Monday, June 16, 2014

Lost in Russia

"You said it wasn’t your fault for being born rich 
any more than it was my fault for being born poor. 
And you’re right. 
But if we don’t do anything to fix the world, if we just shrug and let children starve and soldiers die and people be treated like cattle . . . 
if we don’t fix the world, Miss Kutepova, 
I believe it becomes our fault."
--J. Nelle Patrick, Tsarina

Genre: YA Historical Fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 352
Publication Date: February 27th, 2014
Source: Borrowed from Library
Goodreads Description

 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.
Location, Location, Location Let me tell you about the origin of my love for all things Russian. I won't lie to you here. I, like all little girls, was OBSESSED with the movie Anastasia. The dresses, the story, the loss, the palace, the finding of things thought lost, and the discovery that you're actually a LONG LOST PRINCESS?!?!? What little girl WOULDN'T want to be a Princess? So that's where it started and I always wanted to see the spires and colors of those amazing palaces...then I read the Vampire Academy and met Dmitri Belikov and I thought, 'I knew my obsession with Russian culture was legitimate' because...HELLO? Have you met Dmitri? Panty-dropping Russian bastard. Love of Russian men solidified. Pretty sure I wanted to look into if there was such a thing as mail-order husbands from there. And then...AND THEN I read The Bronze Horseman...*phew*....That's all I can say about that or this will turn into something else entirely. More Russian love, we'll leave it at that. So when I heard about Tsarina, imagine how much I wanted to read this book! A historical fiction about the Romanovs with magic involved...holla! So there's that. The description of the Winter Palace and Nevsky Prospekt was oxygen to the fire in my blood about this country.

The Story The idea of a magical egg that captured the magic of Rasputin was intriguing. I loved this spin on the story and seeing something that could have made things turn out differently. I loved reading about Alexei and the possibility of him leading a normal life. I've got a huge chunk of a book coming up all about the Romanovs that I'm excited to read and this look into the royal family is bumping it up my TBR list.

The Viewpoint The rebellion against the monarchy and the Tsar is something that has always fascinated me. The fact that the people could rise up and destroy not only an entire family but eradicate the entire monarchy is both fascinating as it is horrifying. Reading about the conflicting viewpoints of Natalya and Leo was fantastic. They both made excellent points which supported their view and I myself was torn on who I was rooting for. Both sides have good and bad and this is definitely not a black and white issue. My heart ached for both of them fighting to hard for what they believed in.

The Romance You know how much I love kissing books and while this is not a kissing book and I didn't expect it to be, I wanted more. I loved Natalya's support and love for Alexei but when I thought something was going to start turning the other way...the book ends...WHAT?! Is this a standalone? Is there more to this story? I need more. I needed more because I thought it had the potential to be a really romantic story, I just didn't vibe completely with it. I wanted and needed more emotion rather than just the subtle hints we got and then confusion at the end.

Reserved Seating
I really, really liked the story. I LOVED the setting. I loved the idea. The characters are great but it just lacked that emotional connection for me to really, really love it. 


  1. I have a slight (ok maybe more than slight) obsession with Russia too and I admit a big part of that has to do with my love for Anastasia (and Dimitri of course). I think the combination of Historical Fiction, magic and Russia will make me love this book and since i'm not AS big of a romance fan, the fact that there wasn't much of it hopefully won't be a problem for me! Great review! I am excited to read this one :)

  2. I agree with Nicole, the romance isn't that important to me so this sounds perfect :)
    Awesome review!

  3. I'm very curious about Tsarina! I really like books that feel inspired by or that put a twist on Russian history and culture. This one sounded great when I first heard of it, and your review definitely makes me want to pick it up. While I do like a good romance, the other elements of this novel are what make it irresistible!


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