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The State Counsellor

(Erast Fandorin Mysteries #6)

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  4,071 ratings  ·  130 reviews
Since the publication of The Winter Queen, a New York Times Notable Book and the first mystery featuring Erast Fandorin, Boris Akunin’s historical mystery series has become a worldwide sensation, selling millions of copies and propelling Akunin into the ranks of Russia’s most widely read contemporary novelists. The first new Fandorin novel available to an American audience ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Mysterious Press (first published 1999)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  4,071 ratings  ·  130 reviews


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Start your review of The State Counsellor (Erast Fandorin, #6)
Sofia
Action packed smoothness complete with complicated interesting characters, yes Green and Erast Petrovich, I am talking about you. But not only about you but all the others as well. In this story which could have easily been superficially presented as a good vs bad story, we get instead the shades of grey which all sides of a story have. And so we get character driven writing. With people who even in their 'baddest' moments make us connect to their humanness.

Akunin's plot is enjoyably labyrinthin
...more
Assaph Mehr
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this political-thriller type mystery, Fandorin is trying to clear his name from an attempted-murder charge by catching the real culprit. One of the better mysteries in the series, it is also notable for Oleg Menshikov movie performance as Fandorin. One cannot imagine the character to look any other way.

What to Expect

Each novel is written as a different type of mystery. Akunin set out to rectify the low-brow reputation of the mystery genre in post-USSR Russia by writing worthy literature and e
...more
LenaRibka
A brilliant historical mystery set in Imperial Russia.



If I had done it properly – started not from the book #6- I would have opened my review with
“A great start for a very promising historical mystery series with one of the most interesting characters” But I read it unfortunately(or as very often) not in the right order. So I'll keep this opening for my next Fandorin's book.

The good news—you can read this book as a stand-alone.

Of course, I am going to read this series from the very beginning
...more
Andy
YES 5 Stars - You are reading correctly, is is NOT sunstroke.....

Another Arch-nemesis for Erast Fandorin to deal with in a very Sherlock Holmes style of read set across Moscow C1860's or thereabouts. Revolutionaries, pseudo-intelligentsia(i), ideologist students of rich families, orshika (secret police) & double agents throughout for Erast to battle & form alliances with as the case(s) unfold.

The villian (Muuuuuulhahahahahahahah) is as engaging as our hero & for me receives equal star billing. p
...more
Warrengent
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ng
A masterpiece of the historical novel,grabs you attention from the opening page and never lets up,i absolutely would recommend this to anyone
Assaph Mehr
In this political-thriller type mystery, Fandorin is trying to clear his name from an attempted-murder charge by catching the real culprit. One of the better mysteries in the series, it is also notable for Oleg Menshikov movie performance as Fandorin. One cannot imagine the character to look any other way.

What to Expect

Each novel is written as a different type of mystery. Akunin set out to rectify the low-brow reputation of the mystery genre in post-USSR Russia by writing worthy literature and e
...more
Kirsten
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I happily turned to Erast Fandorin after too long an absence. I discovered him when I lived in Kent and loved him. An unusual detective in Czarist (Tsarist?) Russia, he has a stutter, a Japanese manservant, and is forever unlucky in love.

In this entry, he has to deal not just with the always dangerous politics of the government service in Moscow, but also a band of dangerous revolutionaries (terrorists).

Erast is very like Sherlock in his deductions, but a much more sympathetic character in that
...more
Kris McCracken
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sixth in the series, I think that this is (thus far) his best: reactionary autocrats, revolutionary terrorists, murky plots, sinister schemes and a heavy political edge I really enjoyed this bleak tale!

I particularly enjoyed the vivid painting of the key revolutionary 'Green'. Fashioned by a cruel world, Akunin has done a great job in constructing a beautiful example of the sympathetic villain. This book has it all, assassinations, bomb-making, bank heists, love trysts, and scores of bodies
...more
Branko Jovanovski
I would even give it 2 and half stars - this is the worst one in the Fandorin series so far.
Anna Bergmark
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not liking "Special Assignments" much I expected the worst and to begin with I thought I was right. Green the terrorist didn't hold any interest for me and a large cast equipped with first names and patronymics as well as last names (and all Russian at that) made me mightily confused. But about a hundred pages in it all changed.

