Living in genteel poverty, Princess Dagmar of Denmark doesn't expect
anything special to happen to her. However, when her beloved sister
Alix gets married, and she soon meets and marries an heir to the throne
in Russia, the future Sasha III. Her life is turned upside down when she
travels to Russia and becomes the Tsaritsa of an empire where
assassins are numerous, human life is worth less than glory, and where
policing the citizenry is expected. Wife to a tsar and mother to the
future tsar, Nicholas II, she must use her wits, charm, and wiles to fight
the losing battle of when history will decree absolute monarchy as
What I really appreciated about THE
ROMANOV EMPRESS is that the story takes place prior to Russian
Revolution, prior to 1900s, which is a very rare event when it comes to
historical fiction about Russia. I enjoyed how Gortner simplified the
complex events leading up to Russian Revolution, and after reading this
book, I feel as if a lot of things that I couldn't make sense of when it
comes to Russian history clicked after reading this story, which was
Gortner also doesn't glorify or degrade the last members of the
Romanov dynasty but instead portrays them as human beings capable
of errors and judgments. Through Princess Dagmar's eyes, they
become fully fleshed out human beings who are stuck in extraordinary
circumstances and react in unique ways to attempt to survive the tide
of history that has dared to erode the royalty.
If you are a fan of the Romanov family, scandals, strong women, or
Russia in general, THE ROMANOV
EMPRESS by C.W. Gortner is a book not to be missed, and I will be
looking forward to his future reads... I have high hopes that one day he
will write about Marilyn Monroe.
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.