Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam + a Giveaway

The Romanov legacy is one that has captivated people for decades. With multiple movies and books devoted to the fate of the family and the possibility that one member (typically Anastasia) may have escaped, Jennifer Laam's debut is an interesting addition and a bit of a twist.

Present day, California: Veronica Herrera is fascinated by the Romanovs. A Russian history professor working on a book about Empress Alexandra, she's long hoped that her research will lead to tenure. Unfortunately, the head of her department fears that this will not be the case. A coincidental meeting with a man named Michael Karstadt could change everything.

1941, France: The German occupation has only marginally affected Charlotte, until a German soldier seeks her out. The man knows an awful lot of details about Charlotte and she's terrified about what this could mean for her and her son. Desperate to save her boy, Charlotte fears the only solution is to run.

1901, Peterhof Estate: Empress Alexandra has given birth to yet another daughter. The pressure to produce a son and heir continues to grow and Alexandra turns to every means possible to ensure her next child will be a boy. When she learns that Lena, one of her maids, is the daughter of a midwife, Alexandra pressures her for help. Ever fearful of failure, Lena knows that this is the only hope for her own brother. If she can help the Empress then maybe Alexandra will help her.

I really like the premise of Laam's book. As I mentioned above, there have been numerous titles featuring Anastasia as the surviving Romanov - thanks in no small part to real life claimants that have been debunked.

I do have to say that of the three women, Charlotte was the one whose story interested me more. Veronica didn't stand out so much next to her and while Lena was interesting, Charlotte being in the midst of occupied France kind of can't be beat in terms of story. I can't say that the ending wasn't exactly what I expected it to be. There were very few surprises in the book, most of it plays out exactly as I'd imagined it would, but it's a fun read nonetheless.

Rating: 4/5

Oh, I almost forgot. If you're interested in reading a bit of the book to get you started, I have an excerpt with the prologue for you here.

Thanks to the publisher, I'm able to offer up one copy for giveaway. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below before November 18. US only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

traveler said...

Thanks for this fascinating and unique novel. I am interested in this history greatly. Another novel about The Romanov's which was unforgettable was The Last Romanov. thanks.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com