The Romanov Prophecy

The Romanov Prophecy

by Steve Berry

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Overview

Ekaterinburg, Russia: July 16, 1918. Ten months have passed since Nicholas II’s reign was cut short by revolutionaries. Tonight, the White Army advances on the town where the Tsar and his family are being held captive by the Bolsheviks. Nicholas dares to hope for salvation. Instead, the Romanovs are coldly and methodically executed.

Moscow: Present Day. Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord, fluent in Russian and well versed in the country’s history, is thrilled to be in Moscow on the eve of such a momentous event. After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the monarchy. The new tsar will be chosen from the distant relatives of Nicholas II by a specially appointed commission, and Miles’ job is to perform a background check on the Tsarist candidate favored by a powerful group of Western businessmen. But research quickly becomes the least of Miles’ concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza.

Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, shadowed by nefarious henchmen. At first, his only question is why people are pursuing him. But after a strange conversation with a mysterious Russian, who steers Miles toward the writings of Rasputin, he becomes desperate to know more–most important, what really happened to the family of Russia’s last tsar?

His only companion is Akilina Petrov, a Russian circus performer sympathetic to his struggle, and his only guide is a cryptic message from Rasputin that implies that the bloody night of so long ago is not the last chapter in the Romanovs’ story . . . and that someone might even have survived the massacre. The prophecy’s implications are earth-shattering–not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles himself.

Steve Berry, national bestselling author of the phenomenal thriller The Amber Room, once again delves into rich historical fact to produce an explosive page-turner. In The Romanov Prophecy, the authentic and the speculative meld into a fascinating and exceptionally suspenseful work of fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345504395
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/27/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 100,828
Product dimensions: 4.21(w) x 7.49(h) x 1.14(d)

About the Author

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 18,000,000 copies in 51 countries.
 
History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It’s this passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, that led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have traveled across the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners, and their popular writers’ workshops. To date, nearly 2,500 students have attended those workshops. In 2012 their work was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week. He was also appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to serve on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board to help promote and support the libraries in their mission to provide information in all forms to scientists, curators, scholars, students, and the public at large. He has received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award and the 2013 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers. His novel The Columbus Affair earned him the Anne Frank Human Writes Award, and his historic preservation work merited the 2013 Silver Bullet from International Thriller Writers.
 
Steve Berry was born and raised in Georgia, graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers—a group of more than 2,600 thriller writers from around the world—and served three years as its co-president.
 
For more information, visit www.steveberry.org.

Read an Excerpt

ONE

moscow, the present

tuesday, october 12

1:24 pm

In fifteen seconds Miles Lord’s life changed forever.

He first saw the sedan. A dark blue Volvo station wagon, the tint so deep that it appeared black in the bright midday sun. He next noticed the front tires cutting right, weaving a path around traffic on busy Nikolskaya Prospekt. Then the rear window, reflective as a mirror, descended, and a distorted reflection of the surrounding buildings was replaced by a dark rectangle pierced by the barrel of a gun.

Bullets exploded from the gun.

He dived flat. Screams arose around him as he slammed onto the oily pavement. The sidewalk was packed with afternoon shoppers, tourists, and workers, all now lunging for cover as lead raked a trail across the weathered stone of Stalinist-era buildings.

He rolled over and looked up at Artemy Bely, his lunch companion. He’d met the Russian two days back and taken him to be an amicable young lawyer with the Justice Ministry. Lawyer to lawyer they’d eaten dinner last night and breakfast this morning, talking of the new Russia and the great changes coming, both marveling at being part of history. His mouth opened to shout a warning, but before he could utter a sound Bely’s chest erupted and blood and sinew splattered on the plate-glass window beyond.

The automatic fire came with a constant rat-tat-tat that reminded him of old gangster movies. The plate glass gave way and jagged shards crashed to the sidewalk. Bely’s body crumpled on top of him. A coppery stench rose from the gaping wounds. He shoved the lifeless Russian off, worried about the red tide soaking into his suit and dripping from his hands. He hardly knew Bely. Was he HIV-positive?

