- 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)
The Tsarina's Daughter: A Novel Paperback – 1 Jun 2009
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"* '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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
- 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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.