From the introduction:
Young Aleksandr peered through the ship’s railing as the vessel pulled into the harbor. Dock workers scurried upon the approaching wharf, while a chill wind touched all aboard ship.
“Mama, it’s cold, and I don’t like it here,” complained the boy.
“Oh hush, child,” admonished his mother. “This will be a grand adventure. A new world to explore, just you see.”
“Your mother’s right, lad.”
Aleksandr and his mother startled at the voice and turned to face one of the countless other passengers who had booked fare to Landfall. The man was tall and gaunt, and his mouth stretched into a half-grin that did little to put the boy at ease.
“Beri Antonovich, at your service. I have visited Landfall many times before, and I would be happy to show you what the town has to offer.”
The mother was charmed by the offer. “Oh why that’s quite kind of you, Mr. Antonovich. See, Alek. I told you this would work out, and here we’ve already met our first friend in Landfall.”