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The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar

4.3 76
by Robert Alexander

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Soon to be a major motion picture starring Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient), directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters)

With the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution approaching, encounter the bestselling novel that brings this pivotal historical moment to life.

Drawing from decades of work, travel, and


Soon to be a major motion picture starring Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient), directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters)

With the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution approaching, encounter the bestselling novel that brings this pivotal historical moment to life.

Drawing from decades of work, travel, and research in Russia, Robert Alexander re-creates the tragic, perennially fascinating story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov as seen through the eyes of their young kitchen boy, Leonka. Now an ancient Russian immigrant, Leonka claims to be the last living witness to the Romanovs’ brutal murders and sets down the dark secrets of his past with the imperial family. Does he hold the key to the many questions surrounding the family’s murder? Historically vivid and compelling, The Kitchen Boy is also a touching portrait of a loving family that was in many ways similar, yet so different, from any other.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

BookPage Review

In the turbulent early days of revolutionary Russia, Bolshevik agents herded
the deposed Tsar Nicholai II, his family and aides into the basement of a
Siberian house and executed them all in a blaze of gunfire. Details of what
happened that fateful night have taken decades to emerge, reaching a
terrible climax with the 1991 excavation of a mass grave believed to be the
one in which some of the members of the Romanov family were buried.

Writer Robert Alexander, a fluent Russian speaker who studied in Leningrad,
became fascinated with an obscure reference in the Empress Alexandra's
personal journal shortly before her death, noting that their kitchen boy had
been sent away. This brief reference from a forgotten 1918 diary took root
in Alexander's imagination and, after much research, blossomed as his new
novel The Kitchen Boy. This intriguing work of speculative historical
fiction re-creates the last days of the tsar through the eyes of the young
Leonka, who recalls how he secretly returned to the Siberian house that
served as the Romanovs' prison and witnessed their execution.

The novel successfully maintains an intense atmo-sphere of peril and
suspense despite the reader's foreknowledge of the Romanovs' fate. The
calamity is heightened by the fierce, almost primal protectiveness the
parents showed toward their children—who nevertheless would die with
them—invoking compassion for the royal family as people rather than dusty
national symbols.

Despite the sympathetic portrayal of the tsar and his family, Alexander
doesn't ignore the judgment of history. As Leonka notes, however
well-intentioned Nicholai and his empress may have been, their rule over
Russia was a legacy of war, revolution, corruption and oppression. But the
thuggish Bolshevik revolutionaries fare no better under the novel's

The Kitchen Boy is a fascinating and suspenseful glimpse of a tempestuous
but shadowy period in Russian history. It's also a moving portrait of a
family that, despite their legendary role in world events, proved in the end
to be as mortal as the rest of us.

