Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten: Review and Excerpt

Tsarina covers the life of Tsarina Catherine, the second wife of Peter the Great. There are many factors that make her life interesting, but the first and foremost is that she was born into abject poverty in the rural Baltics.

The blurb suggests that Catherine is faced with a great responsibility upon her husband’s death. While this is certainly true, very little of the book is devoted to Catherine’s ascension to power as the first woman to rule Russia in her own right. Rather, this is more of a “record scratch—freeze frame—you’re probably wondering how I got here” narrative, in which we examine the events that led up to Catherine scrambling to cover up her husband’s death until her position is more secure.

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Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry Ficklin

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I am not familiar with Sherry Ficklin’s other books, but I love young adult books and I love historical fiction, so I was excited about the opportunity to read Queen of Tomorrow.

Queen of Tomorrow is the second book in Ficklin’s Stolen Empires series. Catherine is a young girl married to the heir to the Russian throne. Court life is full of intrigue, and plots, and forbidden dalliances. Catherine knows that she needs to produce an heir in order to ensure the continuation of the dynasty, but her husband Peter is wholly unsuitable, thanks to his mercurial temperament. Read more

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

I found The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia on the new release shelf in the YA section of my town library. I tend to prefer fiction, but I also love history, especially 19th century history.

The Family Romanov was meticulously researched by Candace Fleming. She presents her findings in an engaging manner, and she includes fascinating tidbits to pique the interest of the young reader. Fleming begins with marriage of Tsarevich Nicholas and Alexandra, who was one of Queen Victoria’s German-born grandchildren. The union was considered unlucky or cursed because they married when Nicholas was supposed to be in mourning following the death of his father. This proves to be rather prophetic, considering the gruesome end that the family met. Read more