Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The Lost Crown
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011
Source: Recieved a free ARC via Simon & Schuster's Galleygrab program in exchange for an honest review.
This was a hard book to read. It covers the years 1914-1918 from the alternating perspectives of the final four Russian Grand-Duchesses: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, daughters of Tsar Nicholas II and brutally murdered by Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. As I read, I kept waiting for the girls to realize the danger they were in and although they knew it was not good, they didn't, they couldn't have known their final outcome. It was absolutely heartbreaking.
The writing was fantastic; I felt completely immersed in their world. Traveling from peace to their nursing work to their days in increasingly cramped living quarters, I liked being with the girls. They each had a distinct personality but I found their chapters difficult to differentiate as their voices were similar. Luckily each started with a picture and the name of the girl so I could keep track. They were sweet girls if somewhat naive and uneducated, which only made my feelings of foreboding worse. I mean, I felt physically sick from worrying over them. I wanted to change the course of history to protect them but I could only read on.
Thus I recommend this for those already familiar with the Romanovs and for the stouthearted. I barely made it through (and yes it does end with their execution) so if that sounds like too much for you, then stay away! But it really is a good book, just a tough topic.