40590407 Romanov by Nadine Brandes

ARC provided by the publisher for a fair review.
Publish date: May 7, 2019


The Romanovs are imprisoned and Anastasia is in charge of hiding a piece of magic that the Bolsheviks seem to be after. This bit of magic may be the only thing that can get them to safety, and she must bide her time while she waits for the magic to be ready to be released.

The Story

I really, really wanted to like this. Unfortunately it fell a little flat for me. I understand that Brandes was trying to do a retelling that stuck closer to the actual historical aspects, but oh my did this story sort of just…drag on. At least half of the book was spent with nothing really happening as the precedence of the family’s situation  of imprisonment was instilled. Aside from the lingering fact that Anastasia was hiding something it really just seemed like a day in and day out sort of story and I just wanted more.  Because Brandes was sticking so close to the facts in this retelling it didn’t really offer much in ways that the story could become more than just a magical history lesson of the Romanovs being imprisoned and then killed. I felt that she really could have taken a little bit more liberty in adding anything to the story to make it more interesting to read about.

The World Building

So this was the only place that I felt really came to life in this book, and honestly the only saving grace from a 1 star from me (since I basically forced myself to continue reading the book). I loved the idea of writing out spells with the magicked ink and how they came to fruition. Unfortunately, Anastasia was unlearned in the magic, and therefore we were too…and it became a little underdeveloped. Where we end up with the magic left me really unhappy, like this all powerful man is just hiding out in his little cabin while the royal family he bestowed the magic on is just…sitting in house arrest fearing for their lives?

The Characters

There is no question that Anastasia loved her family deeply in this book. However, I felt here character was a little two dimensional. She was supposed to be this little trickster, and I thought that I might find a little more entertainment from the book through some antics. But they were few and far between. Her sisters didn’t add much to the story, except the one bit where a Mr. Ivan was involved. Her love interest was lukewarm at best and amounted to mere need for attention that wasn’t so much as guarding as much as affection.

The Soundtrack

Alanis Morissette – Uninvited


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