Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: THE LAST ROMANOV by Dora Levy Mossanen



4 or 5 stars

The story follows Darya Borodino, a young woman of noble birth, born with an opal eye. Some say she is gifted, others say she’s a witch. It is Darya’s unique gift for healing and the happenstance visit by the Empress Alexandra Romanov that will change Darya’s life forever. Through a tragic accident, Darya finds herself an orphan and is soon taken in the royal family. When Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich is born, Darya is assigned as his caregiver. It is because of her love for this sickly child that she finds herself on a dangerous path brought about by the Bolshevik revolution.

I found the beginning of the story a little slow and hard to get into, but once the old and frail Darya begins to recount her life’s story, the text flowed better. There were some descriptions that were too elaborate, but I understand how the author would want to convey every detail of beauty and opulence of the period to the reader. Ms. Mossanen does an amazing job of weaving fact and fiction, telling the story of the Romanov’s elaborate lifestyle to their execution in 1918. Darya plays an intricate part in the royal family’s lives to the point of giving up her own chance of happiness to stay with them and care for the ailing Alexei.

Although the tragic circumstances surrounding the Romanov’s deaths in 1918 are a foregone conclusion, it is Darya’s story that keeps you turning the pages. Did she ever find that which she sought? What became of her lover? You’ll have to read the story to find out—no spoilers in this review. If you are a fan of historical fiction, THE LAST ROMANOV should certainly be at the top of your reading list. Recommended.

Disclosure policy: http://twoendsofthepen.blogspot.com/p/review-policy.html