The Scar is one of the most prominent work of russian fantasy. It was written in 1996, "golden age" of russian SF&F, and things went downhill from that time. Can't recommend it enough. The Scar is part of the series, but it stand on it's own and definitely the best book of the series, quite probable best book of Dyachenko. While it's not quite a dark fantasy it is bleak, disturbing and could be depressing. It's also very intense. Some people think the beginning is a little slow, but I myself didn't feel it.