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The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  9,653 ratings  ·  1,860 reviews
Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of R ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Schwartz & Wade
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Laura I'd definitely say it's appropriate for an adult book club!…moreI'd definitely say it's appropriate for an adult book club!(less)
Jenny Maloney No, sorry. Library book. It was recommended in the Plain Dealer a few months back. I really enjoyed it. Not my usual read. Made Gerry happy I was enjo…moreNo, sorry. Library book. It was recommended in the Plain Dealer a few months back. I really enjoyed it. Not my usual read. Made Gerry happy I was enjoying Russian history. (less)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Jessica
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow.

This was just superb. I kept hearing buzz so I picked it up at the library to just look through it and check out the pictures (there are two sections of photographs) and ended up fully engrossed, reading it from cover to cover in a day. I knew the facts of the Russian Revolution, and that the tsar and his family were murdered and the bodies lost and Rasputin was real weird and so on and so forth, but this takes you beyond the facts. Fleming paints a fascinating picture of Russia at the begin
...more
Donalyn
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It makes me cringe to see "perfect resource for meeting Common Core Standards" on a trade book blurb. Savvy teachers and librarians can determine how to use quality books.
Well-researched and artfully written. The best book I've read on the Romanovs for any age.
...more
Carol
Well Done!

This YA history was just enough for anyone wanting a general idea of what happened to the fall of the Romanovs, the last Tsar and Tsarina, Nicholas II and Alexandra and their beautiful family. What I really loved about this edition of the many books written about The Romanovs is the format the author, Candace Fleming used in presenting the story of the emperor and daily family life, then in chapters titled "Beyond the Palace Gates" which gave voice to the people. These clearly show Nic
...more
Alice Poon
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A breezy and concise historical account of Russia’s last imperial reign of Tsar Nicholas II, this non-fiction history book reads a lot like a novel.

Like with many other similar stretches of history, when viewed in retrospect, the course of events would seem to be so natural and predictable that it makes one wonder, had things been handled with more compassion and less hubris by those in power, if the odds of averting tragedies and disasters could’ve increased.

The Family Romanov gives an intimate
...more
Alaina
After reading about the Romanov family I definitely want to watch the movie Anastasia.

The Family Romanov: Murder Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia was so freaking good! It has definitely been a while since I've read about the Russian revolution, the Romanov family, and Rasputin. Before diving into this book, I feel liked I should say that knowing about Rasputin being real and shit still blows my mind and also makes me cringe. He was a creepy dude and I didn't like him one bit.

The facts
...more
Laura
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
"A blessing for the czar? Of course. May God bless and keep the czar...far away from us." ...more
BAM Endlessly Booked
The difference between this book and others about the Romanovs are the little vignettes between chapters in voices of the people suffering under a Czarist regime.

I still recommend Massie for anything Russia. No point in reading anyone but him. He's much more knowledge.
...more
Rachel
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle
I never knew I could read about Russian history and politics and be so captivated. It was such a dismal time and there was so much suffering. My heart feels heavy after getting to know the Romanovs and then seeing their brutal demise. Excellent read.
Amy Rae
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
You know, I thought I knew stuff about the Romanovs.

I had a well-worn copy of Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story as a kid. I learned about her (and the rest of her family) in eighth grade from poor Mrs. Reilly, who clearly was tired of fielding questions about the animated film (which, imo, is fantastic in every sense of the word); she started our Russia unit by informing us all that despite what we might have seen, Anastasia died with the rest of her family
...more
Katherine
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, nonfiction
This nonfiction book about the Romanovs and the citizens they ruled was both hilarious and heartbreaking. What happened to this family was a tragedy, I don't deny it, but in reading this book it became apparent that they truly were entirely oblivious to the nation they were purported to lead. With this work, Candace Fleming has created an excellent family and national biography that reads like a work of fiction but is completely true--which may be the most shocking part of all. ...more
Martha Trzepacz
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect biography! Ms. Fleming has brought the "Family Romanov" to light with those small personal touches that make people come alive. Throw in a little early 20th century Russian political history, some first person accounts of the average daily life and you have a great read. Despite the fact that we know the how the story ends, the author has managed to to add an atmosphere of suspense. Interested in Russian history or just like a good biography,don' t miss this one. ...more
Josiah
Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it
If there's a hint of a good story somewhere in the past, Candace Fleming has a talent for extracting it from the timeline with perfect precision, not overlooking a single sentence from the historical record that adds pathos or relevance to the narrative. She's capable of turning even a moderately interesting historical tale into something good, and had so much more than that to work with in the saga of the Romanovs, a royal dynasty predating Czar Nicholas II's coronation by close to three hundre ...more
Amy
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I walked into this book knowing only the basics. I knew there was a tsar, Nicholas II, then a revolution, then he and his family were killed. The first part of this book highlights the complete and utter incompetence and complacency of the last tsar of Russia. As a leader, he was a total failure in a very "let them eat cake" kind of way. While his terribly unprepared and unprovisioned soldiers were at war with Germany, the government was also fighting battles with the starving citizens of the co ...more
Claire
What to say except that this is one of the great stories of history and I never tire of it. This book does a great job of making a complex narrative both clear and human. An accessible, engaging read.
Chelsea
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Considering that my knowledge of this period of history can be summed up by:

1.) The animated classic Anastasia and
2.) Subpar world history lessons in the American school system

I learned sooo much from this book. Mainly that being Russian royalty would have been SO awesome and being a Russian peasant/factory worker would have sucked so, so, so hard. Which, really, isn't surprising and isn't specific to pre-revolutionary Russia. I also learned that Lenin had very little to do with the overthrow of
...more
Kali
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was really delightful! I absolutely loved the writing, I did not think it was wordy and the way it mixed story and fact together was seamless. I feel like I know WAY more than I did before, and this book has really interested me in Russia and it’s history, so I will definitely be picking up more books about it in the future.

