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The Tsarina's Daughter: A Novel Paperback – 1 Jun 2009

1.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: JR Books Ltd (1 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906779031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906779030
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.1 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,472,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"* 'A top-notch narrative...Erickson creates an entirely convincing historical backdrop, and her tale of a family's fall from power and a country in transition is both romantic and gripping.' --Publishers Weekly"

About the Author

Carolly Erickson holds a Ph.D. in medieval history from Colombia University and was a college professor before becoming a writer. She has written many acclaimed historical biographies, including The First Elizabeth, Her Little Majesty, and Alexandra.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's been a long time since I've read a book I have wanted to throw out of my window. This was one.
It is meant to be a work of fiction, but it would have been nice if I could have believe some of it. I love Russian history and have studied the Romanovs for many years. This book insults their memory and brings down history to a soap opera level.
The idea that Tatiana escaped the slaughter of the Romanov family was a brilliant one and I was so enthusiastic to read this book. Only just a few pages in I grew angry and insulted, as an historian, that a fellow historian could right so much rubbish. I put the book away and came back to it a month later. It did not get any better.
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Format: Paperback
'The Tsarina's Daughter' is based on events surrounding the Russian Revolution and the Romanov family, from the perspective of the second eldest daughter, Tatiana. People have speculated for decades over what happened to the family and this novel plays on the idea that Tatiana managed to escape and survive to tell her story. The idea for this novel is truly intruiging, and for once it's not Anastasia who plays the main character, making this story somewhat original, as it offers a new perspective.
As a novel, by itself, it's fine. Entertaining, and easy to read. However, it is obvious the author did very little research into her historical characters and events. Not only this, but the story of Tatiana's escape is unconvincing, and the writing is weak and sensationalist, trying to squeeze drama out of every paragraph. Characters are simply written, and come off as whiney, boring and idiotic. Only a couple, such as Tatiana herself and her love interests, are seen in a good light. This could have been a wonderful story, if it had been written more convincingly. All in all, it's a mediocre attempt at a good novel, and should be taken very lightly by those who read it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot get over as to how bad and utterly ridiculous this book is. Don't believe me? Then consider the following:

- Dr. Freud appears to assess Alexandra under the auspices of a fake name and the evil Grandmother Minnie. At the first meeting Alexandra, (and bear in mind that this is a formal occasion), appears wearing a kimono robe!!

- Helena Princess Christian makes an apperance but does nothing more than go on about how much she hated her sister Alice. If the author had known anything she would have known that Princess Christian WROTE THE PREFACE for a book remembering Alice and helped put the memoir together.

- Olga and Tatiana never had their own rooms or had such a feud where they couldn't stand to be around each other. They weren't 21st century teenagers. I would have thought that the author would have known a seemingly small detail like that from researching her other terrible book on Alexandra.

-Grigory "Rasputin" Efimorvich
The author chooses to call him "Nony" - yes that is what he was known as, its an obscure fact and because its an obscure fact it sounds silly here and like the author (along with a lot of other things) has pulled it out of thin air. Rasputin has some kind of stupid catchphrase of which I don't care to remember.

- Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna Romanov
Evil and sadistic, she starts off by calling Olga ugly as she has a large forehead apparently and threatening to beat Tatiana with her riding whip. She also institutes an iron corset to make Tatiana sit up straight; in tears Tatiana confesses this to Ella who puts a stop to it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.7 out of 5 stars 34 reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Just so-so.... 14 Jan. 2009
By Millie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read a lot of the true history of this era and visited some parts of Russia, so I though this book was a little light. It you just like a good novel, I guess it's okay.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars From implausible to impossible. 17 Jan. 2011
By Zack - Published on
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up because I was intrigued by the title, and I let that guide me in acquiring it. Tatiana was indeed her Mother's Daughter, and I thought that (at last) someone was attempting a novel that would accurately follow the life of one of Nicholas' Daughters. I could not have been farther from the truth.

The Imperial Family of Nicholas II, even a century later, has been noted for their strong devotion and love towards each other. While Nicholas and Alexandra were not strong and effective rulers for a Country needing to be brought fully into the modern world of Pre-WWI, they were good people whose intentions were what they earnestly hoped would be the best. They were human.

In this novel they read as two general caricatures of the decaying royalty of Europe at the turn of the 19th Century. Nicholas ignores the plight of everyone, including his family, to go on long walks and shoot at crows while Alexandra slowly goes insane. The extended Romanov Family openly gossips about each other in a lewd fashion and the siblings of Tatiana are petty and spoiled. Worst of all, her relationship with her older sister Olga is protrayed as competative and filled with bitter rivalry.

