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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Last Romanov
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 August 2012
What to call this book? At first glance it is a historical fiction - but it isn't - I would call it Historical Fantasy as the book relies a lot on magic in the plot.

It is the story of Darya who, with an opal eye and magical healing powers, is tasked with caring for young Alexei = the Tsarevich at the court of Tsar Nicholas II. It is the story of her years with the court right up until the murder of the Royal Family at Ekaterinberg, which she manages to escape. She then spends the rest of her life searching for Alexei, as she is convinced that he survived the massacre.

The descriptions of court life are full of opulence and splendour, the women are decked in the most fantastic clothing and jewellery imaginable and the food and drink is beyond this world. It really is a life of pleasure for the Royals. Unfortunately, because the book is told through the eyes of Darya, and Darya alone, we never really get a glimpse of the outside world. We are told that the Royal family have enemies amongst the Russian people, but we never really see it. Similarly, we are told about the pogroms against the Jews, but we do not witness it. Everything in the book that happens is related as it directly affects Darya, and unfortunately, for me at any rate, it meant that I did not really feel any sort of connection or empathy with any of the other characters, including the Romanovs. A bit more detail, showing us instead of telling us about the events going on in the outside world, outside the court apartments, would have made the book so much more enjoyable and built up suspense before the murders take place.

The story itself is an OK enough read, but definitely to be taken with an extremely large pinch of salt. For example, right from the beginning it seems that one of the favourite pastimes was hunting Aurochs. Not quite sure what an Auroch is, so with a spot of googling I was surprised to find it was a bison like animal that had been extinct since the 17th century, so maybe a bit more research here would not have gone amiss! There may be more examples of this kind of "error" but I couldn't be bothered to ask Mr Google.
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on 7 September 2012
I downloaded this book as it was free and I was diappointed as given the name I expected it to be more about the last days of the Russian Tsar and his family. I found it quite difficult to get into the plot and could not make my mind up about the main character and what her opal eye was all about.
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on 18 September 2012
Loved this book, if you're a fan of historical fiction you will love this! This was a fabulous read, i would highly recommend it!
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on 16 August 2012
i really enjoyed this book to the point where i didnt want to put it down. i like histoical fiction and this has got to be one o the best i've ever read.
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on 17 November 2015
I loved this book! Full of the mystery and intrigue surrounding the Romanov's. Although told in a magical and whimsical way I felt the every day description of their lives at court to be true, the writing is so descriptive you could almost see, taste and touch the richness and opulence of their surroundings with every word written. It was also nice for the focus to be on the tzaravich and gave me a different insight and perspective on this intriguing and very sad part of history . It left me wanting more...
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on 17 August 2012
Well, I was really excited about reading this, but thirty pages in I felt bored and cynical. This is barely enough historical fact to even be called historical, at first the character of Darya seemed legitimate enough, just another maid, easy to fit in. Then you add in the opal eyes, the weird ambergris and the wolves and it just turns into a bad Disney film with no charm, likeable characters or suspense. The only reason I carried on reading was to see if she ever did find Alexei, a feat that would be nigh impossible seeing as he was a haemophiliac from birth and would probably have died in his early 20s, if the execution did not prompt another attack straight away. (Attacks can vbe caused from even a minor fall) Even then, I found myself skipping pages, adn lamenting why eactly I had bothered to spend money on this book. Disappointing.
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on 13 August 2012
what if? amazing book , i was transported in time felt pain love and disbelief all at once , how could this story be so true
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