The Volvo screeched to a stop.

He looked to his left.

Car doors popped open and two men sprang out, both armed with automatic weapons. They wore the blue-and-gray uniforms with red lapels of the militsya—the police. Neither, though, sported the regulation gray caps with red brim. The man from the front seat had the sloped forehead, bushy hair, and bulbous nose of a Cro-Magnon. The man who slid from the rear was stocky with a pockmarked face and dark, slicked-back hair. The man’s right eye caught Lord’s attention. The space between the pupil and eyebrow was wide, creating a noticeable droop—as if one eye was closed, the other open—and provided the only indication of emotion on an otherwise expressionless face.

Droopy said to Cro-Magnon in Russian, “The damn chornye survived.”

Did he hear right?

Chornye.

The Russian equivalent for nigger.

His was the only black face he’d seen since arriving in Moscow eight weeks ago, so he knew he had a problem. He recalled something from a Russian travel book he’d read a few months back. Anyone dark-skinned can expect to arouse a certain amount of curiosity. What an understatement.

Cro-Magnon acknowledged the comment with a nod. The two men stood thirty yards away, and Lord wasn’t about to wait around to find out what they wanted. He sprang to his feet and raced in the opposite direction. With a quick glance over his shoulder he saw the two calmly crouch and ready themselves to shoot. An intersection loomed ahead, and he leaped the remaining distance just as gunfire blasted from behind.

Bullets strafed the stone, puffing cloud bursts into the chilly air.

More people dived for cover.

He sprang from the sidewalk and faced a tolkuchki—street market—lining the curb as far as he could see.

“Gunmen. Run,” he screamed in Russian.

A bobushka peddling dolls understood instantly and shuffled to a nearby doorway, jerking tight a scarf around her weathered face. Half a dozen children hawking newspapers and Pepsis darted into a grocery. Vendors abandoned their kiosks and scattered like roaches. The appearance of the mafiya was not uncommon. He knew that a hundred or more gangs operated throughout Moscow. People being shot, knifed, or blown up had become as common as traffic jams, simply the risk of doing business on the streets.

He bolted ahead into the crowded prospekt, traffic merely inching along and starting to congeal in the mayhem. A horn blared and a braking taxi stopped just short of him. His bloodied hands came down hard on the hood. The driver continued to lean on the horn. He looked back and saw the two men with guns round the corner. The crowd parted, which provided a clear shot. He dived behind the taxi as bullets obliterated the driver’s side.

The horn stopped blaring.

He raised himself up and stared into the driver’s bloodied face, smushed against the passenger’s-side window, one eye cocked open, the pane stained crimson. The men were now fifty yards away, on the other side of the congested prospekt. He studied the storefronts on both sides of the street and registered a men’s fashion salon, children’s clothing boutique, and several antiques galleries. He searched for someplace in which to disappear and chose McDonald’s. For some reason the golden arches harked of safety.

He raced down the sidewalk and shoved open its glass doors. Several hundred people packed the chest-high tables and booths. More stood in line. He recalled that this was at one point the busiest restaurant in the world.

He was gulping air fast and a scent of grilled burgers, fries, and cigarettes accompanied each breath. His hands and clothes were still bloody. Several women started to scream that he’d been shot. A panic overtook the young crowds and there was a mad push for the doors. He shouldered forward, deeper into the throng, and quickly realized this was a mistake. He pushed through the dining room toward stairs that led down to bathrooms. He slipped out of the panicked mob and skipped down the stairs three at a time, his bloodied right hand gliding across a slick iron rail.

“Back. Away. Back,” deep voices ordered in Russian from above.

Gunfire erupted.

More screams and rushed footsteps.

He found the bottom of the stairs and faced three closed doors. One led to the ladies’ room, the other to the men’s. He opened the third. A large storage room spanned before him, its walls shiny white tile like the rest of the restaurant. In one corner three people huddled around a table smoking. He noticed their T-shirts—Lenin’s face superimposed over McDonald’s golden arches. Their gazes met his.

“Gunmen. Hide,” he said in Russian.

