Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Review - The Romanov Bride

This morning I completed The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander. The book switches back and forth between the story of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna (sister of the Empress Alexandra) and Pavel, a Russian peasant-turned-revolutionary, in the years leading up to and surrounding the 1917 Revolution in Russia.

The book was just OK. I don't think it succeeds on its own as a novel, nor as fiction based on history. Neither the life of the aristocracy, the life of the revolutionary, nor the history of the revolution are covered well. Random bits and pieces of political and personal history are dropped among the pages in a haphazard manner and not explained well. The characters are not well drawn and I found myself wanting more.

In his afterword, Mr. Alexander notes that he relied much on the Grand Duchess' personal letters for his book. I would find such a collection to be extremely interesting and more of a window onto a character and a time than this novel.

If you are looking for a really good novel set during the Russian Revolution that also tries to describe the chaos of the times, go to Dr. Zhivago. The Romanov Bride pales in the comparison.


Jen said...

Darn. It sounded interesting at first. :)

Pepper said...

Sad when a book doesn't live up to its promise, isn't it? I hope it wasn't too long. :-)

Visiting from NCLM

Michelle said...

I love Dr.Zhivago....I'm sure anything else would pale in comparison! here from NCLM

Cajunchic said...

How sad that it was not that good. I am fascinated with the Romanov empire and enjoy historical fiction.