Get Your Fix: Romanov edition!

image via wikipedia

Today marks the 96th anniversary of the death of the Romanovs. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know I have a slight fascination with this family. What better way to remember them than with an edition of Get Your Fix.

The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
Becoming a bestseller and adapted into a movie, The Kitchen Boy tells the tale of the Romanov’s final moments as seen through the eyes of a kitchen boy, Leonka. Alexander is also the author of a few other Romanov-centric novels, Rasputin’s Daughter and The Romanov Bride.
Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick
I’m all for author’s taking liberties with their fiction, but for some reason I’m hesitant to read this. This is basically a love story involving Alexei..who died when he was 13. I grabbed it from the library multiple times – one day I’ll actually read it!
The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
This series follows Catherine’s rise to power. The more I read about it the more I want to read these books; they remind me of all the Tudor fiction and Philippa Gregory novels that are so popular.
The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
This was my introduction to Berry’s works and the one that made me fall in love. Berry is one of my go-to authors when I’m in need of a good comfort read. His books are wickedly fast-paced and keep me entertained throughout the whole ride. I’m a sucker for stories where one of the children survives AND Berry adds in some dual era narratives.
The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam
A fifth daughter was spirited away before the Revolution and the royal lineage is alive and well. A present-day historian, a servant in the Russian court, a ballerina in the Second World War. This is basically a Leah novel!
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne
While Boyne is more widely recognized for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, this is the novel I’d like to read. A boy finds himself a hero and bodyguard of the Tsarevich. Nearly seventy years later, memories of his old life come flooding to the surface as he watches over his dying wife.
The Curse of the Romanovs by Staton Rabin
This novel is the equivalent of a bad movie and shouldn’t be read if you’re in the mood for something good. A time-traveling Alexei learns all about cell phones – Matt and I STILL text each other lines from these scenes – and falls in love with his sort-of-kind-of cousin, a 15-year-old who has been doing studies and experiments on gene therapy and has nearly discovered a cure for hemophilia. Yep. You can read my review here.
The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen
A girl with the gift of second sight is taken into the Imperial Court. Decades later she’s over 100 years old but never gave up hope that one of the Romanov children survived, the hope that there’s a heir to the throne somewhere. You can read my review here.
BONUS: The Romanov Cross by Robert Masello (my review here) and The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges (my review here)

Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
Massie is basically THE source for all things Romanov. Nicholas and Alexandra follows the Tsar and Tsarina from their meeting to their final moments and details not only the political aspect of their lives, but also who they were as people, as parents, and as a couple who loved each other.
The Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie
In this book Massie follows the scientific breakthroughs that arose when nine skeletons were discovered in a grave in 1991. Scientists from Russia, America, and Great Britain worked together to uncover the truth behind the fall of the Romanovs – including whether or not any of the children survived.
The Resurrection of the Romanovs by Greg King & Penny Wilson
In the 80s a novel was published that detailed the life of Anna Anderson, a woman who claimed to be Anastasia. She certainly knew her facts, but this was long before DNA testing came about. For decades the mystery thrived: was this woman really who she said she was? Published just a few years ago in 2010, The Resurrection of the Romanovs completely turns the mystery upside-down, going through the case and evidence and finally shedding light on the truth.
The Last Days of the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport
Rappaport is well on her way to earning herself a spot next to Massie in terms of go-to Romanov historians. While there are countless books about the family’s final days, Rappaport focuses on other witnesses to the murder: a British consul, an American journalist. She also takes a look at the Kaiser and King George V, both cousins of Alexandra and grandchildren of Queen Victoria.
The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
While many books focus solely on Anastasia, Rappaport combs through the lives of all four Romanov girls: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia – OTMA as they dubbed themselves. Letters, diary entries, and archival material were all used to recreate their lives and much of it is previously unpublished. I’m currently reading this one and look forward to getting to know these girls!
The Rasputin File by Edvard Radzinsky
You can’t have a list of Romanov reads without a book on Rasputin, the monk who wormed his way into their inner circle and prophesied their downfall.

Alexander I: The Tsar Who Defeated Napoleon by Marie-Pierre Rey
A handsome man known as The Sphinx, Alexander rose to power after the assassination of his father. When Napoleon’s troops burned Moscow in 1812, Alexander fought back, ultimately taking Paris and defeating the Emperor. This is one of the only biographies I’ve seen of this tsar.
Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky
Alexander II was known as the Liberator and Russia’s Lincoln. He freed 23 million slaves and reformed both the justice system and army. He was also quite the playboy and escaped numerous assassination attempts, finally falling victim to a bombing. I honestly know nothing about this man other than he was Nicholas II’s grandfather, but just the summary alone makes me want to read this biography!
Once a Grand Duchess by John Van der Kiste
This is a biography of Xenia, Grand Duchess and Nicholas II’s sister. During the Revolution, she fled to Europe, aiding wounded soldier in the First World War and ended up penniless in England. Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought her name was pretty fantastic!
Peter the Great by Robert K. Massie
This is the book that earned Massie his Pulitzer. Clocking in at over 900 pages, this definitely isn’t a lazy afternoon read, but I think it would be fascinating. Peter took the throne at 10 years old – I’m not surprised the book is so long!
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie
Massie’s most recent work. Catherine was a German noble who entered Russia at 14 and changed history.

11 thoughts on “Get Your Fix: Romanov edition!

  1. Ha I read The Curse of the Romanovs, too. It was…interesting. I agree with your review. First half, cool. Second half, eeehhh I’m less enthused.

    The Winter Palace was ok. I didn’t LOVE it, but I enjoyed it well enough. I prefer my historical fiction to focus on the actual historical person and not a fictional side character, so already it’s not exactly my cup of tea. There also wasn’t nearly as much historical tid bits for me, but it wasn’t devoid of them either. It was an interesting look at Catherine though, and it ends just fine as a standalone.

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