Without a word, all three bolted from the table and shot toward the far end of the brightly lit room. The lead man flung open a door, and they disappeared outside. Lord stopped only an instant to slam shut the door from which he’d entered and lock it from the inside, then he followed.

He dashed out into the chilly afternoon and stood in an alley behind the multistory building that accommodated the restaurant. He half expected Gypsies or bemedaled war veterans to be in residence. Every nook and cranny of Moscow seemed to provide shelter to one or another dispossessed social group.

Dingy buildings surrounded him, the coarsely hewn stone blackened and scarred from decades of unregulated auto emissions. He’d often wondered what those same fumes did to lungs. He tried to get his bearings. He was about a hundred yards north of Red Square. Where was the nearest Metro station? That could be his best means of escape. There were always policemen in the stations. But policemen were chasing him. Or were they? He’d read how the mafiya many times donned police uniforms. Most times the streets were littered with police—too damn many—all sporting nightsticks and automatic weapons. Yet today he’d seen not one.

A thud came from inside the building.

His head whipped around.

The door at the far end of the storage room leading from the bathrooms was being forced. He started running in the direction of the main street, just as gunfire echoed from inside.

He found the sidewalk and turned right, running as fast as his suit would allow. He reached up, unbuttoned his collar, and yanked down his tie. Now at least he could breathe. It would only be a few moments before his pursuers rounded the corner from behind. He quickly swerved right and vaulted a waist-high, chain-link fence encircling one of the innumerable parking lots dotting Moscow’s inner ring.

He slowed to a trot and let his eyes shoot left and right. The lot was full of Ladas, Chaikas, and Volgas. Some Fords. A few German sedans. Most filthy with soot and dented from abuse. He looked back. The two men had cleared the corner a hundred yards back and were now racing in his direction.

He rushed forward down the center of the grassy lot. Bullets ricocheted off the cars to his right. He dived behind a dark Mitsubishi and peered around its rear bumper. The two men were positioned on the other side of the fence, Cro-Magnon standing, his gun aimed forward, Droopy still trotting toward the fence.

A car engine revved.

Smoke poured from the exhaust. Brake lights lit.

It was a cream-colored Lada that had been parked to the opposite side of the center lane. The car quickly backed out of its space. He saw fear on the driver’s face. He’d most likely heard the bullets and decided to leave fast.

Droopy jumped the fence.

Lord rushed from his hiding place and vaulted onto the Lada’s hood, his hands clasping the windshield wipers. Thank heaven the damn thing had wipers. He knew most drivers kept them locked in the glove compartment to thwart thieves. The Lada’s driver gave him a startled look but kept rolling forward toward the busy boulevard. Through the rear window Lord saw Droopy, fifty yards behind, crouching to fire and Cro-Magnon scaling the fence. He thought of the taxi driver and decided it wasn’t right to involve this man. As the Lada exited onto the six-lane boulevard, he rolled off the hood and onto the sidewalk.

Bullets arrived in the next second.

The Lada whipped left and sped away.

Lord continued to roll until he was in the street, hoping a slight depression below the curb would be enough to block Droopy’s firing angle. The earth and concrete churned as bullets dug in.

A crowd waiting for a bus scattered.

He glanced to his left. A bus was no more than fifty feet away and rolling toward him. Air brakes engaged. Tires squealed. The scent of sulfur exhaust was nearly suffocating. He twirled his body into the street as the bus screeched to a stop. The vehicle was now between him and the gunmen. Thank God no cars were using the boulevard’s outermost lane.

He stood and darted across the six-lane road. Traffic all came one way, from the north. He crisscrossed the lanes and made a point of staying perpendicular with the bus. Halfway, he was forced to pause and wait for a line of cars to pass. There’d only be a few moments more until the gunmen rounded the bus. He took advantage of a break in traffic and ran across the final two lanes, onto the sidewalk, jumping the curb.

Ahead was a busy construction site. Bare girders rose four stories into a rapidly clouding afternoon sky. He’d still not seen one policeman other than the two on his tail. Over the whirl of traffic came the roar of cranes and cement mixers. Unlike back home in Atlanta, no fences of any kind delineated the unsafe zone.

