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The Crown and the Crucible (The Russians, #1)
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The Crown and the Crucible (The Russians #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  1,827 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Follows the friendship of a peasant girl and the daughter of a prince and Imperial minister in 1870s Russia. The Russians book 1.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 1991)
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Redeeming Love by Francine RiversA Voice in the Wind by Francine RiversAn Echo in the Darkness by Francine RiversAs Sure as the Dawn by Francine RiversThe Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
Best Christian Historical Fiction
462nd out of 899 books — 1,032 voters
The Crown and the Crucible by Michael R. PhillipsThe Code Within by S. L. JonesRasputin's Daughter by Robert AlexanderThe Kitchen Boy by Robert AlexanderAggressor by Andy McNab
1st out of 42 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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I read this book one summer when I was starting to fall in love with romance novels and just didn't know any Christian romance existed. Imperial Russia has always been a fascination of mine (Anastasia anyone?) so I was excited to read this. It was so beautifully written. The story of love, growth, faith, position....everything was so well done! The character development was very believable. I would recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction and a good romance!
Oh Christian Fiction. It's been a long haul. You really have been bad lately. So much so that I was starting to wonder whether I would ever be able to find a good Christian Fiction book out there.

Thank you, The Crown and the Crucible, for reminding me that yes, Christian Fiction can sometimes be good. Or even better than good, awesome.

The novel is basically a look into life in Tsarist Russia in the late 1800s, showing pretty much every sort of person you can imagine; from a poor servant and her
I read part of this series as a child and loved it. I'm re-reading it so that I can get through the whole story. I have found a love for historical fiction and because of one of my cousin's early interests in Tsarist Russia the time period this book takes place in fascinates me. It is a heart-warming love story and a story about two girls, seperated by class distinction who are brought together and become friends. The strength of Anna's character and how she shows God's love to everyone she meet ...more
I'm going back to some Old School Inspirational. The Crown and the Crucible is full of Russian history with an interesting story tied into it.

The Crown and the Crucible was a good quality Inspirational Fiction for those looking for recommendations.

I read this series nearly a decade ago, but they left a lasting impression with me.

I fell in love with each of the characters. I rooted them on; cried when they failed, laughed when they succeeded. As their stories unfolded, I had hopes and dreams for them too, as if they were my very own friends.

This story and its successors (including the Daughters of Fortune trilogy) gave me a love of Russian history and the desire to know more, for which I will always be thankful.
Nicole Pramik
I first read this novel as a teen when my reading interests had long since passed the usual books girls my age at the time were reading. I wanted something big, but not too big, and something interesting, so I picked up this novel. It was one of my most-read books back then and I still enjoy it years later.

The plot structure is fairly basic but holds its hold and is paced nicely: Anna Burenin is the teenage daughter of Russian peasants. When the family suffers hard times, Anna is granted employm
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Zoe Scrivener
Three stars for writing craft: I felt like there was altogether too much telling rather than showing. By the end of the book, I was sick and tired of being told that Anna's presence had caused an improvement in Katrina/that the girls mutually benefited each other's character. I don't want it shoved in my face, I want to see it happening more. The writing was good enough that I could have seen it by myself. I'm not stupid. ;) There were also some leading sentences, which bug me.

Four stars for plo
A great introduction to Russian history. What a fascinating place!! On top of that the authors have managed to create some wonderful and complex characters. I hope that they continue to develop and grow throughout the series.

