Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Found it compelling, 12 April 2014
This review is from: Peter the Great: The compelling story of the man who created modern Russia, founded St Petersburg and made his country part of Europe (Hardcover)
A disclaimer: I read a lot of history books, and I read fast. With that in mind:
I really enjoyed this. I'd not read much of Massie before, and I must admit the sheer size of the book put me off a little. I needn't have feared. I must have read 300+ pages in one day, practically in one sitting. I found the style engaging and the information presented clearly and interestingly. Amusingly enough, the man who emerged from the book as fascinating was not Peter himself, but his opponent, the Swedish King Charles XII. One of the real strengths of Massie's prose is that side-figures relevant to the central narrative really shine through, so much so that you could easily read the middle section of this book and treat it as a dual biography of Peter and Charles, just as several of the opening chapters give an in-depth view of Sophia, Peter's elder sister, and a very formidable woman in her own right. If you can face reading a nearly 1,000 page book (though given the notes make up a large part of the end, it is closer to 700-800 worth of actual 'history'), then this is definitely totally worth the effort.
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