Gregory Harris is a writer, editor and technology consultant in

Publishers Weekly
The Romanovs are arguably second only to Jack the Ripper as objects of literary speculation. The story of their last days, their possible escape and the final resting place of the $500 million in jewels hidden in their clothing provides periodic grist for fiction writers. Alexander's first novel is based on "decades of painstaking research" and access to previously sealed Russian archives. He has produced a detailed version of the Romanovs' captivity, but the book fails to deliver much drama, despite the inherent mystery of the events. Narrated by 94-year-old Mikhail Semyanov, a Russian immigrant now living outside Chicago, the novel travels back to the bloody days of the Russian revolution, when the entire royal family is imprisoned in Siberia, in a building known as the House of Special Purpose. There, the seven Romanovs-Tsar Nikolai, his wife Aleksandra, their hemophiliac son, Aleksei, and their four daughters-are confined with a small staff of attendants, including Leonka, the kitchen boy of the title, who may or may not be narrator Mikhail. The captivity is seen from Leonka's point of view, and his focus on the gravely ill Aleksei prevents the development of a fully nuanced portrait of the rest of the family. Instead, they're depicted as passive victims of a tyranny even worse than the czarist state. Though impressively detailed, the novel is often as static as a museum exhibit, with notes and documents held up for display. Most of the suspense is held for the end, a denouement that reveals Mikhail's identity and Alexander's imaginative theory about the final dispensation of the Romanov jewels. . (Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Drawing on 30 years of research and archival source documents, first novelist Alexander transforms a now-familiar and bloody era of history-the Bolshevik Revolution and the Romanov massacre-into a suspenseful and richly layered account of a family in deadly peril. The story is told from the viewpoint of a surviving witness, the kitchen boy who worked in the house where the Romanovs were imprisoned in 1918. Now an ailing grandfather, Misha records his experiences on tape so that his American granddaughter will know his real history. Tsar Nicholas and his wife, Alexandra, are portrayed as loving but achingly flawed people whose poor judgments lead inexorably to the family's destruction. The Bolsheviks, on the other hand, come off as comic book villains. Because the fate of two Romanov children, Alexei and Marie, is still not known (their bodies were missing from the family's gravesite when it was exhumed in 1991), Alexander's version of what might have befallen them packs a wallop that is surprising but consistent with his story. Sure to entrance readers in most public libraries, this is recommended for most historical fiction collections.-Barbara Conaty, Library of Congress Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Once again, the end of the Romanovs by execution, this time through the memories of an old man who claims he was there. In 1998, in a Chicago suburb, a wealthy aging Russian émigré bequeaths to his granddaughter a tape he’s made so that she will understand his role in the death of the Tsar and his family. According to the tape, he was a 14-year-old kitchen boy called Leonka in the Siberian house where the Romanovs were imprisoned. The narrator waxes on about the Tsar and Tsarina’s qualities as human beings—their courage, kindness, family devotion—while he begrudgingly acknowledges their weakness as rulers: Alexandra’s religious fanaticism and Nikolai’s unwillingness to accept the concept of a constitutional monarchy. Leonka rails against the Bolsheviks, declaring them swinish and vicious, and recounts the household’s dull daily routine of prayers, meals, and sewing (pounds of jewels inside the girls’ corsets). Because as kitchen boy he regularly leaves the house and is too lowly to draw suspicion, Leonka becomes a courier between the Tsar and unknown allies outside the walls. The days drag on until eventually, through Leonka’s carelessness, a letter is intercepted and plans for Nikolai’s execution are set in motion. Leonka watches through a window as the Romanovs are murdered and later recovers two bodies that fall from the wagon carrying them away. One is the heir, shot dead. The other is his wounded sister, Grand Duchess Maria. Leonka’s sense of guilt leads him, at great risk, to try to save Maria’s life. The tape over, the old man dies, and his granddaughter discovers that his story, though true in spirit, misleads in its most central details. Meantime, historical letters and otherfactual tidbits have been sprinkled throughout as if to prove authenticity, though they add little. More accurate than Ingrid Bergman waltzing with Yul Brenner, but also much duller.
From the Publisher
"Ingenious...Keeps readers guessing through the final pages." —USA Today

"A gripping and entirely believable description of the last days of the Romanovs...Thoroughly enjoyable, educational, and just a good old-fashioned page-turner." —Margaret George, author of Mary, Called Magdalene

"This is a dream of a book... [Robert Alexander's] tough, stylish prose is the perfect medium for this fast-becoming myth of evil and innocence, of frailty and courage, of betrayal and redemption." —Judith Guest

"Through the power of the author's imagination, we see not only the tragedy of the Emperor, but that of a human being, man, and father." —Ivan Artsyshevsky, The Romanov Family Association

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Penguin Publishing Group
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Read an Excerpt

"My name is Mikhail Semyonov. I live in Lake Forest village, Illinois state, the United States of America. I am ninety-four years old. I was born in Russia before the revolution. I was born in Tula province and my name then was not Mikhail or even Misha, as I am known here in America. No, my real name-the one given to me at birth-was Leonid Sednyov, and I was known as Leonka. Please forgive my years of lies, but now I tell you the truth. What I wish to confess is that I was the kitchen boy in the Ipatiev House where the Tsar and Tsaritsa, Nikolai and Aleksandra, were imprisoned. This was in Siberia. And...and the night they were executed I was sent away. They sent me away, but I snuck back, and that night, the moonless night of July 16-17, 1918, I saw the Tsar and his family come down the back twenty-three steps of the Ipatiev House, I saw them go into that cellar room...and I saw them shot. Trust me, believe me, when I say this: I am the last living witness and I alone know what really happened that awful night...just as I alone know where the bodies of the two missing children are to be found. You see, I took care of them with my own hands."