Tatiana goes gallavanting about the slums of St. Petersburg, and no one notices. Tatiana takes on lovers, and no one notices. Tatiana becomes the voice of knowledge and reason, while the rest of her family falls to shambles in a portrayal that would make Lenin and the rest of the Bolsheviks grin in delight. There are so many inaccuracies within this book that it cannot be treated as Historical Fiction, but as a revisionists attempt to create shock in a story that did not need extra bells and whistles to capture an audience.

One must wonder how much research, if any, Erickson actually did.

This book is truly dreadful and a shame to her name and credit. My recommendation would be to seek out other writers who actually do excel in this area. I agree that Alisin Weir does a phenomenal job with her novels even when taking a liberty or two in the murky areas of history. "The Kitchen Boy" is also an excellent, albeit dark, novel about the final days of the Rominov Family in captivity.

This book is unfortunately not worth the price, the read or the time. Erikson should be ashamed.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the $$$ 4 Nov. 2008
By S. McGee - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm giving the book one star more than I usually would simply because the author, Carolly Erickson, is such a good historian -- when not trying to craft historical fiction. But to my mind, good historical fiction should not require me to suspend all knowledge of history. It's reasonable, when building a novel around a historical personage, to take a few liberties to make the character compelling and the plot move along briskly, etc. But Erickson has gone waaaay off the range in this and her other books. In one, Marie Antoinette romps off to visit her Swedish lover in his homeland; the Empress Josephine gets up to equally improbable stuff with people who never existed. In this one, not only does Tatiana Nicolaevna survive the slaughter (and in an utterly implausible manner) but she routinely escapes the palace to pass among the ordinary people and successfully fends off a plot to have her mother declared insane by Sigmund Freud. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Most of her characters lived highly eventful lives. If she would choose either to create a work of fiction based on characters that didn't have well-documented lives or who are themselves fictional, or else use her skills on creating a historical novel about a well-known historical figure that isn't so completely ridiculous, plotwise, readers would be much better off.
I'm not just being a grump about this. When the historical absurdities distract me so much that I can't focus on the plot, the book simply isn't a good read.
Recommended ONLY for those who don't give a fig for historical accuracy or who don't know anything about the subjects.
If you're looking for a book that does take a liberty with history but makes it work, try Alison Weir's novel about Elizabeth I. Or if you really want to read a work of fiction about a rescued Romanov archduchess, try "City of Shadows" by Ariana Franklin. Here, that escape from the Ekaterinburg massacre is almost incidental, and the suspense is killing -- with a great twist at the end. Either of these are great examples of ways an author can cause you to willingly suspend disbelief around one or two crucial facts. I hope Carolly Erickson will return to writing history; I know that I won't be buying any more of her fiction.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Believe I Wasted Time on This... 12 Aug. 2009
By Sheryl Kron Rhodes - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's very rare for me to find almost nothing redeeming about a book. Ever since I was a little girl & read Robert Massie's Nicholas & Alexandra, I've been fascinated w/the Romanovs. While I've read other fictional accounts of the Romanovs & enjoyed them to varying degrees, this one was a severe disappointment, especially considering Erickson's writing in her non-fiction works. As other reviewers have commented, the plot reads like a very bad romance novel & the actions of the characters were unbelievable (& contrary to all reported accounts). What irritated me the most, though, was Erickson's inability or unwillingness to adhere to the established personalities (through diaries, letters, etc.) of the Romanovs. I very much doubt I'll read anything fictional by Erickson again, & I'll think twice about even picking up her non-fictional works. The Tsarina's Daughter is a shame & a disservice to the memories of the Romanovs.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you know history, skip this book 20 Aug. 2009
By Catherine McMullen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Willing disbelief goes only so far. Erickson, who is a historian and hence should know better, has these historic characters doing things they absolutely would not have done. Where to begin? Tatiana, like her sisters, was so cloistered that there is no chance she would have had all these after-dark escapades. The Tsar was so in fear of his mother that he never would have banished her from the family. He should have, but he did not. The Tsarina was grieved and difficult, but never insane. Further, there is absolutely no historic evidence that the Tsar continued his affair with the ballerina after his marriage. The whole thing is ridiculous and painful to read. She does get right some of the intrigue in the court and the desperation of the Russian people, but she does not use these facts in a way that educates or even entertains. This is a truly terrible book and I wish I had not bought it.
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