Customer Reviews for

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar

Average Rating 4.5
( 72 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2008

    By Far the Best Book I Have Ever Read

    This was defenitely the best book I have ever read. It was a perfect blend of fact and fiction, and it was beautifully researched. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. When I bought it, I thought it would be really light and some Romanov 'what-if' fluffy fantasy. But I was wrong. This took me about a week to read as the text was very small. The way Alexander spins the story is incredible. The story is in the point of view of of ninety-four year old Misha, who is living in a huge estate on Lake Michigan and waiting to die. His wife, May, is two weeks in the grave, and Misha is facing serious inner torment, which he has felt for over eighty years. On a series of recorded tapes made for his granddaughter and heir Kate, he explains the last days of the Romanovs and that he was really the kitchen boy. As those last days in Siberia unfold, Misha reminisces of the family that so quickly ceased to exist and his part in their downfall. By the end, Misha has unvailed the his truth. The end is very confusing, but a reread or two will make it make sense. Overall, this was an amazing book. It was so well written in its simplicity. This is one of those books that everyone should read. Praise for Robert Alexander's The Kitchen Boy!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    The Kitchen Boy is dramatic with a surprising ending.

    The story catches your attention right away. The historical facts are presented in a very interesting plot with amazing insignts to the day-to-day trials of Tsar Nicholas and his family. I enjoyed reading this book, and will recommend it ot all my friends.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Start to the Set of Three

    "The Kitchen Boy" is the first in three books including "Rasputin's Daughter" and "The Romanov Bride" (about the Empress' sister) that Robert Alexander wrote about this dynamic and tragic time in Russia's recent past.

    What's fascinating is the combination of a great deal of actual history and plausible fiction (namely in the form of character dialogue and motivation, though certainly some of the action is invented.) It opens a window into the worlds of peasants and rulers with drama and affection.

    Knowing some of the foolish decisions that were made at the time, I found myself developing sympathies toward to some (though not all) of these iconic people.

    (I accidentally happened upon the three books in reverse order. That didn't stop me from enjoying them as they don't lead one into the other.)

    I'm also recommending Tom Bradby's "The White Russian". This book falls in line with Alexander's trilogy in both time period and even some of the characters. (The Empress herself makes an appearance and some of the dialogue includes the discussion of the Imperial family and Rasputin.) Again, it provides a window into the lives of people from this place and time with evocative settings and dramatic plot.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2011

    best book i ever read

    this truly was amazing it was riveting it literally had me putting together a million different endings! a must read!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    Great Book!

    I really enjoyed this book. I read on the train going and coming from work. I got so into it i almost missed my stop a couple of times....this one is hard to put down. There are so many book about the Tsar's family it was interesting to read from a servant's point of view.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I thought I knew how this was going to end---I didn't!

    I'm a fan of the Romanov period in history. I picked up this book because of the cover.
    This book was an easy read, and I thought I knew what was going to happen. But I was wrong. I did not see the ending coming.

    For another book with a surprise ending, see Pat Conroy's South of Broad.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just Leaves You Begging For More

    The Kitchen Boy is amazing, absolutely amazing! It's the story about when the Russian Imperial family was thrown into exile some of their servants from the palace camewith them, willingly. But along with the Empress's maid, the Tsar's footman, the Tsarevich's doctor, and the cook came a little boy named Leonka who has never been in close contact with let alone in the same boy as the Romanovs. He does though become friends with the young royal prince Aleksei as he starts to earn the trust of the entire family things become more dangerous as the Kommandant starts to grow suspicious could Leonka become one buried with the Romanovs?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    Very good read

    A glimpse into the life and characters of this tragic story. I enjoyed this very much

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    I liked this book. It was engaging & I wanted to keep readin

    I liked this book. It was engaging & I wanted to keep reading. It's historical fiction based on the last days for the Romanov family, the royalty in Russia. I liked the real letters & other historical facts. Russian history is fascinating & you get a glimpse of it here in this novel. It made me curious to visit the Russian museums & archives. The end of the novel was a surprise, but I knew there was to be a plot twist!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    The Kitchen Boy is a National Bestseller, and I can definitely s

    The Kitchen Boy is a National Bestseller, and I can definitely see why. The book is about a boy named Leonka who was the only witness of the brutal assassination of the Imperial Family, the Romanovs. Tsar Nicholas, his wife, and five kids are trapped inside The House of Special Purpose without them even knowing. The Bolsheviks need one reason to have the excuse to kill Romanovs, and later in the book they desperately find one. Robert Alexander made this book come alive as if I was in it. He takes his readers to Russia where the story takes place, in a town called Yekaterinburg. His descriptive words make me feel like I was watching the book on television. He makes the characters, the setting, and the storyline so vibrant, as if I was living in the time period of the Russian Revolution itself. The only gory part of the book is at the end is where it describes the assassination of the Royal family. Some people may be turned off because of this scene, but again, if you do not like blood and gore I still suggest reading this book because there is very little. This book can be read by young adolescents to honestly anybody. There is no given age for this book. If you’re into history, or even if you’re not, why not read it? “Ingenious…Keeps readers guessing through the final pages.” says USA Today and “History may be the subject matter of his latest fiction, but [Alexander] crafts it with the excruciating build of dread suitable to a horror story.” says Minneapolis Star Tribune. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes a good and short read. One wouldn’t even have to like Historical Fiction to understand or like this book, because this book is excellent for all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Interesting, but flawed

    The imagined saga of the "kitchen boy" told against the actual tragedy of the Romanovs. Starts strong then becomes far-fetched. Worth a read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Good book for historical background if you are going to Russia.

