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 the final years of its long reign.
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 and becomes empress once he ascends the throne. 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 lead 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.
This is a tragic story narrated by Tsar Nicholas’ mother, Maria. She is a 19 year old Dutch princess when she marries Sasha, the Romanov Heir. When her husband dies and Nicholas becomes the Tsar, she desperately tries to guide him. Due to many various issues..one being Nicholas’ wife…the tragedy cannot be stopped
Maria is a character lost in history. I do not think I have read very much about her. However, she should not be forgotten. She was smart and tough.
Even though I knew how this story was going to end, I could not stop reading. The would’ve, could’ve, should’ves which follow this tsar, even before he was born, are astounding. From his grandfather, who released the serfs. He thought he was doing a good deed. He just did not understand the serfs had no education or skills. To his father, who refused to have a constitution or to even understand the rebels point of view. Nicholas inherited a mess of a country. He was just not strong enough or smart enough to make the right changes.
I have always been a fan of books set in Russia and this one is amazing. I can’t say enough about this book! C. W. Gortner hit it out of the park with this one! This story is so vivid, so well researched and so well written! Don’t miss this one!