Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: The Last Romanov

The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks,Inc.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 358pp.
ISBN-13: 978-1402265945
ISBN: 1402265948

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Landmark)

Linda Poitevin on the WEB: webpage, blog, Twitter, Facebook

Excerpt from The Last Romanov courtesy of Amazon's Inside Look feature.



She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majesty. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for those murderous events that changed everything? If only she can find the heir, maybe she can put together the broken pieces of her own past—maybe she can hold on to the love she found. Bursting to life with the rich and glorious marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale of second chances and royal blood.


Historical fiction fans will relish Dora Levy Mossanen's latest book featuring the Romanov dynasty. The Last Romanov tells one woman's story about her quest to find Prince Alexi, the heir to the Romanov throne. Mossanen takes readers back to the Romanov court, to a time of healing magic and political machinations that rivaled any of the great conflicts of history. Mossanen's historical knowledge of the time gives this book a ring of authenticity and her rich period detail will transport the reader back in time. A great portrayal of a long remembered historical mystery. 

This time period in Russian history was fraught with danger and mystery. Darya Spiridova is blessed with the gift of healing and foresight. She is sent to the Romanov court to be to be a calming influence. She predicts the birth of the heir, Prince Alexi and is extremely loyal the Romanov family in spite of anti-Imperial sentiment throughout Russia during this time. She risks her own life and the life of her lover a Jewish painter in order to protect the family and especially the young heir to the throne. 

I thought Mossanen really gave the Romanov family a personality. They became more than just historical figures, but a real family with personal histories, happy and tragic moments and most of all they shared a love that transcends time and place. Mossanen was able to capture their humanity through the eyes of a fictional character. Darya was a wonderful character and narrator for this novel. She was realistic and vibrant. Readers could easily identify with her as a character even though she is somewhat different than the average person. She still had hopes and dreams and loves like anyone else. 

Mossanen introduces the idea of mysticism and the healing arts into this book with a deft hand. She interweaves the idea's so subtly that the reader will hardly notice that these are mildly supernatural circumstances. I think some readers may not like this aspect of the book, purely because they are looking at this book as historical in nature, but it is historical fiction and the author took some licenses here to bring readers a well crafted and original book. I thought this part of the story only added to the mysteriousness of the times and the unique disappearance of the heir. It gave the book a misty sort of unclear atmosphere which was interesting to say the least.

This has been a historical mystery that has baffled historians and readers a like for many years. What happened the night the Romanov family was assassinated? Did the heir to the throne somehow survive? Mossanen's explanations and ideas about that fateful night are brought out so well in this novel. If you are a history buff who knows a few details about this story you will fall in love with this book. If your first time hearing the story you will be riveted by the tale. I recommend this one to both historical fiction fans and mystery buffs. It has something for both types of readers and will bring an enlightenment to the story that will leave you still guessing as to the real heir's whereabouts.

The Last Romanov is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Born in Israel and raised in Iran, Dora Levy Mossanen fled to the United States at the onset of the Islamic Revolution. She is the recipient of the San Diego Editor's Choice award and the author of Harem and the international bestseller Courtesan, which have both been translated into numerous languages. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and a graduate of the USC masters of professional writing program. She lives in Beverly Hills, California.

No comments: