In The Romanov Empress, C.W. Gortner allows Maria Feodorovna-- the mother of the last Russian Tsar-- to tell her own fascinating life story. From a humble childhood in Denmark, to an adolescence as a princess, then finally as the daughter-in-law, wife, and mother of Russia's last three emperors, Minnie's life story is undeniably worth telling. Gortner does an admirable job melding tumultuous historical events and detail with vivid portrayals of historical figures. Given the complexity of Russian politics and the length of time the novel covers, I was amazed at Gortner's ability to keep the plot straightforward and relatable. The insider's view of the slow decline of the Russian monarchy and its ultimately gruesome demise was nothing less than fascinating. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in a weekend.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.