A new "sheriff" comes in from Saint Petersburg and all of a sudden Fandorin is jolted into action for real. Being out staged by a man even more charismatic and possibly s
...more
Trillian AS
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since Russian is my mother tongue I have the advantage to read the original without the wait for a translation and and the danger of losing some book charm in a different language.
So far the best fandorin book for me, not because of the criminal plot but of the fascinating and rare medley of the Japanese and tsarist Russian intrigues in the late 19 th century.

For those fond of Japanese culture it is captivating to read about early Yokohama (back then a small expat village and a small port), samu
...more
Sem
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, russia
I wish they'd translate more of Akunin's work. I'm spinning these out for as long as I can - and given my desire to devour them in one marathon session it's hard - but I'm going to run out before long and there won't be anything to take their place. I can't think of another writer who can spend half a book in the mind of the adversary (I use that word loosely given the devilish complexities of the Tsarist bureaucracy and the uncertainties of who the real adversary is) and leave you feeling that ...more
Shayla McBride
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the books in this series have been excellent. set in the years before the Russian Revolution, it's easy to see the battle between haves and have-nots. Erast Fandorin, a really great (although kind of misty in appearance as Akunin never describes him) protagonist, and the secondary characters are each very unique. Action is also unique (loved Fandorin's naked leap into the night) and surprising. Overall, a terrific series. Best read in order, no way can you read just one.
Yael
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it might be my favorite! So, so great.
I read it for the longest time (read many books in between), but I’m actually quite glad - it gave me some time to think about it and cherish everything in it.
Boris Feldman
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most recently translated in this series about an unconventional Russian detective. This is the author who first turned me on to police novels. He remains my favorite.
Charles
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, e-books, netgalley
Fandorin returns in an exciting new adventure! The State Counsellor sees him chasing after a band of communist terrorists following the assassination of a leading figure in the Tsarist hierarchy - for which the terrorists impersonate Fandorin himself.

A rollicking good story, with a good number of plot twists, Imperial Court intrigues, and femme fatales, this is Akunin back to form in an engrossing new title.

Reason for four stars, and not five? There are a few story devices that annoyed me as a r
...more
Vanessa
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, ebook, fiction
The usually twisty world of Erast Fandorin becomes impenetrable an mystery (adventure? intrigue? ) that I think assumes more than an average non-Russian's understanding of Russian history, especially the role of insurgents in the 1890s. I, for one, got super lost and gave up trying to place who was where and why about 2/3 of the way through. Not a recommend here, even though it's been a long while between English language Fandorin novels.

