Top critical review
Difficult to read
on 2 June 2016
The book seems to have been written in the style of an old Bible translation. It is really annoying to read and doesn't flow so well. The story itself is interesting, but the authors never seem to get at the real reason why Ivan was so terrible. They mark the change at around the time of his first wife's death, but after investigating a little about Ivan in other sources, it seems that his cruelty manifested itself even earlier, albeit not on such a large scale. His personality is just not analyzed here with enough detail and the political and social history is lacking, as well. This book is a good beginning, but if you are interested in the subject, than more needs to be read.
Ivan the Terrible was the first to call himself "Tsar," and for those interested in Russian Tsarist history than there is much you can get out of this book. But, again, there is also much lacking. It lacks depth, as said before, and the maps look like they were badly drawn by the authors themselves. There are a few pictures, but certainly not enough, and I think this book needs a bit of life. It is dry and colorless. I would recommend with only some hesitation.