He trotted onto the work site and glanced back to see the gunmen starting their own bisection of the crowded boulevard, dodging cars, horns protesting their progress. Workers milled about the construction site, paying him little attention. He wondered how many black men dressed in bloody suits ran onto the job site every day. But it was all part of the new Moscow. The safest course was surely to stay out of the way.

Behind, the two gunmen found the sidewalk. They were now less than fifty yards away.

Ahead, a cement mixer churned gray mortar into a steel trough as a helmeted worker monitored the progress. The trough rested on a large wooden platform chained to a cable that ran four stories up to a roof crane. The worker tending the mixture backed away and the entire assembly rose.

Lord decided up was as good a place as any and raced for the ascending platform, leaping forward, gripping the platform’s bottom edge. Crusted concrete caked on the surface made it difficult to maintain a hold, but thoughts of Droopy and his pal kept his fingers secure.

The platform rose, and he swung himself upward.

The unbalanced movement caused a sway, chains groaning from the added weight, but he managed to climb up and flatten his body against the trough. The added weight and movement tipped everything his way, and mortar sloshed onto him.

He glanced over the side.

The two gunmen had seen what he did. He was fifty feet in the air and climbing. They stopped their advance and took aim. He felt the mortar-encrusted wood beneath him and stared at the steel trough.

No choice.

He quickly rolled into the trough, sending wet mortar oozing over the side. Cold mud enveloped him and sent a chill through his already shaking body.

Gunfire started.

Bullets ripped the wooden underside and pelted the trough. He shrank into the cement and heard the recoil of lead off steel.

Suddenly, sirens.

Coming closer.

The shooting stopped.

He peered out toward the boulevard and saw three police cars speeding south, his way. Apparently the gunmen had heard the sirens, too, and hastily retreated. He then saw the dark blue Volvo that had started everything appear from the north and speed down the boulevard. The two gunmen backed toward it, but seemed unable to resist a few parting shots.

He watched as they finally climbed into the Volvo and roared away.

Only then did he raise up on his knees and release a sigh of relief.

Reading Group Guide

1. In Berry's first novel of suspense, The Amber Room, he used as his backdrop a piece of history that is very real but largely unknown to the American audience. In this novel, he uses as his backdrop a much better known piece of history-namely, the execution of Russia's last royal family. Before reading this novel, how much did you know about the Romanovs and their tragic end? Did you find Berry's research enlightening, were you aware of these historical events? How did your prior knowledge-or lack thereof-affect your interest in this backdrop and storyline? In general, would you rather read a novel concerned with 1) a historical incident you know well, 2) a historical incident about which you know something but not too much, or 3) a historical incident with which you are completely unfamiliar?

2. The Prologue in The Romanov Prophecy introduces you to the Romanovs, and their concern for succession, and also to Rasputin, whose words become crucial to the story later on. Did you enjoy the Prologue? Did it intrigue you and compel you to read on? How did it add to the overall atmosphere of the book?

3. In The Romanov Prophecy bullets fly in the first paragraph of Chapter 1, and we find Miles Lord on the run from then on. Do you prefer when a novel of this type builds suspense slowly and steadily, or when it begins with a bang? Did the first chapter's frantic opening help you sympathize with Lord's disorientation and subsequent struggle for survival? Or did the quick pace exhaust or confuse you as a reader? How did you feel about the pace throughout the rest of the novel?

4. Miles Lord is an African-American, and we learn early on how his complexion sets him apart from others in Russia. Why do you think Berry chose to create a black narrator in Russia? How does Lord's race affect his quest? How does it enhance the book's tension? And how does Berry use it to tell us more about Russia?

5. Early on in the book, the reader learns that Taylor Hayes is not as trustworthy as Lord thinks he is. Throughout the rest of the novel, this provides a great deal of dramatic irony, as Lord continues to trust Hayes implicitly while the reader recognizes he is making a nearly fatal mistake. How does Berry use this device (dramatic irony) to raise tension and to play with readers' expectations? Did you buy into Lord's continuing trust of his boss? And did you think that this source of tension sustained itself over the course of the entire book?

