The Last Romanov
Knowing so very little about this fascinating Russian Royal family’s history, I jumped at the opportunity to read The Last Romanov, by Dora Levy Mossanen (Sourcebooks).
This is the story based on the life and times of the Romanov’s with a specific focus on Alexei's royal nanny, Darya (fictitious character). Rich in period history, Dora Levy Mossanen has written a vividly imaginative historical fiction for those who love a bit of magic sprinkled in their reading.
I, however, mostly enjoyed reading some of the details that dealt with day-to day living of this royal family. The Tsar and Tsarina were both loving and fiercely dedicated to their family. Their devotion to keeping Alexei, the future heir of Russia, safe from physical harm and danger-while safeguarding this secret from the world, was almost all-consuming and borderline obsessive (but understandingly so). I felt for them as parents.
Along those lines of total devotion surfaces the care and loyalty of Darya Borodina (whom the story is mostly about). With special, almost supernatural, powers (an opal eye) and with the help of an ‘ambergris’ mineral that gave strength, protection- with some hallucinatory properties, Darya helped preserve the Tsarevich’s health...up until the dreadful massacre that put a tragic end to this royal family.
From thereon, Darya spends her days hoping to find the ‘lost’ Alexei and prove that he was not murdered; in order to bring him back to his rightful position to the throne.
Surrounding the basic history of the Romanovs, the author spins a tale of magic, love, supernatural forces, past lives and more to tell another side of what might have been to the history of this majestically royal family.
Lovers of fantasy mixed with historical writing will enjoy this one.