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The Jewel of St. Petersburg (The Russian Concubine 0)

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  2,533 ratings  ·  260 reviews
Russia, 1910. Valentina Ivanova is the darling of St. Petersburg's elite aristocracy-until her romance with a Danish engineer creates a terrible scandal and her parents push her into a loveless engagement with a Russian count.

Meanwhile, Russia itself is bound for rebellion. With the Tsar and the Duma at each other's throats, and the Bolsheviks drawing their battle lines,
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Paperback, 455 pages
Published 2010 by Sphere
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tina
I really wanted to like this book. I love historical fiction and was very excited to read a book set during the Russian Revolution. That being said, this book fell flat in a lot of areas. The characters were empty shells. I found myself only really caring about the secondary characters. Actually, just one: Liev. And perhaps the doctor's daughter, who makes only cameo appearances. Jens and Valentina? Not so much. I didn't dislike either of them; they were just too good, too flawless. Valentina pl ...more
Iliada
This book is a prequel even though it was published after the other two books in the series. If you read this one first, as happened with me, it's a five star! If you're reading it after the other two books in the series, I'm not sure it's worth it. This book was really good but I find that the heroine, Lydia's mother, is really changed for the worst in the first book of the series (second in a chronological order), so you end up hating her, or believing it's not the same person. However, I'm tr ...more
Kristy
run–of–the–mill: not outstanding in quality or rarity.

This book hits the mark of mediocracy. It has it's enduring moments, yes, but on the whole it's not amazing.

Set in Russia, the year is 1910. The Russian people are rallying. They want a better life, they want Czar Nicholas and all the Romanovs gone. Valentina has lived a life of supposed luxary. From the outside looking in, she appears to be just another aristocrat living the high life. Little does the outside world know, she is looking after
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Marcie
I know I say this a lot, but I really liked this book. My favorite part of the book was the setting. I love that it was set in Russia during the revolution. There was so much turmoil and unrest during this time that it definitely added a raw grittiness to the story. There were a lot of characters in this book, but not so many that you lose track. The story focuses on Valentina. She is from the aristocratic society whose path is already predetermined. Valentina decides to buck the system and make ...more
Silver
I really enjoyed Furnivall's The Russian Concubine so I was quite looking forward to reading the other books in the series. I have to say I found this book was not quite as good as Russian Concubine was. In part I think it was because of how much I loved the characters from Russian Concubine which were not within this story. While it was interesting seeing the background on the life of Valencia, Lydia's mother,to try and better understand her character within the Russian Concubine.

I will say on
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Rosanne Lortz
In the years leading up to the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks agitate for change causing unrest throughout all of Russia. Valentina Ivanovna, a young Russian noblewoman, experiences their violence when a bomb blows up her father’s study permanently injuring her younger sister Katya. Consumed by an unwarranted guilt for this event, Valentina determines to devote the rest of her life to her sister’s wellbeing.

Valentina, like many other aristocratic ladies, has been brought up to marry well and
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Jilly
While I really enjoyed reading the first two books this one was rather disappointing. I knew it would be a prequel to the first book which was mostly about Lydia. We were supposed to learn more about her parents and the hardships they endured while in Russia and when fleeing Russia.

Now if you've read the first book you already know what will happen. You know what I mean when I say this book is misleading. I fully expected the ending to be different and less reassuring and felt mildly disappointe
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Elizabeth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Rayment
The Good Stuff

* Exciting opening chapter, grabs your attention and makes you want to keep reading
* Descriptions of the scenery are breathtakingly written, you feel you could reach out and touch the landscape
* Epic story up there with Gone with the Wind, The Thorn Birds, etc. If this isn't made into a movie I will be totally surprised
* Couldn't put the book down and now I am dying to get my hands on a copy of The Russian Concubine
* Realistic characters dealing with horrendous choices and str
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Kamilla
it's ok nothing great or remarkable or as engaging as the russian concubine. There were a lot of disappointments with the story and Valetina's character i also feel like there were some HUGE plot holes......(spoiler alert) she gets pregnant but her parents still want her to marry another man she hasn't slept with.... it had me scratching my head the entire time I mean that's kinda a no argument at this point and like the other guy would even marry her..... I think that's the thing there was this ...more
Natalie
Now is a moment where I find the 5 star system insufficient. I liked this book a lot. I probably cried at least once. I was fully engaged. I don't want to give it a 3 because i liked it a lot. But a 4 seems to unfairly align it with some books which are way out of its league.