Misha took a deep breath, tried to push himself on, but couldn't. Panicking, he hit the stop button on his tape recorder, and just sat there on the flagstone terrace of his home, his eyes fixed straight ahead on the curling waters of Lake Michigan. Despite his determination, he'd faltered, been unable to proceed.

Over the many years since the Russian Revolution, Misha had come to realize that on a single night in 1918 he had witnessed far too much for an entire lifetime, particularly in the tortured silence he had so sternly observed in the ensuing decades. But such was his punishment. He was an old man, certain that this long life and clear memory were the torture he deserved. Yes, there was a God, for if there were not he would have been spared this suffering. Instead he kept on living. And remembering. True, he had gained some wisdom, for over the course of all this time he had come to look at that night as the start of everything horrible that had since befallen his poor Rossiya. As he looked back from these United States and through the distance of the decades, it was all so clear. A great curse was unleashed that night, inundating every corner of his vast homeland. If his comrades could commit such an act, was it any wonder that Stalin could kill upward of twenty million of his own people? No, of course not. On a hot night in the Siberian city of Yekaterinburg the individual had become expendable.

Misha was a tall man who walked with the slightest of limps, but over the last fifteen years, of course, he had grown smaller and his gait more halting as his body had settled and lost muscle mass. He'd always been trim, and it was this leanness that had undoubtedly contributed to his longevity and his lack of major illness. His hair, which he had always combed straight back in an elegant manner, had been snow white for more than thirty years, and while it had receded only slightly, it had definitely thinned. His face was narrow and long, his nose simply narrow, while his upper lip was straight and noticeably, almost oddly, small. Since his fifties, the tone of his skin had gone from robust to ruddy to its present parchment color, skin that now hung loosely from his sharp cheekbones. Always a dapper dresser, he wore lightweight gray wool pants and a yellow cashmere sweater over a pressed and starched blue shirt from Brooks Brothers.

Seated in a wrought iron chair on the raised terrace behind his grand, twenty-room house, he stared out over the bluff and at the lake, himself the very image of old Chicago money. Nothing, however, could have been further from the truth, for when he'd arrived in the United States in 1920 he'd had but a rucksack, one suitcase, and the clothes he was wearing. And while everyone believed that he'd made his millions on the stock market down at the Chicago Board of Trade, that too was a lie, albeit one that he had carefully cultivated.

Staring out at Lake Michigan, Misha was transfixed by the flashes of light upon the blue water, flashes that sparkled like diamonds. He'd been tormented his entire life because of that night more than eighty years ago, a night which until now he'd never spoken of to anyone except May, his beloved wife. But now he must, now he had no choice. May was already two weeks in the grave, and he was determined to follow her as soon as possible. Before he left this world, however, he had certain obligations, namely, to reveal a kind of truth to their only heir, their lovely granddaughter, Kate. May, who'd also fled Russia after the revolution, fully understood the delicacy of the matter, and even though she'd helped Misha decide just how it might be done, he'd put it off. Now, however, the time had come, he could wait no more: he must give the young woman not simply a way to understand, but a reason to fulfill a pledge he had made so long ago. No, he thought, he had to give her more than a reason. He had to set her on a mission, his mission, otherwise he feared she might flounder in confusion, even despair, and perhaps thereby stumble upon...upon...No, thought Misha, he couldn't let that happen.

