Hey fellow bookworms! Today I want to talk about the latest book that I have finished: Romanov by Nadine Brandes.
Basically I went into this story both wanting to love it and wanting to hate it. I wanted to love it because I adore the myth surrounding the Romanov family and Rasputin in particular and the animated 1997 film Anastasia was a firm favourite during my childhood (yes ok, it is also a favourite now). I wanted to hate it because this story has been done so many times before. I went through a phase a few years back of borrowing every book from the library that had ‘Russian revolution’, ‘Anastasia’, ‘Romanov’ etc in it’s title or description… and that was a lot of books! (I remember particularly enjoying The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry if you are looking for something different again.)
So I wasn’t sure what to expect from this new novel. The cover is gorgeous, the story itis based on is a classic… I had to try it. I was also persuaded by Bookstagram. So many bookstagrammers have recommended this book and so many told me not to simply dismiss it because I already know the classic story.
The first chapter didn’t entice me I must admit. It started off a little bit ‘fan fiction’ in my opinion. I suppose this is because its aimed at a younger audience. I continued because whilst it didn’t pull me in, it wasn’t awful, I could keep going. I can’t remember exactly when I got hooked but I do remember being suddenly halfway through and tearing up over one scene in particular (I won’t go into details, I don’t want to include too many spoilers). Suddenly I was completely invested in these characters and I just couldn’t put the book down. Nadine Brandes really brought each character to life for me and I was feeling their pain and struggles right alongside them. I particularly loved the main original character (who didn’t actually appear in the history books): Zash. He seemed to encompass everything I think the average person of Russia would have felt in those days: angry at the Tsar, scared of what they had been told about Rasputin, but also human and empathetic to the Romanov plight. I finished it in less than two days.
Somehow the magic and fantasy aspect of this book just worked… and I loved it! I highly recommend this to any lovers of YA fiction, historical fiction or fantasy novels.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 Stars
Is this a book on your TBR? If not, let me know if you have read it and if you agree with my viewpoint or not!