6. Accidentally (or not at all accidentally, if you believe Rasputin's words), Lord comes to partner up with Akilina Petrovna, a circus performer who is proudly Russian, though she has undoubtedly experienced all the worst Russia has had to offer over the years. As their quest comes more and more to follow the path prophesied so many years before by Rasputin, Akilina is much quicker than Lord to accept the predestined or mythical nature of it all. Lord more steadfastly maintains skepticism through much of the novel. Did you feel that Akilina was too quick to accept the prophecy? Did you feel that Lord was too slow? Berry seems to place much of the reasoning behind this difference between them on the national characters of Russia and the United States. What does this tell us about Russians, and about Americans? Do you agree with Berry's analysis?

7. Throughout the novel, Berry basically employs only three points of view-Lord's, Hayes', and Akilina's. Are these three points of view enough with which to tell the story fully? In your opinion, are any of the three unnecessary? Whose point of view was the most interesting to you? Whose was the least interesting? How did the relatively small number of points of view enhance the novel? In your opinion, did it in any way detract from the novel?

8. When Lord and Akilina finally know for sure that Michael Thorn is the Romanov descendent they've been seeking, Lord asks him, "Why haven't you come forward?" Thorn responds: "I was always told not to reveal myself unless the raven and the eagle appeared and the words were uttered. Anything less was a trap laid down by our enemies." Did you find this tough to accept, as Lord does? Clearly it makes sense to Thorn, who is of the mindset that he is part of something much larger than himself. But, in your opinion, is he too respectful of the mysticism surrounding the succession? Should he have stepped forward as soon as the search for a successor began?

9. A number of times throughout the novel, we return to the actual events of July 16, 1918, when the Romanov family was executed and their bodies disposed of. Did you find these sections more or less gripping than the rest of the novel? And how did you feel about the way Berry revealed them slowly, over the course of a few hundred pages, through the words of numerous characters?

10. Obviously, this novel in many ways builds to the revelation of what "really" happened in July 1918-in Berry's version, Alexie and Anastasia were saved heroically and secretly, and then transported to America. Did you find this a satisfying and fitting conclusion? Did you find it believable? And if you're not convinced by Berry's fictional theory, what do you think really happened?

Foreword

1. In Berry's first novel of suspense, The Amber Room, he used as his backdrop a piece of history that is very real but largely unknown to the American audience. In this novel, he uses as his backdrop a much better known piece of history-namely, the execution of Russia's last royal family. Before reading this novel, how much did you know about the Romanovs and their tragic end? Did you find Berry's research enlightening, were you aware of these historical events? How did your prior knowledge-or lack thereof-affect your interest in this backdrop and storyline? In general, would you rather read a novel concerned with 1) a historical incident you know well, 2) a historical incident about which you know something but not too much, or 3) a historical incident with which you are completely unfamiliar?

2. The Prologue in The Romanov Prophecy introduces you to the Romanovs, and their concern for succession, and also to Rasputin, whose words become crucial to the story later on. Did you enjoy the Prologue? Did it intrigue you and compel you to read on? How did it add to the overall atmosphere of the book?

3. In The Romanov Prophecy bullets fly in the first paragraph of Chapter 1, and we find Miles Lord on the run from then on. Do you prefer when a novel of this type builds suspense slowly and steadily, or when it begins with a bang? Did the first chapter's frantic opening help you sympathize with Lord's disorientation and subsequent struggle for survival? Or did the quick pace exhaust or confuse you as a reader? How did you feel about the pace throughout the rest of the novel?

4. Miles Lord is an African-American, and we learn early on how hiscomplexion sets him apart from others in Russia. Why do you think Berry chose to create a black narrator in Russia? How does Lord's race affect his quest? How does it enhance the book's tension? And how does Berry use it to tell us more about Russia?

