Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen

Orphaned as a teenager, Darya Borisovna Spriridova, is taken into the Russian court where she is responsible for the care of the child heir to the throne.

Told retrospectively in the 1990’s,  Darya continues to be haunted by the time she spent with the royal family.  Her one remaining desire is to find the missing heir, whose body was not found amidst the remains of the Romanov killings.  She remains convinced of his survival and the ability for him to reinstate the monarchy.

Set amidst the splendour of the royal court and the contrasting political turmoil of Russia’s most violent period in history, the story recreates the final years in the Romanov palace and explores the reasons behind the massacre of the Royal family.  This subject matter has been told in many good novels before but it is very obvious from the beginning that this novel has been fully researched and intelligently told.  Dora Levy Mossanen, retells this story with a sensitivity missing from some other works.

The events are portrayed uniquely through the eyes of the main protagonist, Darya, who is a fascinating character.  Sometimes called a sorceress, other times an Opal Eyed Queen, she is full of mysticism, love and passion.  It is through her eyes that we witness the historical details of the period and the author enhances these historical facts through Dayra’s mystical encounters.  For me, this gave a whole new perspective to a familiar story and demonstrates Mossanen’s skills as a story teller. Adding a magical realism element to the story made this come alive and become incredibly readable.

I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical novels, romance or magical realism.  I was fortunate enough to take advantage of offering this as a free kindle download in August 2012 but had I paid for this I would have considered it money well spent.

This is the first time I have read anything by  Dora Levy Mossanen and I am always excited to discover a new to me author.  I am thrilled to learn that she has written three other novels, Harem, Courtesan and Scent of Butterflies, all of which I hope to read following this excellent novel.

ISBN:   9781402265945

Publisher:  Sourcebooks

Price (based on today’s price for kindle edition):  £4.01

Total savings to date:  £98.72

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