Customer Reviews for

The Tsarina's Daughter

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A different take on the end of the Romanovs

The Tsarina's daughter tells the "what if" story of Grand Duchess Tatiana surviving the murder of Tsar Nicholas II's family in Ekaterinburg in 1917.

As an old woman in America, Tatiana, who has been posing as a Russian peasant immigrant, tells the story, admitting w...
The Tsarina's daughter tells the "what if" story of Grand Duchess Tatiana surviving the murder of Tsar Nicholas II's family in Ekaterinburg in 1917.

As an old woman in America, Tatiana, who has been posing as a Russian peasant immigrant, tells the story, admitting who she is and how she managed to survive. In the same vein as the of Grand Duchess Anastasia surving and real people claiming to be her, in this story a the Grand Duchess takes on the identity of a character in the story, and tells the story of the last days of the Romanov dynasty and the overthrow of the Russian government in the Bolshevik revolution.

The story is a fanciful retelling of Nicholas II's reign as told by his second oldest daughter. The author takes liberties with reality, allowing a grand duchess to sneak out of the palace in the middle of the night to visit the seedier side of the world with a servant, something that would never be possible in Imperial Russia. While it gets some of the actual history right, it also reinforces the old line myths about the Romanovs. The author has either chosen to ignore information discovered after the fall of the Soviet Union or failed to research it.

As a romantic novel it is a nice summer beach read. For any die-hard history buff of the era, the holes in the facts leave a great deal to be desired. If you're looking for accuracy, you'll be disappointed. If you want to sit back, suspend truth and have fun with a new angle on the ruling class, it's a good read.

posted by Celyn_Malory on March 9, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

HUGE Disappointment

I think this is the worst book I have ever read. This is not a "historical" novel. There is correct information here and there in attempt to paint a picture of the lives of the Romanovs and the life of the Russian people, but all of those little facts just serve as the ...
I think this is the worst book I have ever read. This is not a "historical" novel. There is correct information here and there in attempt to paint a picture of the lives of the Romanovs and the life of the Russian people, but all of those little facts just serve as the historical backdrop for a very soap-opera-esque romance. Carolly Erickson has turned a daughter of Emperess Alexandra (a woman of strict, moral Victorian upbringing) to a little slut. How does a sheltered grand duchess end up having two lovers? She even discusses "taking the next step" with her first lover with her aunt and seeks guidance. The aunt then prodives the room over her garage so Tatiana and her lover can go into that "new world" together. Really, Carolly, really? The second lover is a wounded soldier Tatiana nurses back to health and who later helps her escape. Hm...can we be any more cliche?
The writing is weak. I felt nothing for these characters as I read this. It doesn't look like Carolly put any research into this...hardly any original research. If she did do any research at all it was through Robert Massies "Nicholas and Alexandra," for her descriptions are similar.
This recently published book was clearly just written to take advantage of the renewed interest in the Romanovs now that the two missing bodies were discovered about a year ago.
If you want to read quality literature on the Romanovs read any of the books by Robert Alexander, particularly The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar. But don't waste your time with this.

posted by 559302 on December 8, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2008

    HUGE Disappointment

    I think this is the worst book I have ever read. This is not a "historical" novel. There is correct information here and there in attempt to paint a picture of the lives of the Romanovs and the life of the Russian people, but all of those little facts just serve as the historical backdrop for a very soap-opera-esque romance. Carolly Erickson has turned a daughter of Emperess Alexandra (a woman of strict, moral Victorian upbringing) to a little slut. How does a sheltered grand duchess end up having two lovers? She even discusses "taking the next step" with her first lover with her aunt and seeks guidance. The aunt then prodives the room over her garage so Tatiana and her lover can go into that "new world" together. Really, Carolly, really? The second lover is a wounded soldier Tatiana nurses back to health and who later helps her escape. Hm...can we be any more cliche? <BR/>The writing is weak. I felt nothing for these characters as I read this. It doesn't look like Carolly put any research into this...hardly any original research. If she did do any research at all it was through Robert Massies "Nicholas and Alexandra," for her descriptions are similar.<BR/>This recently published book was clearly just written to take advantage of the renewed interest in the Romanovs now that the two missing bodies were discovered about a year ago.<BR/>If you want to read quality literature on the Romanovs read any of the books by Robert Alexander, particularly The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar. But don't waste your time with this.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    Love the Author, Not a Fan of This Book

    I really enjoy Carolly Erickson's novels where she takes her non fiction, biographical research and spins it into a novel. These are usually wonderful diversions. (The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette is a triumph and the Last Wife of Henry VIII is wonderful!)

    However, The Tsarina's Daughter, is a true disappointment. Yes, most readers will know the fate of the Romanovs at the onset of the story. And yes, most of us would like to think that one of the children may have escaped as they were true innocents, but I found Carolly Erickson's spin on Maria's ultimate fate to be ridiculous. (I say this primarily because we know she died that horrific night in Russia) To have her escape that when we have sound scientific evidence placing her there undermines the whole entire novel.

    My biggest issue was Ms. Erickson's extreme license with history and fact at the end of this book. (I.E. consorting with peasants amongst many things) Usually, her books are very spot on and I love her psychological portraits of famous, tragic, and often misunderstood women as they force you to think critically about history and not just accept established fact. In this book, she simply changes way too many details about the Romanovs' lives for me to be comfortable with.

    She did excell in painting a vivid and accurante picture of the ineptitude of Tsar Nicholas II, the mental instability of his wife Tsarina Alexandra, the debauchary of Rasputin, and the complex, meddlesome nature of Minnie, the Dowager Empress of Russia.

    Needless to say, I had an extremely difficult time reading this book. It isn't a page turner and it really could have been. I would recommend reading her other fictional works as they are much better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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