Against Destiny is the first fictional account of an escape from the Soviet Gulag. Four Soviet soldiers, imprisoned in a notorious Kolyma labour camp in the far northeast of Russia on trumped-up charges of treason, face certain death from malnutrition, disease or exhaustion. With the help of a native Siberian prisoner, they make their escape in winter and set out through the vast forests of the subarctic region. Traveling by reindeer-drawn sled and on foot, the five men trek hundreds of miles, fight off pursuers, escape a final ambush, and finally reach the Bering Strait eighteen months later. The escapees form a band of men unlike anything in fiction: a noble-minded, highly decorated young man, his irascible and violent friend, a shy and sensitive Jew, a simple, pious peasant—and the wonderfully capable Chukchi man who leads them through blizzards and mountain passes with the greatest of confidence. How far will men go to be free? As far as they have to.