Romanov by Nadine Brandes
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Expected publication: May 7th 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*
From the author of Fawkes comes a magical take on the story of Anastasia Romanov.
The history books say I died.
They don’t know the half of it.
Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.
Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are either to release the spell and deal with the consequences, or to enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .
That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.
I was SOO excited for this book! Historical Fiction mixed with Fantasy is some of my favorite combinations and it works brilliantly in this book! I love books with Russian culture/history in it and I just knew I was going to love this book. I’m so happy it didn’t disappoint!
First of all, the writing is beautiful! It completely immersed me in the story and it made it incredibly magical. I was gripped from the very start and read this in two sittings. I was just gonna check it out since there was still time until the release but I just couldn’t stop once I started… It’s a beautiful story featuring Anastasia and the Romanov family in a world where magic exists in the form of spells.
One thing I absolutely adored in this book is the family dynamics. It’s beautiful, and strong, and full of life even in the darkest times. I loved how connected they were and how much I could see their love for each other. It’s probably not the truth, and to be honest, I can’t really imagine it even possibly being the truth, but it was beautiful to read anyway.
This book mixes facts from what happened to the Romanov family into an amazing fantasy version of it. We see them in Tobolsk and in the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg in exile, which is a fact. Also, their execution holds to the truth. But what comes after that and in between, is just an amazing magical story, full of excitement, tragedy, sadness, and love. I also really enjoyed the Bolshevik’s part of the story. We could see their hate for what they believed to be true about the family and the change when able to get to know them. It was just done beautifully and I was all for it!
I loved the magic in this book. I don’t think I’ve read of any quite like it yet… It’s really unique and it fits the story perfectly! There’s something called spell mastery, which is a technique used to create spells out of magical ink, which is also illegal. I just found it really simple and interesting, and I would love to read more about it.
As for the Russian bits and pieces, I’m not Russian and although I love to read about Russian culture and history, I don’t know as much as I want to yet. So, I couldn’t really say if they were done well or not. I did know some of the basic words and those seemed right. As for the ones I didn’t know, I think they were put in a way that I was able to understand, and I think it was interesting to add them to the story. So, as for how the historical part was done well, I don’t really know, although I do plan to read more about the Romanov family. As a book for a person that knows only a bit about it, it was incredibly enjoyable, gripping and beautiful.
The romance in this book, it’s not a big one. It’s most of the time more of an implied one really, which I loved. It seemed more realistic this way and it didn’t take the majority of the book. I do like romance but I always tend to prefer if the book focuses more on family and friendship… I seem never to find books focusing more on that. They always jump to some yada yada of romance…
As I said in the beginning, historical fantasy is some of my favorite genres to read and this was definitely one that I could not put down. I loved everything about it and I would recommend it. But yeah, keep in mind that the facts are probably not all there… There’s a fair share of them, but a lot of fantasy and fiction in it too.
What did you think of it? Are you excited about this book? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!