Author: Nadine Brandes
Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published: May 7th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
ASIN : B07DT64TLH
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Purchased by Reviewer, Amazon Kindle
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
My name is Anastasia . . . The history books say I died . . . They don’t know the half of it.
Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.
Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are either to release the spell and deal with the consequences, or to enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.
That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.
Like any good, self respecting 90’s girl I have a fascination with the tale of the Romanov’s and enjoy reading different spins on the mysterious fate of Anastasia and Alexei Romanov. I was excited when I stumbled across this story on Netgalley before it's release, but sadly I was declined a review copy. So I promptly added it to my Amazon wish list instead and was able to dive into it the summer of 2020.
Romonov follows Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov and her family through their country's revolution, subsequent exile, journey from Tobolsk to Yekaterinburg, and their sad end. Author Nadine Brandes weaves strands of magic and romances between the tragedy, uncertainty, and loss that this story is known for. Mingling fantasy and historical fiction while rendering those last fateful days of the
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna.
Romanov started off slow for me and I honestly was not sure if I’d even be able to finish the book. The story line is extremely dark and devastating at times, but considering the history of this family I didn’t exactly expect hearts and flowers. A little over half way through is when the story finally hit its stride and I found myself immersed in the life of Nastya. The plot continued at a nice clip after that.
One of my favorite aspects of the Romanov family was their dynamics. This is a family that truly stood by each other and that came through clearly in the author's writing.
“The bond of our hearts spans miles, memory, and time.”
The magical element was a fun twist, though it didn’t play an essential role until the last half of the book. However, I never quite grasped the mechanics of it all. Though the Matryoshka doll in itself was intriguing, I wish that aspect had been fleshed out more and played a bigger role throughout the tale's entirety.
All in all, Romanov is good read. I enjoyed the ending and despite what evidence shows, makes me hope that these two siblings were able to find a similar happiness in real life. I recommend it for those who have an interest in this tragic bit of history...