    We are going to Saint Petersburg as part of a cruise this summer. This is a good book to give some historical background for the trip. I would recommend "Leningrad" also for historical background on Saint Petersburg. It is a little harder read as it is history not a historical novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Don't read

    Don't waste your time or money. I could only read the fist 82 pages....this book lacks passion and imagination. The topic is one of great depth and this does not do it justice. Very superficial and bland.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Well written story

    The book builds to a strong final life journey.
    Highly suggest reading after ken follitts fall of giants.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2011

    Gilly willy

    Best book ever you won't belive how good this book is

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Great book!

    I love Russian imperial history...so this is my kind of book. I love it and highly recommend. It's was a page turner and hard to put down. I thought I had it all figured out towards the end of the book but there was a surpriseni didn't see coming.....I love novels like that. I can't wait to read the other two novels by Alexander, rasputin's daughter and the Romanov Bride.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    I really enjoyed reading the Kitchen Boy. I have trouble finding historic books that I enjoy, but I really enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed it because it had twists and turns that when looking at it, you would never expect it to have. I also enjoyed the book because it was written in journal form and the way the author wrote in details about what they think actually happened to the Tsar and his family. The author also described a lot about the Tsar and his family instead of just assuming that the reader would know about them. I also liked the way that Robert Alexander told not only good things about the Tsar but also bad things too, which helped the reader to understand why they were being held in the Ipatiev house.
    What stood out with this book is that it is actually almost like non-fiction. The only reason that it is fiction is because we don't know for sure what exactly happened in the Ipatiev house when the Romanovs were being held there. This book was also full of details and really made me believe what happened in the book.
    I would recommend this book to any high school student and even some adults that like historical fiction books would enjoy reading it. I think the high school students would enjoy the book more because they might understand it easier if they are currently learning about revolutions and other historic moments that brought about violent times. High school students should especially read it for history book reports because it is fairly easy to remember most of the details. I would recommend this book because I think everyone should read it even if they don't enjoy reading or don't enjoy historical fiction books. Even if you don't read very often, I think you will really enjoy reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Love This Book

    I am someone who loves all things Russian - from the history, to the language, to the culture to the music. One of the most intriguing stories in Russian history is that of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. While "The Kitchen Boy" is a fictional story, it draws on historical fact to pull the reader into a tale that you will find you are wishing were true. I was completely engrossed in the story and could not put this book down. I had to keep reminding myself that the story was fiction based on fact - that is how spellbound I was. Whether or not you are familiar with the story of the last Tsar and his family, you will enjoy this book. Well written, historically accurate and a real page-turner.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Russian History Buffs may enjoy

    For the average reader it's an ok book that picks up towards the end. I think if you're into Russian history, it is probably a much better book than if you have a mild interest in it. Once the executions happened towards the end, the story got more interesting. and there's a great twist at the end to reward you if you stuck it out.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    Kitchen Boy Review

    Robert Alexander, one of the greatest authors of all time. He wrote a book in 2003 named "The Kitchen Boy." The kitchen boy takes place in Siberia during the Russian revolution during the early 1900's. This book tells the retold story about a kitchen boy named Leonka who worked Tsar Nicholas II and his family who are being held captive in the House of Special Purpose. This story is about a terrible experience surrounded by a mystery that only one person alive knows The Kitchen Boy.
    The story is told by Mish Semyonov a Russian immigrant who is living in the Chicago. He is telling the story to his granddaughter Kate. He is the last living person to witness the murders of Tsar Nicholas and his family.
    The protagonist in this story is Leonka: a kitchen boy who has moved into the Tsar estate. He is a tall kid for his age and only speaks when spoken to. With the help of 2 two nuns he receives notes from the Russian guards who are trying to help him and the tsar family escape from the House of Special purpose.
    All in all I believe the Kitchen Boy is a great book because of its great story of mystery and death. What stood out in this book for me was the great feeling of that you're in the book, that when a charater gets in trouble you get in trouble. I would highly recommend this book to all ages high school level and above. I especially recommend this book for a book report for a high school student because of its fluent literature and it thrill will make you want to read it. This book will keep you busy reading and every time you're done with a chapter you will want to keep reading on to the next one.

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