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The Tsarina's Daughter by Carolly Erickson: A Book Review

The Tsarina’s Daughter

Author: Carolly Erickson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: 2008

Pages: 332

Source: My State Public Library 

Synopsis: From the bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette comes a dramatic novel and powerful love story about the last Russian imperial family.


     It is 1989 and Daria Gradov is an elderly grandmother living in the rural West. What neighbors and even her children don't know, however, is that she is not who she claims to be—the widow of a Russian immigrant of modest means. In actuality she began her life as the Grand Duchess Tatiana, known as Tania to her parents, Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra.


     And so begins the latest entrancing historical entertainment by Carolly Erickson. At its center is young Tania, who lives a life of incomparable luxury in pre-Revolutionary Russia, from the magnificence of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to the family's private enclave outside the capital. Tania is one of four daughters, and the birth of her younger brother Alexei is both a blessing and a curse. When he is diagnosed with hemophilia and the key to his survival lies in the mysterious power of the illiterate monk Rasputin, it is merely an omen of much worse things to come. Soon war breaks out and revolution sweeps the family from power and into claustrophobic imprisonment in Siberia. Into Tania's world comes a young soldier whose life she helps to save and who becomes her partner in daring plans to rescue the imperial family from certain death.

     

     My Review: Everyone knows the tragic fate of the Romanovs on the night of July 16-17, 1918. The Tsarina’s Daughter imagines how a Romanov princess managed to escape the execution. Tatiana Romanov is the second daughter of Tsar Nicolas II and Tsarina Alexandra. She lives a luxurious life and is unaware of the trouble surrounding the imperial family. When the Russian Revolution happens, she and her family are held captive under the new government. Tatiana begins to make escape plans for her and her family.


     I did not like Tatiana Romanov. She did not have much of a personality. She seemed very one-dimensional, and I could not connect with her. Tatiana is portrayed as beautiful and intelligent, yet s didn’t seem to have much of a relationship with any of her family. In fact, she cared more about boys than she did about them. Thus, Tatiana seemed to be very self-centered and vain. Therefore, I found her to be an unlikable character.


   Overall, this novel is about family, friendship, and faith. All of the characters were one-dimensional. It did not seem like there was a strong sisterhood that is prevalent in many historical accounts. Marie and Anastasia are barely mentioned. Olga is very mean to Tatiana. There were many scenes that I thought were very far-fetched and sometimes laughable. However, it was a light and breezy read! If you are a fan of the Romanovs, you might want to give this novel a try. However, there are better books about the Romanovs' final years. Some of them are The Last Grand Duchess by Bryn Turnbull, The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller, and The Funeral Bride by Kathleen McKenna Hewston! Thus, I suggest you skip this book and read those other novels about the Romanovs instead!


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


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