Release Date ~ February 27, 2014
Razorbill ~ Penguin
ARC received from Penguin Canada for 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 not in the right hands.
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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.