5. Early on in the book, the reader learns that Taylor Hayes is not as trustworthy as Lord thinks he is. Throughout the rest of the novel, this provides a great deal of dramatic irony, as Lord continues to trust Hayes implicitly while the reader recognizes he is making a nearly fatal mistake. How does Berry use this device (dramatic irony) to raise tension and to play with readers' expectations? Did you buy into Lord's continuing trust of his boss? And did you think that this source of tension sustained itself over the course of the entire book?

6. Accidentally (or not at all accidentally, if you believe Rasputin's words), Lord comes to partner up with Akilina Petrovna, a circus performer who is proudly Russian, though she has undoubtedly experienced all the worst Russia has had to offer over the years. As their quest comes more and more to follow the path prophesied so many years before by Rasputin, Akilina is much quicker than Lord to accept the predestined or mythical nature of it all. Lord more steadfastly maintains skepticism through much of the novel. Did you feel that Akilina was too quick to accept the prophecy? Did you feel that Lord was too slow? Berry seems to place much of the reasoning behind this difference between them on the national characters of Russia and the United States. What does this tell us about Russians, and about Americans? Do you agree with Berry's analysis?

7. Throughout the novel, Berry basically employs only three points of view-Lord's, Hayes', and Akilina's. Are these three points of view enough with which to tell the story fully? In your opinion, are any of the three unnecessary? Whose point of view was the most interesting to you? Whose was the least interesting? How did the relatively small number of points of view enhance the novel? In your opinion, did it in any way detract from the novel?

8. When Lord and Akilina finally know for sure that Michael Thorn is the Romanov descendent they've been seeking, Lord asks him, "Why haven't you come forward?" Thorn responds: "I was always told not to reveal myself unless the raven and the eagle appeared and the words were uttered. Anything less was a trap laid down by our enemies." Did you find this tough to accept, as Lord does? Clearly it makes sense to Thorn, who is of the mindset that he is part of something much larger than himself. But, in your opinion, is he too respectful of the mysticism surrounding the succession? Should he have stepped forward as soon as the search for a successor began?

9. A number of times throughout the novel, we return to the actual events of July 16, 1918, when the Romanov family was executed and their bodies disposed of. Did you find these sections more or less gripping than the rest of the novel? And how did you feel about the way Berry revealed them slowly, over the course of a few hundred pages, through the words of numerous characters?

10. Obviously, this novel in many ways builds to the revelation of what "really" happened in July 1918-in Berry's version, Alexie and Anastasia were saved heroically and secretly, and then transported to America. Did you find this a satisfying and fitting conclusion? Did you find it believable? And if you're not convinced by Berry's fictional theory, what do you think really happened?

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Romanov Prophecy 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 167 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! Having enjoyed the DaVinci code, and recently having finished 'Exile' by Allan Folsom which also deals with the Romanov's, I was drawn to this title. This is my first Steve Berry Book, and it did not disappoint. Altho some of the action seens were kind of difficult to believe, they did keep me on the edge of my seat. The characters were believable and it was a real page-turner. Give it a try.
Venqat65 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved it. I enjoyed learning about Russian history as I read the fictional thriller that Berry created.
woodsathome on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love a good historical conspiracy theory thriller and this one doesn't disappoint. Start with the premise of a troubled Russia looking to restore the Romanov throne. Add an team of Russian and American badguys (nicknamed Stalin, Lenin, etc.) trying to ensure their pretender to the throne is chosen. Then toss in a century old Rasputin prophecy and the possibility that two Romanov children survived. Then finish with an African-American hero and you have all the makings of a true potboiler. Highly recommend
cpeacock on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was very excited and elicited the same feelings that I got when reading The Da Vinci Code. It is in the same vain, a historical-mystery-thriller type book, and it is a page-turner. This book interested me because I know little about the history of the Soviet Union and Russia; I learned a lot from this book.
kaionvin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A historical thriller in the vein of The Da Vinci Code- this time mining the frequent idea that Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov survived. Hey, I like that not!Disney animated movie! I'm all for decoding heroics, Russian landscapes, and musty books.You know, except this book fails at delivering even a basic knockoff. The central mystery is unveiled off the top of the novel- and it's not even a controversial or interesting mystery. Furthering reducing any impact the premise might have, it's written as a period piece to replace any contemporary interest with saccharine moments bemoaning the cruelty of ye old USSR (mostly thanks to your cookie cutter sexy foreign female sidekick).The main character, a laywer, repeatedly appears remarkably dim to not figure out who the not-so-shadow-y men are who keep trying to kill him (in a series of incredibly repetitive 'action' sequences). Thankfully, he's saved from attempts at solving the non-mystery, because apparently the whole architects of the puzzle are willing to hand over the meaning of every 'clue', provided he just shows up.Sure, Berry does show some fondness for Russia- and my very Russian friend assures me that he gets some aspects of the culture right- but what's the point of a historical thriller with no thrills, anyway?
snat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A decent entry in the historical action/adventure genre. The plot line was, for the most part predictable, but there were a few twists (Berry took a completely different direction by the book's end than I thought he was going to take, which I appreciated) . The characters were one dimensional (as they tend to be in such books--the interest comes from the quest, not the people involved in it). However, the history of the Romanovs and Berry's unique take on the prophecies of Rasputin were fascinating and made the book well-worth the read (although the fact that the missing Romanovs were found in 2007 ruined the fantastic "what if" questions raised as we now know the answers; wish I had read it prior to this discovery). My one main complaint was lots of unnecessary detail about clothing, vehicles, character back stories, etc. Could have easily been 100 pages shorter.
wagner.sarah35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun thriller set around the idea of a Romanov restoration in Russia. Miles Lord, an American lawyer with Russian language skills, is charged with researching the claimants to the Russian imperial throne when he stumbles across evidence that some of Nicholas II and Alexandra's children may have survived their brutal murder in 1917. Soon Miles sets off to find the true descendants of the last tsar and finds himself traveling across continents, pursued by those who will do anything to keep the truth from emerging. A fun read, set around an interesting concept.
robindejarnett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A suspense with a Dan Brown feel, The Romanov Prophecy delves into the long-standing legend that one or more of the Russian royal family survived brutal execution in the early 20th century. Even if you're not familiar with Russian history, names like Anastasia and Rasputin should tickle your memory. Caught between corruption, the mafia, the military, and a prophetic destiny, Miles Lord's story starts with a running shootout and doesn't end until the last page. Sorting out who's good and who's bad is enough to hold the reader from the beginning, then the compelling, if modified, history of the Romanovs keeps the pages turning.I haven't read many books with a male African American protagonist, and I enjoyed that twist. There was a little chemistry between Lord and the female lead, but this isn't a romance novel, so nothing came of it. Maybe it's just me, but my belief was stretched a little thin by the amount of trust Lord put in one person, and the fact that several times the question was asked "how exactly did you find me?" but the flimsy answer was always accepted. It was a little distraction, and what pulled this review down a star.I'll definitely read more Steve Berry.
jsoos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great piece of fiction. Enough research and factual base to make one wonder about the real possibility of such "conspiracies". Perhaps a little weak on character development, but the author keeps the action going, and has quite a bit of factual material to maintain a semblance of realism. I particularly enjoyed seeing some of my books referenced in the discussion.
adithyajones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A page turner with the sad history of tsar as background,Berry has been able to come up with an engaging thriller which is not only entertaining but also educative in the sense that it covers a crucial part of Russia's history in an engaging manner.