He raised his wrist and checked his thick, gold watch, which these days hung so loosely on his thin wrist. It was teatime. And if May were still alive, he would be joining her upstairs. Their maid would bring up a pot of tea, Misha and May would each have exactly two cups, a biscuit or two, and May, who'd been bedridden for the past three years, would reminisce about Russia, as she had done so frequently in her last years, chatting about this and that, but...but...well, she was gone. All that was over. And now Misha needed to take care of this as soon as possible.

Clutching the tape recorder in one of his thin hands, with the other he grabbed the arm of the wrought iron chair and pulled himself forward. With no small amount of effort, he pushed himself to his feet. And then he simply stood there, swaying like a flag in a gentle breeze. Once he'd gained his balance, he started across the flagstones, one hesitant step at a time. At the house, he pulled open one of the French doors, lifted up his foot, focused all his attention on the effort, then stepped into the grand central hallway, a gallery of sorts, that ran from the front to the back of the house. The living room lay immediately to his right, and he carefully made his way into this grand room with its dark-beamed ceiling and matching woodwork. At the far end stood the focal point, the large, stone fireplace amputated from some French château, while a palace-sized Oriental carpet in deep reds and blues ran from one end to the other.

As he moved slowly through the room, Misha wondered what his granddaughter was going to do with it all, these antiques, the oil paintings, the Tiffany sterling and Steuben crystal bric-a-brac that May and he had collected over the decades. Perhaps she and her husband would keep everything, perhaps they would sell it all. He didn't much care, these common things didn't matter. However, the numerous Fabergé items-including the little jade bulldog with the diamond eyes that sat on the coffee table and the cobalt blue enamel opera glasses of the Tsaritsa's sister perched over there on the piano-were an entirely different matter. He'd left detailed instructions in his will, and he prayed Kate would follow his precise instructions. If only his story would induce her to do just that.

On the far side of the living room Misha moved through an arched opening and into his library that was filled with two red leather chairs, a large desk, and a massive built-in walnut bookcase that held his entire collection of books on the Russian royal family. Focused on the task at hand, he went directly to his desk and put down the small black tape recorder, laying it next to a manila folder-his dossier-which contained a variety of historical documents. Sure, a thousand truths, that was what it was going to take to convince his Katya, daughter of his son, which was precisely why he'd carefully collected copies of letters and diary entries and telegrams from that time. And he would not only read from these, but leave the complete dossier for her to peruse, even scrutinize.

Wasting no time, he sat down, opened the top desk drawer, and withdrew a sheet of letterhead. He then took a gold ink pen, and wrote:

August 27, 1998

My Dearest Katya,

This tape and these documents are for you. Perhaps together they will help you understand the complete picture. Please forgive me. Yours forever with love and devotion,

Dyedushka Misha

Satisfied, he laid aside the pen and paper. And now he had no choice but to continue, to press on to the end. He reached for the small tape recorder, held the microphone to his dry lips, turned the machine back on, and slid into the past.

"Yes, so as I was saying, my sweet one, I know what happened that horrible night the Romanovs were murdered. But the truth of the matter is that the beginning of the end of my Nikolai and Aleksandra commenced a few weeks earlier, which is to say I'll never forget the twentieth of June, 1918, the day we received the first of the secret notes."

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Ingenious...Keeps readers guessing through the final pages." —USA Today

"A gripping and entirely believable description of the last days of the Romanovs...Thoroughly enjoyable, educational, and just a good old-fashioned page-turner." —Margaret George, author of Mary, Called Magdalene

"This is a dream of a book... [Robert Alexander's] tough, stylish prose is the perfect medium for this fast-becoming myth of evil and innocence, of frailty and courage, of betrayal and redemption." —Judith Guest

"Through the power of the author's imagination, we see not only the tragedy of the Emperor, but that of a human being, man, and father." —Ivan Artsyshevsky, The Romanov Family Association

Meet the Author

Robert Alexander has studied at Leningrad State University, worked for the U.S. government in the former U.S.S.R., and traveled extensively throughout Russia.