I honestly have no reason not to rate it 5 stars, other than the fact that it was just...missing something? I can’t explain it because I really have no idea what I’
...more
Mindy Taylor
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book days ago and cannot stop thinking about it! 5 stars! ⭐️

Who would’ve guessed a non fiction book about Russian politics and history could be so so good?! It had been in my library wish list for a long time but I kept putting it off. I should’ve picked it up sooner!

Seriously this story is fascinating. I knew very little about the Russian revolution and rise of communism there. The author used individual diaries (the royal family kept detailed journals for years), newspaper art
...more
Heather
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, teen
One of the best books I've read this year. Utterly captivating. I'm ashamed to admit I'm not real up on my world history, particularly this time period, or for that matter, Russia. I mean, Russia...
This book is three stories in one; first, an intimate look at the Romanovs themselves. Second, the story of the revolution that began with the workers' strikes of 1905 to Lenin's rise to power in 1917. And thirdly and the most heartbreaking part is the personal stories of the peasants, the men and wom
...more
A.L. Sowards
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t realize this was a YA history book when I checked the ebook out from the library. But I don’t regret reading it. I’ve read things about that time period before, but not focused on the Romanovs, so it was a good introduction. The writing was accessible and had good flow. The author really brought the family to life. The author also did a good job of showing the overall political atmosphere of Russia and the Soviet takeover.

It’s a sad part of history. Nicholas wasn’t a very good leader. I
...more
BookishStitcher
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5

I would definitely use this for a non-fiction unit. I'm having fun coming up with library or classroom ideas for this book.
...more
Rachael
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have to make a confession. Though we diligently try to include at least one work of nonfiction in our Mock Newbery discussions, in my heart of hearts I rarely find it as distinguished as the fiction and poetry it's up against. There have been some very well-crafted works of narrative nonfiction in the past ten years, but, to my mind, none of them has displayed the alchemical combination of plot, character, setting, style, and theme that distinguishes the best fiction.

Until now. The Family Roma
...more
Jeanette
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a youth read giving much of the background reality to the state of Russia and its governance during the decades before the Fall of the Imperial structure and the family who reigned as Emperor/ Empress.

This catches the quirky and superstitious mindset of the royalty. And frankly too of the Russian general culture. Religion and hierarchy and much else of educational structure seated in beliefs that magic and occult powers (pre-destination too) existed above almost all other realities.

Trul
...more
Liza Fireman
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a rich family, so rich that it is hard to imagine: blazed with light, its massive crystal and gold chandeliers reflected a hundred times in the mirrored walls of its cathedral-size reception rooms.It is a story about a family with a ruler that didn't rule. He lived far away of his people, and didn't see what's going on, didn't see even when it got to an end.
And maybe more than anything else, it is a story about a woman, heart broken with a sick child, that would believe in
...more
Misty Baker
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
**As posted on KindleObsessed blog**



There is a pretty famous quote by Edmund Burke that says:

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

And, for as much weight as this is worth, I agree one hundred percent. Agreeing however, has done nothing to inspire my desire to learn. It’s fairly safe to assume that (with the exception of maybe 3 key historical figures and 1 major war) I am NOT going to win any history prizes anytime soon.

The long and the short of it… I find it difficult to tru
...more
Alyssa
May 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fleming is a great writer of nonfiction, weaving strong narrative with first-hand accounts of Russian people. The details about Rasputin and his odd 'hypnosis' of Empress Alexandra are fascinating.

The end of the book is sort of awkward. In one page, Fleming summarizes Lenin's death, Stalin's reign, and the 70 years before the fall of the Soviet Union. It feels rushed. If she was going to include that in this book, she should have devoted more pages to it.

Every time I read one of Fleming's books,
...more
Jasmine
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Read this as a complement to Carolyn Meyer’s “Anastasia and Her Sisters.” Feel free to hold out on Meyer’s book though - Fleming’s reads way better and is much more engaging.
Katherine "Kj" Joslin
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-june
I have always had a curiosity about the Romanov family and this book was really intriguing. I didn't love the prologue and was worried the whole book would be dry but the rest of the book was well done and I could not put it down. ...more
Kate
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Major understatement here....but) sheeeeesh that was rough.
Courteney Hooks
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, did the animated Anastasia lie to me...
Joan
It is one of the contestants for BOB (Battle of the Books put on by School Library Journal) and has been talked about as a possible Newbery award title. I found it excellent. Fleming doesn't just drag you through the oh-those-pathetic-children stuff, she goes much deeper. She shows what life was like for the ordinary people under the Tsar's rule (and pointed out things didn't changed much for that class under the Soviets but didn't mention today's life for them which will keep the book from bein ...more
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I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family's trip to Paris, France.

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