It is nighttime, and Elizabeth Romanov stands in the nursery of her infant cousin the Tsar of All the Russias, contemplating her next move and all the events that brought her here.
Though the prequel Tsarina is on my TBR, this is my first taste of Alpsten’s work. Luckily the work stands alone. And it was a fascinating read. I knew very little of the early Romanovs beyond that one of them picked his wife in what was basically a marriage cattle fair, which is probably not of much use. Anyway.
What I really enjoyed about this book was how vivid all the characters were. Elizabeth and those who surround her are well-sketched, and despite the large cast I was able to easily keep track of them. Her larger-than-life family members in particular were enthralling in their appearances on the page. The story is also an interesting one, with many twists and turns.
However, I did not quite enjoy the writing style, which jerks the reader around from scene to scene sometimes. All the little snippets made it difficult to stay immersed. Because of this too, the novel’s pace is inconsistent, and it was exceedingly difficult to keep track of passing time in the story due to it. Also I did not enjoy the various romances between Lizenka and her suitors, as they all felt rushed in their progress.
Ultimately an interesting and engaging read, and I am interested in the series as a whole, but I don’t know that I would reread this book.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.