kari's Reviews > The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar

The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
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Jan 05, 11

bookshelves: 2011, 5-star
Read in January, 2011

The story of the last Tsar of Russia and his family as seen through the eyes of one of their servants, the kitchen boy, Leonka. The details of the daily life, the hopes and fears the family endured in their last days, are played out with warmth and sympahty. The Tsar is portrayed as a loving family man and the portrait created of him and the Tsaritsa and their children is beautifully drawn.
It's written in such a way that you can feel the tension getting worse as the end nears and you'll be drawn into their hopes for rescue, even though you know that isn't going to happen.
The twists at the end are truly surprising twists that I didn't anticipate. I thought I knew what the twist was, even though I wasn't suspecting it. I thought I understood what had happened and I was completely fooled. I love that. Excellently done.
Want to add that I really really liked all the Russian words and phrases throughout the book. They added some good texture and depth to the narrator's voice which made this book more real, reminding me that we were in a Russian world. I liked that the Russian words were followed by translations, although by the story's end I started to know some of the phrases by having read them several times. I really appreciated this addition to the story.
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