Regardless, I did like it.
Amy
Aug 02, 2010 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!!!!!
Author Kate Furnivall has written an utterly engrossing story of Valentina Ivanova, a daughter to the finance minister to Tsar Nicholas II, set in St. Petersburg during a time of great civil unrest in Russia’s history. The working class and poor are getting more desperate every day as they fight starvation and disease or get injured, maimed or killed at the un-safe factories they are forced to work in while the upper class grow more rich and spend more extravagantly. The Revolutionaries are kill ...more
Jodi
This book was written last as part of the trilogy, but it's actually the prequel to "The Russian Concubine." I read the whole book before I realized that I was reading the prequel! It had been 3 years since I had read "The Russian Concubine," so I had forgotten the characters names, etc... Once I realized it was the prequel, I then reread "The Russian Concubine" and finished it up w/ the 3rd book in the series. I enjoyed all of the books in the series, but this one ended up being my favorite. It ...more
Sandra Olshaski
The Jewel of St. Petersburg by Kate Furnivall (Rated: P: mild, S)
Berkley Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-0-425-23423-5
Published: August 7, 2010
Trade Paperback, 410 pages


I can rarely resist a book that either contains the name St. Petersburg in the title or promises a good tale with that city as its backdrop. I wasn’t disappointed as Kate Furnivall wove a tale of intrigue, treachery, loyalty, rebellion and love in pre-revolution Russia.

It is 1910 and Tsar Nicholas Romanov sits on the throne and as the
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Amy Lignor
Historical fiction at its finest (and I am not over exaggerating). Not since Pam Jenoff�s, The Kommandant�s Girl, have I literally felt pulled back through time because of the fantastic storytelling of a truly brilliant author. Not only that, but as a true fan of Tsar Nicholas II, Alexandra, Rasputin, and that whole time period, this could not have dropped into the lap of a better reviewer.

We begin our story with young Valentina Ivanova. Now Valentina is a much beloved character already; she de
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Sophia
*spoiler alert* Overall I liked the book. It was however predictable until the end I wasn't sure what was going to happen. The last page is probably the best unless your copy contains the first few pages of The Russian concubine(I have not read either of the other books in the series). The begining pages just pissed me off. Valentina went through so much lost her entire family finally got her hubby back only for him to be taken from her again. Does this upset any one else that read the series? I ...more
ilona
Knjiga koja mi je u ovom trenutku potpuno legla. Rusija (sa puno snega, da me zelja mine), vreme pred revoluciju (opisano taman koliko treba), vrlo jak zenski karakter, neizvesno do samog kraja. Nastavljam sa preostale dve iz serije.
Amanda
Total historical fiction fluff about Pre-Revolutionary Russia that can be read in a day or two even though it seems to drag on interminably. I also find it really irksome that the author sprinkles random Russian words throughout the novel followed immediately by their English equivalents. Pick one or the other.
Imagine how dreary Clockwork Orange would have been if Burgess had written lines like, "There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, friends, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim. And we sat
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Lisa
I really enjoyed this book, romance, history, betrayal, simmering anger at political figures, I really liked the lead female, she showed strength and courage in a time when girls/women were to do as their told, (by men)

Her love affair with the Danish engineer was beautiful and tugged at the heart, at first I felt sorry for the arkin character but then true colours were shown and I really disliked him. Well written and the characters were enjoyable too
Cassandra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suze
I'm uncertain how historically correct this book is, but you know what? I don't care one bit! It was exciting, mysterious, sexy, sad and made me feel what it must have been like to live in Russia in that era. No wonder there was a revolution!
The rich controlled everything and cared nothing at all about the poor, common citizens.

The characters were easy to love....or to hate. Some I just couldn't understand, as I'll never understand deliberate cruelty and savageness. Perhaps frustration and hunge
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Thom Swennes
You will witness, first hand, the demise of an obsolete system through protest, revolt and terror. With the dawn of the twentieth century, Russia lags far behind the rest of Europe in the changes to industrialization and social reform. The hated serf system has been formally abolished but still exists in towns and cities where the peasants have migrated to from the country. Low wages, filth, ignorance and poverty keep the two class social system at opposite ends of the spectrum. Young Valentina ...more
Darlene Jones
I'm ticked with Furnivall. I lose sleep after reading her books. Yes, the character portrayals are that vivid and intriguing. Yes, the settings are that vivid and evocative. Set during the last of the Tsar's and the beginnings of the revolution, The Jewel of St. Petersburg is spellbinding.
Siobhan
This book was okay. I probably expected a bit too much. It was similar to the last Furnivall book I read. Strong heroine manages to overcome just about every horrible thing that happens to her because she is beautiful. Yawn.
Y. C.
So so so beautiful... I love historical romance, but that was off the charts good. I haven't read the other two books where Valentina turns hateful, so I think this opinion is unbiased.

Diane
The prequel to The Russian Concubine, this book tells the story of Lydia's mother Valentina and their eventual escape from Russia during the revolution. Probably an even better story than the first, the setting and storytelling are first rate, however I almost wish I had read this book first because by the second book, Valentina has been pretty much destroyed by the events of her life. I would suggest reading the books in chronological order as opposed to the order in which they were written. Hi ...more
Norma
grand story, location period in history.. will love the movie if and when.
extremes of poverty,ignorance and suffering and then wealth beyond measure.
Kelly
The 3 star rating seems a bit harsh because the last 150 pages were a strong 4. But the first 135 pages were a struggle for me.

Karen
I forgot to log this book right after I read it as I was traveling. Oops. It was a very good read.
Mom2nine
Furnivall weaves a story, like the rest of her novels, I did not want to put this one down. This one did not stand up to the other two of this series. It just did not ring true. The easiest place to point out is the control that both mother and daughter have over men because they are so beautiful. Powerful men and a revolutionary and they just have to drop their dresses. Really? Was sex in such short supply? Liev, the stableman was the most like-able character, somehow I don't think that should ...more
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Kate Furnivall was raised in Penarth, a small seaside town in Wales. Her mother, whose own childhood was spent in Russia, China and India, discovered at an early age that the world around us is so volatile, that the only things of true value are those inside your head and your heart. These values Kate explores in The Russian Concubine.

Kate went to London University where she studied English and fr
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More about Kate Furnivall...

Other Books in the Series

The Russian Concubine (3 books)
  • The Russian Concubine (The Russian Concubine, #1)
  • The Girl from Junchow (The Russian Concubine, #2)
The Russian Concubine (The Russian Concubine, #1) The Red Scarf The Girl from Junchow (The Russian Concubine, #2) The White Pearl Shadows on the Nile

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“She always paid attention to fingers rather than faces because they told so much more. People remembered to guard their faces. They forgot their hands. Her own were small, though strong and supple from all the hours of piano playing, but what use was that now? For the first time she understood what real danger does to the human mind, as flat white fear froze the coils of her brain.” 2 likes
“To sjećanje izmamilo joj je osmijeh na lice i ona je pustila da joj misli polete prema njemu kao pčele koje slijede neodoljivi miris orhideje.Nije se borila protiv toga.Ne ovaj put.Samo noćas,dopustit će si slatko,bestežinsko zadovoljstvo da sklizne natrag u prošlost.” 2 likes
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