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Tsarina
     

Tsarina

4.2 5
by J. Nelle Patrick
 

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"Romance, adventure, magic and history blend seamlessly into a story that is... historically sensitive and gloriously thrilling." --Kirkus, starred review

Natalya knows a secret. 

A magical Faberge egg glows within the walls of Russia's Winter Palace.
It holds a power rooted in the land and stolen from the mystics.
A power that

Overview

"Romance, adventure, magic and history blend seamlessly into a story that is... historically sensitive and gloriously thrilling." --Kirkus, starred review

Natalya knows a secret. 

A magical Faberge egg glows within the walls of Russia's Winter Palace.
It holds a power rooted in the land and stolen from the mystics.
A power that promises a life of love for her and Alexei Romanov.
Power, that, in the right hands, can save her way of life.

But it's in the wrong hands.

An epic romance with glittering magical elements, TSARINA is swirling with beautiful prose, stark Russian contrasts, and lavish visuals perfect for fans of Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
As Patrick (a pseudonym for writer Jackson Pearce) remarks in an author’s note, the Russian Revolution doesn’t need fictionalization to be fascinating. Still, she plays fast and loose with the facts in her hybrid historical/fantasy novel about 16-year-old noblewoman Natalya Kutepova during the turbulent months of 1917. Patrick merges the February and October revolutions into a few autumn weeks; turns Alexei Romanov into Natalya’s 16-year-old longtime love interest, cured of hemophilia by a magical Faberge egg (he was actually executed at 13); and makes Rasputin’s daughter Maria queen of the Russian mystics. The result is a fast-paced adventure—with the requisite romantic undercurrents—as Natalya and her countess friend, fleeing the violence of St. Petersburg, are kidnapped by a passionate young Red who knows Natalya can lead him to the powerful egg. Undergoing an avalanche of obstacles, the trio builds a curious bond that pulls them closer even as their political beliefs push them apart. Climaxing in a mystical struggle for the magical object, the book’s murky finish confirms Natalya’s deep love for Russia but casts some confusion as to her future. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"A raw and elegant tale of a country on the brink of revolution and a girl who will do anything to save her beloved Russia." --Brenna Yovanoff, NY Times Bestselling author of The Replacement
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Natalya Kutepova and Alexei Romanov are in love, and though she is not of royal blood, everyone expects that Tsar Nicholas II will allow them to be married. Alexei reveals to her a magical secret: before Rasputin was murdered, he poured all of his power into a Fabergé creation known as the Constellation Egg. The power of this egg miraculously protects the Romanov family, including healing Alexei from his hemophilia. But the egg is unable to protect the royal family from revolution: the year is 1917, and a civil war is on the horizon. Alexei and his family are taken by the Reds. In an attempt to reclaim power for Russia, Natalya and her highborn friend Emilia try to retrieve the egg, but they are deceived and captured. What ensues is a desperate search for the egg in order to claim the power for either the White or Red faction-but there is a dangerous third group at play that cares nothing for politics and everything for power. The characters in this novel don't quite live up to the clearly well-researched historical detail: they're flat and under-nuanced. The two romances in this book are presented as deriving from Natalya's genuine affection for both Alexei and a young revolutionary named Leo, but neither are well developed enough to address the complicated feelings that would likely arise when one begins to have feelings for the enemy of one's true love. The story is fascinating, however, and the details of the Russian Revolution that are included might inspire students to research Russian history and such characters as Alexei Romanov and Grigori Rasputin.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-10-23
A Russian countess, Natalya Kutepov passionately fights the Red revolutionaries in an attempt to save her country, her heart and a precious Fabergé egg. When their gentle world is turned upside down one cold night by a mob on a rampage, Natalya and her friend, Emilia, try to flee St. Petersburg for the safety of Paris. They are thwarted by a young Red named Leo, who tries to use them as a way to get to the powerful Constellation Egg. Given magic, mystical powers by Rasputin before he died, it keeps the royal Romanov family in power and protects those they love. Beloved of the tsarevitch, Natalya has a personal investment in the egg, and to protect it, she taps into internal reservoirs of strength and cunning she's never been required to access before. Caught in the frozen landscape of Russia during the revolution, the three young adults embody the hope, terror, conviction and patriotism seething in the warring crowds that surround them. Eventually, Natalya comes to understand the deeply personal reverberations of the revolution: "[T]he rioters in St. Petersburg weren't Leo any more than the nobles who fled the country early on were me." Patrick treats her heavy subject with welcoming, graceful prose. Romance, adventure, magic and history blend seamlessly into a story that is not just historically sensitive and gloriously thrilling--it's essential moral reading. (Historical fantasy. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595146939
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/27/2014
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
737,815
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A raw and elegant tale of a country on the brink of revolution and a girl who will do anything to save her beloved Russia." —Brenna Yovanoff, NY Times Bestselling author of The Replacement

Meet the Author

J. Nelle Patrick lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in philosophy. She auditioned for the circus once but didn’t make it. She is also the author of a series of retold fairytales.

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Tsarina 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
DahlELama More than 1 year ago
This book was so gorgeous, I imagine the imagery will live in my head for a long, long time. Though obviously factual details were modified for the purposes of creating fiction - and a beautiful romance between the narrator and an implicitly slightly-aged-up Alexei Romanov - it was an interesting look at both sides of the revolution and into the Romanov family.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I TJINK THAT THUS BOOK IS GOING TO BE AMAZING
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lush and opulent, with intricate descriptions of Saint Petersburg and it's wealthy inhabitants before the fall of Russian society. It's hard to believe that the future of an entire country rests on an egg, but that's how it is.
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
When I was younger and became a voracious reader all on my own, it was historical fiction which captured my attention. One book in particular was Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess from The Royal Diaries collection. And then I went through a phase where I read every book about Anastasia Romanov that I could get my hands on! I was thrilled when I first heard about Tsarina's upcoming release. As I read it, I was incredibly pleased with the story Jackson Pearce (under the pen name J. Nelle Patrick) created for a fascinating historical character and event. Reasons to Read: 1. Writing with rich details: Jackson's writing in Tsarina is STELLAR. I'm wary of books bogged down in too much detail, but there is a perfect balance here which painted a breathtaking picture in my mind for the setting. The storytelling in Tsarina completely swept me away! 2. The sweetest love story: It was interesting starting the book with the romance already intact - so many stories explore the build up to a relationship, but Natalya and Alexei are already together and looking to the future. This adds such a different perspective from other YA books, plus the love story is kind of the grounding element for this book. This provides Natalya's motivation for most of the book. And yet, it's so difficult watching it all unfold! 3. A magical, historical re-imagining: Historical fiction always takes some artistic liberties with filling in some knowledge gaps or changing certain details - but I hesitate to call Tsarina true historical fiction. It does follow a very important period in Russia's history, however it truly felt to me more like a fanciful re-imagining of this event rather than true historical fiction.  The only thing I didn't love about Tsarina was the ending - it felt like such a stretch to me after reading through the whole book. I just wasn't happy with the closure we were given! Partially because it isn't what I wanted but the rest of the story didn't convince me that this is how the characters would respond to the situation they were put in.  But this is a perfect read for those looking for a swoonworthy, heart-wrenching love story and a little bit of magic in a tragic time. It's a story many of us are familiar with, but with its own unique twist.  ARC received from Penguin Canada for review; no other compensation was received. 
legbone More than 1 year ago
easy reading