Talbin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry is an enjoyable read about a lawyer who finds himself pursuing the direct heir to Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia. Berry's premise is that present-day Russia, fed up with ineffective leadership since the fall of Communism, has decided to reinstall a tsar to lead the country. Because the Romanovs were the last to lead the country, the search is on to find the most direct descendent of the last tsar.Berry's writing is better than most authors in the genre, and his plotting is pretty good. He does a good job of weaving real history with his fictional premise. Although his characters lack "life", that's not unusual for a mystery/thriller.
havetea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Intriguing fictional premise and story line. Decent character development and great historical references. Many chase scenes became boring and redundant. Enjoyable reading and held my attention.
brian_irons on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first book that I read of Steve's, and as far as I'm concerned it's still his best. Allthough he has wrtten great books since, he hasn't come close to the magic of this one. His first four books are my favorite. Unfortunately he's losing a little with each new book. Not to worry Steve, I'm still a fan, and will continue to be.
leperdbunny on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Title: The Romanov ProphecyAuthor: Steve BerryGenre: Historical Fiction# of pages: 400Start date:End date:Borrowed/bought: borrowedMy rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: B+Description of the book: A new era has dawned for Russia. The government is looking to restore the monarchy by finding the closest relative by blood to the Romanov Dynasty. Our hero, Miles Lord, is an American Lawyer sent over by his employer to ensure there are no problems with the current background of the most likely contender, Stefan Baklanov. What Lord ends up finding out and entangling himself in is much more than he bargained for.Review: A classically themed adventure for the adventurist and history buff in all of us. Rasputin's prophecies are used in the story extensively. I wonder if these prophecies were real or made up by the author? Hmm, this would be a fun research project.Last read of 2010!
Jarratt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second Steve Berry book I¿ve read and I enjoyed it much more than I did ¿The Amber Room¿ some years ago.¿The Romanov Prophecy¿ opens with the idea that Russia again wants to establish a royal monarchy. Law states that those who can prove their lineage to the last royal family, the Romanovs, are eligible. American lawyer Miles Lord and his boss Taylor Hayes represent investors who are backing Stefan Baklanov for the throne. Lord¿s job is to make sure Baklanov doesn¿t have anything in his background to prevent that. During his research, Lord discovers a prophesy made by Rasputin 100 years earlier that suggests that not all of the Romanovs were killed during the massacre. And when bullets start flying¿at Lord¿he realizes there may be something to that. If there is a true blood descendant to the Romanov family, they would be the rightful heir to the Russion throne. What follows is a globe-trotting adventure made by Lord, a Russian circus acrobat Akilina Petrov, and those hot on their heels.At the same time, we learn that Hayes, Lord¿s boss, is in the thick of assuring Baklanov¿s ascension. Hayes is working with members of the Russian Mafia and must find a way to keep Lord from locating a more closely related member of the Romanov family.This book moved quickly and the devices Berry used to get Lord from clue to clue was intriguing and exciting. The prophecy¿s clues ultimately imply a little too much to make the end wholly satisfying or surprising, but this really doesn¿t take away from the story. Uniquely, I didn¿t feel like the protagonist reacted in ways that were unbelievable as is so often the case in thrillers. I am looking forward to reading his next book ¿The Third Secret.¿I must also compliment narrator Paul Michael as he does an excellent job with the voices and isn¿t overly dramatic in his reading.
esk4002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Such a good book! Right from the first paragraph you get thrown into the action and it doesn't stop the whole way through. Tons of twists and you learn a lot about Russia and it's history. Great ending!
MSWallack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, this story was not as good as The Amber Room. The characters were not as interesting, and the story seemed far, far less plausible. I'm perfectly willing to go along with a good setup, but the use of prophecy mixed into a geopolitical thriller seemed out of place. Also, the story took far too long to reach the "treasure hunt" portion of the story and, by then, I felt as if the author were racing through and dispensing with the detail that he focused on in the early portions of the book. That said, the book was good enough for me to give Berry's next novel a chance.
tcgardner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Did a Romanov really survive the family's destruction? Post Soviet Russia wants to return to Czarist Russia. They need a Romanov. There is one if he can be found. And not murdered by russian interest happy with the status quo. Steve Berry did a good job with this novel. Good pacing and plenty of excitement with a satisfying ending.
mgaulding on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy Berry's books. This one has a very original plot line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an enjoyable read. It was reminiscent of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code. The naive nature of the characters is a bit unrealistic. But overall I found it a compelling work of fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
maggie41 More than 1 year ago
Not Berry's best book, but a very good read nonetheless. Enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice thriller with some interesting facts regarding Rasputin and the Romanovs
Electrician71 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is my favorite pre Cotton Malone Steve Berry book. The history of the Romanov family and of Tsarist Russia mixed in with a modern story of the restoration of the Tsar makes for an interesting story. Miles Lord is a compelling lead character for this story.