For readers of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir comes a
dramatic novel of the beloved Empress Maria, the Danish girl
who became the mother of the last Russian tsar.
Even from behind the throne, a woman can rule.
Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this vivid,
historically authentic novel brings to life the courageous
story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most
compelling women, who witnessed the splendor and tragic
downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty
in its final years.
Barely nineteen, Minnie knows that her station in life as a
Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a
royal marriage—as her older sister Alix has done, moving to
England to wed Queen Victoria’s eldest son. The winds of
fortune bring Minnie to Russia, where she marries the
Romanov heir, Alexander, and once he ascends the throne,
becomes empress. When resistance to his reign strikes at the
heart of her family and the tsar sets out to crush all who
oppose him, Minnie—now called Maria—must tread a perilous
path of compromise in a country she has come to love.
Her husband’s death leaves their son Nicholas as the
inexperienced ruler of a deeply divided and crumbling
empire. Determined to guide him to reforms that will bring
Russia into the modern age, Maria faces implacable
opposition from Nicholas’s strong-willed wife, Alexandra,
whose fervor has led her into a disturbing relationship with
a mystic named Rasputin. As the unstoppable wave of
revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her
most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.
From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg and the
intrigue-laced salons of the aristocracy to the World War I
battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the
Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the anarchic fall
of an empire and the complex, bold heart of the woman who
tried to save it.
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