780248

El ojo de la luna

Una fascinante historia de suspenso y misterio que atrapa al lector desde el comienzo, hasta llegar a su sorprendente final. "El ojo de la luna" es la traducción al español latinoamericano de la premiada novela "Eye of the Moon" de Ivan Obolensky. A Johnny y Percy, amigos de infancia, se les ocultan los hechos que rodearon la muerte de la tía Alice, sosteniendo en sus manos el "Libro egipcio de los muertos". Veinte años más tarde los amigos vuelven a encontrase para una celebración en Rhinebeck, la mansión familiar. Durante los cortos días de su estadía, descubrirán el mundo secreto que la rodeaba. Su vida, e incluso su muerte, están sorprendentemente atadas a ellos, envolviéndolos en una inesperada maraña de misterio, ocultismo, intrigas familiares y magia, elementos que harán que nada parezca lo que es, y que al dejar la propiedad, ninguno de los dos vuelva a ser igual.
Published: Oct. 18, 2020
ISBN: 978-1947780101

"Eye of the Moon" audiobook

What if you discovered that one of your relatives may have been murdered? The estate of Rhinebeck has many secrets. Two friends are determined to find out the truth about the death of a relative, but when everyone from the guests to the staff has their own agendas, that proves much more difficult than they ever imagined. Secrets have a life of their own and what the two friends discover will irrevocably change the lives of everyone. The award-winning debut novel of Ivan Obolensky, "Eye of the Moon", is dramatically brought to life through the stellar performances of voice actors Carter Roy and Vanessa Richardson. “It’s difficult to say which is more intriguing: the twists and turns of the plot or the cast of characters whose stories intertwine in truly unexpected ways. Even the dog is both hilariously entertaining and integral to the plot. The tale spans generations, uncovers family secrets, and is sprinkled with otherworldly influences and mystery.” -Judges’ commentary from the “Eric Hoffer Book Award” “A gothic mystery set in 1977—involving the occult, stolen treasure, family secrets, and financial sabotage—Eye of the Moon is sumptuous in its description of white-tie dinner parties and sexual tensions with baronesses, and sharp in its maneuvering of several secret puzzles at once.” -IndieReader, 4.7 stars
Published: May 22, 2023
ISBN: 9781947780064

Shadow of the Son

Can a curse find us? The answer lies in this sophisticated sequel to the award-winning novel, "Eye of the Moon". Readers are transported back to a world of magic, intrigue, and mystery, where they will find themselves enthralled and reading late into the night. “Fail, and there will be consequences.” What was settled might not be settled, as Percy finds out that the infamous Lord Bromley is arriving at Rhinebeck with a diabolical agenda that threatens the existence of the estate. Percy hosts a weekend party to confront him. But what of that voice that called out to Percy before, as he was leaving? “Would you care to make a wager?” What starts as a simple question from an uninvited guest descends into a complex game of move and countermove, as ties between the guests and Lord Bromley surface, and secrets behind secrets are revealed. Everyone, and all that resides at the mystical heart of Rhinebeck, must come to grips with a man who hides a dark, sadistic, and malignant cunning—a man who has calculatingly affected all their lives and is determined to do the same again. The price of a shattered vow As Alice returns in unexpected ways, her peculiar death comes to the fore once more. Worlds are shaken. Some are destroyed, and some rebuilt. All must ask the question, are the dead ever really dead? "Shadow of the Son" is a haunting and majestic tale of broken promises, old scores settled, second chances, and extraordinary love.
Published: June 21, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-947780-17-0
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