Novyi Zem is the nation of the Zemeni. It is bordered by the Wandering Isle to the north, the True Sea to the east and the Southern Colonies in the south.


Novyi Zem is known for its dark-skinned people, its frontiers, bustling coastal cities, extensive farmland where jurda is cultivated, and sophisticated firearms. It is also known for being a refuge for people, both Otkazat'sya and zowa where they can begin a new life in anonymity.

Novyi Zem is a young country compared to other nations. The expanse of the True Sea keeps Novyi Zem separated from global conflict, allowing the nation to prosper.[1]

Notable Locations

  • Shriftport - the main port city of Novyi Zem, known for its extensive Jurda fields
  • Weddle - a city in northeastern Novyi Zem.

Known Zemeni


Main article: Zemeni Language


  • Novyi Zem was originally inspired by the American colonies and Australia, with other influences.[3]
  • Novyi Zem is named after a real place called Novaya Zemlya, a Russian archipelago, somewhere in the North Sea above Eurasia.
  • There are schools for zowa training in the west of Novyi Zem as said by Leoni's father.
  • On the official map for the books, there is place called Eames Chin located in Novyi Zem territory. It is unknown if Eames Chin is a part of Novyi Zem or if it is an independent nation that is yet to be explored in the series.
  • According to The Lives of Saints, the Zemeni have a tradition of choosing names, something that started with the Maradi family named after Sankta Maradi saved them at the sea. Leoni follow this tradition, naming herself after Aditi Hilli, the zowa woman who saved her and her sibling when she was a child.
  • Novyi Zem has ministers, but its exact structure of government is unknown.


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