Brief Biography

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
August 23, 1952
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
B.A. in Russian Language and Creative Writing, Michigan State University, 1976

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Kitchen Boy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!
golden_sea_horse More than 1 year ago
"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.
MysM More than 1 year ago
Robert Alexander is the pen name of Robert D. Zimmerman, author of psychological thrillers, children's books and historical fiction. This 2003 novel takes one of the most brutal acts of mass murder of the 20th century, the complete obliteration of the Romanov dynasty of Russia, and puts a new twist on it. Over the almost 100 years since that early July morning, 1918, when Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, their four daughters and Alexei Nicholaevich, heir to the Russian throne, along with four of their attendants who had voluntarily joined the imperial family in exile, were executed in a small cellar room in the House of Special Purpose in Yekaterinburg. Carefully preserved documents -- letters, telegrams, diaries, official orders, smuggled messages  -- rumours, claims of survivors, and archaeologist excavations have pieced together the events of that night with reasonable accuracy. One of the mysteries has been the missing bodies of two of the children from the mass grave. Alexander has imagined the events of that night, and the days leading up to it through the eyes of The Kitchen Boy , Leonka Sednyov, who was sent home earlier in the day, July 16th, and disappeared into the confusion of the revolution. The narrator of the story is Dyedushka Misha. The time -- summer, 1998; the place -- Lake Forest village, Illinois. He says he is 94 years old, that he was born in Russia, and that he was that self-same kitchen boy who witnessed the murders of the last of the Romanovs. After a lifetime of lies, having lost his dear wife and son, Misha wishes to set down the events as he remembers them for his granddaughter, Katya, and entrust her to return to the people of Russia the wealth of Romanov jewels he and his wife took with them in their escape from Russia to America in 1918. He sets his story down on tape and leaves it in an envelope with the key to the secret vault behind the bookcase, just before he kills himself -- because all these years he has carried the guilt of hastening the death of the imperial family. However, even in this final confession, Misha is continuing a deception which his granddaughter will doggedly track down and uncover. Misha's story reveals the tenderness of a loving family, the care and concern for each other but especially for Alexei who suffers greatly through the summer and is unable to walk and must be carried or pushed in a rolling wicker chaise. There are the games, and singing to keep spirits up; there is reading, and racing around the rooms with their dogs. Then there is the intense heat within the house because the windows are all sealed and painted over, and the hour, twice daily when they are allowed to walk in the garden for a bit of air. And always, there is the slovenly appearance of the guards, the pilfering of the family's belongings, the senseless rules, and the cruel and malicious indignities. Daily, the women sew their precious jewels into their corsets and into the caps of Nicholas and Alexei so that if they should manage an escape, they might have the where-with-all to survive. In the midst of this boredom and hopelessness comes a chance -- a message smuggled into the house and entrusted to the kitchen boy, Leonka -- a ray of hope of rescue. This is not a children's book. The documented indignities and brutality are plainly laid out. The story is somewhat familiar to anyone who has read about the end of the Romanov dynasty but has many surprises throughout and keeps you guessing right up to the last page. Nothing is as it seems!
Annie Tressler More than 1 year ago
this truly was amazing it was riveting it literally had me putting together a million different endings! a must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
L_T102 More than 1 year ago
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.
ahutchga1972 More than 1 year ago
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.
Alex96AR More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not enjoy this one!
DOCL More than 1 year ago
Book was good. However anybody who has read information about this time period would probably know that the "kitchen Boy" was killed by Stalin in around 1941/1942. There not sure of exactly the year. However it was a quick read with good historical notes. The only other problem is since this book was written they found the bodies of the two missing family members and used DNA to identify them in 2007. But I still enjoyed the book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A glimpse into the life and characters of this tragic story. I enjoyed this very much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gbautista72 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The imagined saga of the "kitchen boy" told against the actual tragedy of the Romanovs. Starts strong then becomes far-fetched. Worth a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book builds to a strong final life journey. Highly suggest reading after ken follitts fall of giants.
Kjersti Oberle More than 1 year ago
Best book ever you won't belive how good this book is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago