Danielle's Reviews > The Romanov Bride

The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander
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's review
May 23, 08

bookshelves: historical-novel
Recommended for: fans of historical fiction, Russian history buffs
Read in May, 2008

This is the third book from Robert Alexander, and like the two previous books, it is set during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. This book follows the paths of two victims of tragedy; Pavel, the worker turned revolutionary assassin, and Ella, sister to the Empress Alexandra and Romanov princess.

Alexander explores the two very different paths taken. For Pavel, the murder of his wife and unborn child leads him to revenge and hatred. At many times, he seems to be acting purely through the direction and orders of others--perhaps that way he doesn't need to explore his conscience. He is almost machine-like in the way that he carries out his duties, but unlike a machine there is a deep rage and hatred the fuels his gruesome actions.

Ella, whose husband is assassinated, doesn't rage against those who killed him--instead she follows a path of love. She truly believes that the Russian people are like good children--obedient and loving but easily led by their emotions and ugly rumors. She makes it her life's mission to reduce the suffering of her adopted homeland and becomes a nun. Her duty is to all the wounded, suffering, dying, and orphaned--and their welfare influences her decisions.

In many ways, this book was depressing. Virtually every reader knows enough Russian history to know that the revolutionaries do overthrow the government, so reading sections where things could have gone differently or how the revolution resorted to blatant lies and manipulation to destroy the government (and the lives of so many innocents), was very difficult.

However, it is a book that provides much to think about/reflect on. The Russian Revolution is one of the critical eras that the world should not forget--this particular history need not repeat itself. This book made the suffering of the common people very real for me, and I sympathized with the starving, confused, and hurting masses.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Paula This was very well researched, but there could have been more personal detail included. I often felt the author was simply quoting Ella's letters instead of writing dialogue.

Julie This was a great review and really touched on a lot of things I felt while reading the book.

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