It is 1991 and Darya Borodina Spiridova is 104 years old. The world of imperial Russia and the finest days of her life are long gone. Then a letter from the Russian Nobility Association, a persistent circle of monarchists, arrives at her dilapidated Russian palace, summoning her to a meeting where they propose to fill the void left by communism by reinstating the monarchy. Darya is plunged back into her life in the Romanov court, where she was aunt to czarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, heir apparent to the throne of Russia, who she believes survived and for whom she has spent her life searching. Now, with the Romanov grave discovered sans Alexei s remains, she must travel to meet a claimant to the throne, whom she believes to be her beloved Alexei. However, her host, Grand Duchess Sophia Sheremetev, demands to hear the story of her opulent youth in the Russian court and its subsequent collapse, before revealing the identity of the possible heir. Through this last act of memory, Darya purges her survivor guilt and regret over her lost family and the long life she has spent trying to find Alexei. Mossanen s magical tale recasts familiar material in a modern light and injects pathos into a historic tragedy. --Publisher Weekly
Mossanen has a gift for bringing the atmosphere of an era to readers in a mystical, lyrical manner that quietly sweeps the readers away. Building on the mystery surrounding the execution of the Russian royal family, she has created an unforgettable cast of characters, including the beautiful old woman who believes she has uncovered the last Romanov. Her journey, told in poetic prose, is one of redemption and magic, glory, suffering and passion. Truly an intriguing read. --Kathe Robin
Mossanen s sweeping novel focuses on the life and memories of Darya Borodina Spiridova, a Russian orphan brought into the fold of the imperial family. Serving as a caretaker for the young czar Nicholas, she witnessed the height of the Romanov dynasty and the tragedy that befell the family at the hands of the dastardly Rasputin. Now as an old woman, she is tasked with the opportunity to find the lost heir to the Romanov throne and bring prosperity back to the troubled nation. With a plot that ranges from the early twentieth century to the years of perestroika and glasnost, The Last Romanov is an ambitious work. Mossanen peppers her prose with detailed images of palatial opulence and aristocratic indulgence, and the mystical, imaginative plot is grounded in historical fact. A story of redemption, history, and aristocratic intrigue, the novel is reminiscent of Gregory Maguire s and Robin Maxwell s work. For historical fiction fans and lovers of the mysterious days of the Romanov empire, this is an indulgent, romantic, and impassioned read. --Booklist April 15th 2012
She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majestry. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for those murderous events that changed everything? If only she can find the heir, maybe she can put together the broken pieces of her own past-maybe she can hold on to the love she found. Bursting to life with the rich and glorious marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale of second chances and royal blood.
"A master story teller at the height of her game...weaves history and magic into a riveting page-turner."--Robin Maxwell, bestselling author of Signora da Vinci and The Seceret Diary of Anne Boleyn
"This haunting tale of prophecy and redemption sweeps up into an opulent world of glamour, myth, tragedy and unforgettable humanity."--C.W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
DORA LEVY MOSSANEN is the bestselling author of the widely acclaimed novels Harem and Courtesan, which have been translated into numerous languages, and i s the recipient of the prestigious San Diego Editors' Choice Award. She blogs for the Huffington Post, reviews fiction for the Jewish Journal, and has been featured in various publications.