I received an ecopy from the publishers and NetGalley in e
...more
Tom
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While at the start and middle of this book I was going to give it three stars but as I worked my way through the rest of the novel I was more and more impressed. Beautifully crafted with, as one other reviewer has said, showing many shades of grey, the political intrigue twisting and turning up until the very end. I can't wait to get my hands on the next in the series.
Andrea
Feb 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel is much better than the Russian TV movie.
Adi Gonen
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best one in the series!!!
Sienna
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bests, read-2019
Five stars for this book, five stars for the series.
Marvelously Russian, exquisitely written, gorgeously translated. I'm always a little intimidated at the beginning of one of Akunin's dense, complex stories but once I get into the Russian spirit I can never put it down. It's well worth slowing down -- & I'm not even getting half of what is in there.
The double names! Impossible names -- Tikhon Bogoyavlensky! I studied Russian briefly in college so it delights me to pronounce them -- out loud,
...more
Olga
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Fandorin book. Out of sequence, but since I choose to listen rather than read, and to download audiobooks from libraries free of charge, I take what I can.
I am a native Russian speaker, and was concerned about getting this in English first, but what a trip!
The author is very popular in Russia and in Europe, I was just a bit late to the party.
Apparently, he had the idea to write mysteries in styles of various famous authors, and to make them close to intellectual literature rath
...more
Gabi Coatsworth
I listened to the audiobook and wished sometimes that I was actually reading it, because there are a number of characters, and a corresponding change in points of view which sometimes made it harder to remember who was who. But our hero, Fandorin, is irresistible whether he’s jumping naked from a window in a Turkish bath or resolutely taking the high ground when office politics turn murky. Nice to know that it’s not just the communists who had double agents in Tsarist Moscow.
Darrell Woods
The State Counsellor - Number 6 - is Akunin's political terrorist novel. Fandorin seems at a loss for much of it as he is outmanoeuvred and even directly insulted in the first of a sequence of assassinations. Unlike some of the other novels, there is a rich cast of characters and suspects, some over the top and all the better for it. Central to the story is the fact that the terror leader is being provided with secret notes even he knows nothing about. Stir in several femme fatales and leave eno ...more
Bella
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When most people think of Russian literature, they don’t think of anything contemporary. Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Nabokov, Pasternak – these are the names that spring to mind, and yet none of these authors lived past the 1900’s. A great deal of this has to do with politics; political themes pervade Russian literature as much as it does Russian life. As political and social ideologies fall in and out of favor with Western sensibilities, so does literature influenced by these movements. Modern Russia ...more
Blair
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book in Porto, Portugal at the famous Livaria Lello bookshop.
As a speaker of Russian, I was thoroughly delighted and impressed by the wonderful translation job. Kudos!
Great romping story set on the cusp of the Russian Revolution, told from the POV of the detective, Fandorin, and the terrorist, Green. My only issue was that the hero's Japanese valet didn't get enough air time. All in all, a first-class effort. Recommend!
Brian Campbell
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
writing is extraordinary - characters were easy to follow and the timing of some revelations about them was brilliantly placed to make the story more interesting. Plot also very well done. Story itself is depressing. The setting was primarily in Moscow Russia when rail travel was heavily used and there were no automobiles. It was near the end of the czarist reign. The story revolved around terrorists and state security agencies. Terrorists were ruthless and smugly inhumane. They suspected all of ...more
Ubiquitousbastard
This book was a little bit slow to get started, that is one. Ah, I can't do it, it's too awesome for me. I'm just not badass enough. Okay, seriously though, it was slightly slow at first, but the plot was interesting enough to keep me reading. Well, that and my eternal love for Fandorin. Actually, the plot of this book might be among my favorites in the series. I think the author made good work of the twilight years of the Russian empire, showing how it was gradually coming apart, and why. The b ...more
David Dunlap
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another tour-de-force from Boris Akunin! At first glance, the opening sequence -- with its quick revelation that all was not as it appeared -- seemed a miscalculation, but further reading indicated that chapters would be alternating between State Counsellor Fandorin's point of view and that of the lead anarchist, code-named Green. This proved to be an effective device, as the parallel timelines interweave and backtrack, serving to heighten the plot tension. -- Erast Petrovich quickly finds himse ...more
Joyce
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 and ½ Stars

Erast Fandorin is a wonderful character, as is his Japanese sidekick. In this story, we begin with the murder of someone who many people called a butcher. He is on his way via a train during the winter. Some people say he was running away from his crimes. Others saw his move as a transfer.

Someone dressed like Fandorin presents his credentials, and in appearance he resembles Fandorin, to the guards on the train. He then kills his target and escapes.

It doesn’t take the police long t
...more
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Real name - Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili (Russian: Борис Акунин; Georgian: გრიგოლ შალვას ძე ჩხარტიშვილი; Аlso see Grigory Chkhartishvili), born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1956. Since 1958 he lives in Moscow. Writer and translator from Japanese. Author of crime stories set in tsarist Russia. In 1998 he made his debut with novel Azazel (to English readers known as The Winter Queen), where he crea ...more

Other books in the series

Erast Fandorin Mysteries (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #1)
  • The Turkish Gambit (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #2)
  • Murder on the Leviathan (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #3)
  • The Death of Achilles (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #4)
  • Special Assignments (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #5)
  • Коронация, или Последний из романов (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #7)
  • Любовница смерти (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #8)
  • Любовник смерти (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #9)
  • Алмазная колесница (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #10)
  • Нефритовые четки (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #11)

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“говорю, Эраст Петрович, что революционное движение в России гораздо проще победить не полицейскими, а реформаторскими методами. Полицейскими, вероятно, и вовсе невозможно, потому что насилие порождает ответное насилие, еще более непримиримое, и так с нарастанием вплоть до общественного взрыва. Тут надобно обратить главное внимание на мастеровое сословие. Без поддержки рабочих революционерам рассчитывать не на что, наше крестьянство слишком пассивно и разобщено.” 0 likes
“ТГ опять оказались безупречны. Все прошло как по маслу. Такой блестящей победы у Боевой Группы еще не было. Казалось бы, можно дать себе поблажку – насладиться ощущением аккуратно исполненного дела. Спичка еще не погасла, еще горит, и разожженное ею пламя занимается все сильней. Но насладиться мешала непонятность. А непонятности Грин не выносил. Где непонятность, там и непредсказуемость, а это опасно.” 0 likes
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