The under current of revolution adds much to this story of a peasant girl and her mistress, a princess of Russia. The religious undertone, which pops up every once in a while adds depth without being overwhelming. I find sometimes with Christian fiction the story can become
This entire serie was very sweet and I learned a lot by reading it. Having read this book gave me a more "personal" relationship to the subject when I was assigned an essay about the Russian Revolution in school a while later, and it helped me understand that world a little better and gave me insight in the subject.
It has been awhile since I read this book. I enjoy history and found this book very enjoyable. It is set before the Russian Revolution and the first book in the Russian series. One of the main character Anna is for a small village and goes to work for a wealthy family in St. Petersburg where she becomes a maid to the Princess Katrina. They become good friends and Anna leads her to the Lord. Katrina's brother, Prince Sergei falls in love with Anna even though she is a peasant girl. Anna's brother ...more
Amanda Sleeper
Great Christian, historical fiction. From what I remember, the Christian themes were not too overbearing. I don't like Christian fiction that tries too hard at proseletizing as if it is a commercial for Jesus. I like it when they leave that to the non-fiction.
This series is out of print & I finally went to the library to get copies and am so glad I did. I was hooked from the start. If you like historical novels with a lot of interesting facts as well as some romance, I highly recommend this series. It really lets you see into the minds & hearts of the Russian people during a time of major political unrest & change. An unlikely romance between a servant girl & the prince as well as an unlikely friendship between the servant girl & ...more
My first foray into Russian history and culture. This historical novel is the beginning of a series, and if they all measure up, I'm in for many hours of great reading!
Alun prologi oli kyllä juonen kannalta turha ja välillä ärsyttivät infodumppaukset. Juoni oli välillä arvattavissa, mutta ei tämä missään vaiheessa tylsä tai huono ollut. Aion kokeilla myös jatko-osia.
Great characters and fascinating setting. Just enough historical information to be interesting, but not boring.
Jul 03, 2015 Audrey marked it as to-read
The cover makes me ill, but I used to really enjoy his books and I love Russia ...
This was the second time i've read this book. The first time was, I believe, 5 years ago.
I've only read the first 4 books of this serie back then (because they aren't all translated to Dutch), so I wanted to start over and read the last 3 in English. Now I'm not so sure I will continue.
In my memory I liked the first 4 books very much, but now I've read The Crown and the Crucible and I found it very wordy. It took me weeks to finish this book due to all the (in my opinion) boring details about
Loved this series when I read it in seventh grade!
I love historical fiction. I must admit though that Michael Phillips is probably an acquired taste, because he is so deep theologically, but I enjoy that and learn from it. Two of christian fiction's finest authors, Michael Phillips and Judith Pella, have really brought together a storyline and characters that have taught me so much about Russian history and society during the late 1800's. It starts with two girls from opposite ends of the spectrum and shows how their faith and lives change as p ...more
Lots of character building, setting and political/historical context is given which is needed, but slows the book down in places. I think the sequel will be more fast-moving. Lives intersect as Anna, a peasant girl, moves to St. Petersburg to work for a wealthy, high class family. After being promoted from kitchen girl, to personal servant to Princess Kathryn lives change all around. The Tsar is at war and a couple characters move from everyday lives to the front.

Favorite quote: "About life. Is
I really loved this book! As a Russophile, it is hard to find romance books based in Russia (or anywhere in Eastern Europe, for that matter). One of the things I loved was the Cast of Characters at the beginning of the book. I didn't need to look back at the list, but it was nice to know it was there in case I did need it. Some books have way too many characters. This story has quite a few, but they are so well written (even the minor characters) that it's impossible to forget them. I will defin ...more
This historical fiction book is set in the 19th century Russia. The prologue is really good and informative about the history of Russia. The authors are "Christian" writers and so there is a definite religious overtone to the book. At times it was a little drippy and at times it was a little too graphic. Maybe I'm just being hard to please. I can't decide if I'm going to read the next books in the series or not.
Sometimes I read Christian fiction. But really only if it involves Russians or Amish people.

This series was okay. I mostly liked it because I'm such a Slavophile. I didn't like the sixth book as much as the others. I also wasn't a fan of the fact that it was basically a constant shitstorm raining down upon one family. Seriously, after a while it's just like, How many more things can possibly go wrong in your lives?
I read this in elementary school believe it or not...and it remains today one of my favorite books (and series). I love seeing into the lives of Russian royalty during the time period and having it contrasted with the simple day to day lives of the peasants and how the friendship of two young girls intertwine both worlds.
Seems the simplicity of one of the character's faith is providing comfort. I appreciate that.
This was a well-written and truly interesting historical subtly Christian novel that begins a series set in Russia in the 1870s and 80s. All of the characters are well drawn, and most of them are also likeable. I really enjoyed the novel and am looking forward to reading more of the series.
Aug 14, 2008 Art rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Art by: anyone
I enjoyed reading this series of books because of the research that went into the period of Russian History.
I enjoy reading Russian History and this way that the authors weaved fiction and fact together was well done.
I actually thought that I was living the lives of the characters.
I can see why this series is about 8 books long. In a book of about 400 pages we are still barley getting to know any of the characters. I am curious to see where the story goes and will probably keep reading but it isn't one of those series that I have to read them right away.
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Librarian Note: there is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database.

Michael Phillips has been writing in the Christian marketplace for 30 years. All told, he has written, co-written, and edited some 110 books. Phillips and his wife live in the U.S., and make their second home in Scotland.
More about Michael R. Phillips...

Other Books in the Series

The Russians (7 books)
  • A House Divided (The Russians, #2)
  • Travail and Triumph (The Russians, #3)
  • Heirs of the Motherland (The Russians, #4)
  • The Dawning of Deliverance (The Russians, #5)
  • White Nights, Red Morning (The Russians, #6)
  • Passage Into Light (The Russians, #7)

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