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The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg

(The Romanov Sisters #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  4,199 ratings  ·  318 reviews
On the sweltering summer night of July 16, 1918, in the Siberian city of Ekaterinburg, a group of assassins led an unsuspecting Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra, the desperately ill Tsarevich, and their four beautiful daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, into a basement room where they were shot and then bayoneted to death.
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Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by St. Martin's Press
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,199 ratings  ·  318 reviews

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Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-history
If you’ve stumbled across my review of The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias, you might recall that I’ve recently become a member of the Two-Person Russian Book Club. As the name implies, this is a Russian-themed book club comprised of two members: myself, and my friend Jamie. We are the only two members because we are the only two people we know personally who would join such a club.

Our first book was the aforementioned The Romanovs, by W. Bruce Lincoln, a dense, sweeping look at the dyna
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history fans
One more fascinating historical book about the Romanovs and a close look to their last days, their killers and the legacy of the stunning famous family. I wrote more about them in my review of The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra
"The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg" is a sad, touching book with an emotional end. There was only one member of the family left, waiting for them to return, but it didn't happen.

The cruelty of the massacre
Lucia Fonseca
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A minha “pancada” por certas figuras históricas continua. Desta vez a família Romanov, mais concretamente Nicolau II, o último czar e a sua família.
Não é preciso fazerem grandes pesquisas para saberem o triste fim que tiveram. A autora vai mais além disso. São retratadas motivações, esperanças, medos, ingenuidades, indiferenças. Excelente pesquisa. O livro tem bastante ritmo apesar do que é contado. É um livro de não ficção essencial para apreciadores da história dos Romanov.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-my-shelves
A visão que a autora nos traz neste livro é bastante diferente dos livros que tinha lido até então sobre a família Romanov, porque não se cinge a defender a família imperial e nem a criticar o comunismo. Ela expõe a verdade que conseguiu descortinar sem passar paninhos quentes a ninguém. É certo que nunca se vai saber exactamente o que aconteceu, porque muitos relatos eram aldrabados e a documentação também era tendenciosa. Mas neste livro senti que tudo o que me estavam a contar é o mais próxim ...more
Aug 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm always disturbed at the romanticized and saccharined portrayal of the Romanov murders. It seems wrong to cannonize the dynasty that inflicted torture, exile, imprisonment, and death upon its people. Equally, in my mind, Nicholas II only received the same treatment he gave to many of his subjects...murder. Especially in Nicholas's case, I don't think the "calm, devoted family-man" image redeems his strictly autocratic and anti-Semitic rule as monarch. For a monarch to turn the other way while ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A readable, fast-paced and interesting history of the Romanov family’s demise.

The narrative covers the family’s last two weeks at Ekaterinburg, as well as the tsar’s decision to abdicate and how the family got there. Rappaport also covers the interactions between the local soviet and the Moscow regime. The Soviet leadership, by then trying to crush the Whites, had basically lost interest in the family’s fate; they didn’t want the Whites to get anywhere near them, but that was about it. The deci
I'm probably not being fair in giving this book 4 stars, but I can't help it. It's my never-ending itch that no history book written by women can scratch. I am not being a misoginistic arsehole, it's just my frank opinion.

This has probably been the direct effect of the latest history book that I read, which is "The End" by Ian Kershaw. Now that's master-class retelling of some or other part of humanity's history. However, it's not just that particular work that influenced my view on the matter.
After finishing The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, I picked up this book hoping for more insight into the family and their last days at Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg. This was a riveting historical account, more tightly paced than The Romanov Sisters.

I didn't care for the off-topic meandering in The Romanov Sisters; however, I felt like the broader historical information in this book was not only on point, but vitally necessary in order to show how the Rom
Dean Marais
It's disgusting what those animals did to this poor family. This book only solidifies the saying that "the only good communist is a dead communist". The last few chapters of this book are absolutely horrifying. But beyond that, this is an interesting window into the Romanovs last few months of life. They were loving, pious, and a seemingly beautiful family, and it's a travesty that anyone was capable of doing what was done to these poor people.
Sep 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very readable piecing together of the last few weeks in the lives of Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, their five children, and the unfortunate faithful retainers who shared their fate. Each chapter moves the narrative along a few days, or a day (towards the end), then focuses on a protagonist in order to give the background of the event leading up to the massacre.

As we know what happened, the feeling of tension and inevitable doom builds until we reach the very graphic chapter that describes
The Literary Chick
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Rivals the Manson murders for the pure savagery. A shameful act. Book was very well written and well balanced. Made the Romanovs more human than Nicholas and Alexandra, which practically deified them.
Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛

I'm honestly not quite sure how to review this. I mean, not very much time is dedicated to the Romanovs at all. They all have their own separate chapters of course, minus the four sisters, who were all squished into one chapter but had separate sections for themselves. That was all fine and good, although most of the book is describing the atmosphere of Ekaterinburg, and the family's servants, and their killers, which is all fine and good since I did learn a lot of stuff I h
Jun 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Oh, where to begin? Where to begin? I bought this book in December 2012 while I was on an HPB run on lunch from a cataloging workshop. I wasn't expecting high scholarship, if only from the terrible cover. To the smart aleck saying not to judge books by their covers, let me take a second and tell you why this cover is worthy of judgment. It's anyone's guess why this woman decided to put a cover on said book featuring a red-tinted, badly-shopped image of the 1902 Rothschild egg over the 1914 Livad ...more
❤Marie Gentilcore
This was a thorough account of the last days of the Romanovs. The book provides a lot of information about each family member as well as some of their entourage who remained with them during their imprisonment. It was hard to read the grisly details of their deaths and to realize that it all happened only 100 years ago; it was very sad.
Helen Korhonen
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I consider this the absolutely best book I have read about the Romanov family. Even though I knew the tragic end, I almost felt as though it could be changed, so well written was this account!
May 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had the misfortune of arriving at chapter 14 of The Last Days of the Romanovs in the late evening—of course I couldn’t put the book down—and let me say that the terrible gruesomeness recounted in those final chapters does not make for restful sleep afterwards. Gory? Absolutely. Sickening? Indeed. But Rappaport’s account of the murders is considerably more disturbing because the earlier chapters of the book establish the Romanovs as such a deeply human and sympathetic family.

Tsar Nicholas was a
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Depois de ter lido vários livros sobre os últimos Romanov - alguns de ficção como The Kitchen Boy de Robert Alexander, outros de não-ficção como Nicholas & Alexandra de Robert K. Massie, ambos do melhor que há sobre o tema -, não é tarefa fácil encontrar outras leituras relacionadas que adicionem algo novo, que façam a diferença, mas Helen Rappaport conseguiu fazê-lo com muito sucesso.
Enquanto outros autores costumam focar toda a sua atenção na Família Imperial e nos acontecimentos que levar
Horia Bura
This is truly an amazing history book! Mrs. Rappaport goes beyond the limits of historical narrative and succeeds in recreating the whole heavy and tormenting atmosphere of the final two weeks in the lives of the Romanovs up to the moment of their appaling death. I know it sounds like a cliche, but the narrative description of historical characters, mental and physical conditions or even things is so powerful and compelling that it's almost as if you are there, experiencing the same feelings, ho ...more
This is a very readable biography. Although focusing on the Romanov's last weeks of captivity, there are separate chapters about each family member's life, as well as those of their faithful staff. The narrative therefore becomes very personal, and their hopes, fears and frustrations become especially poignant in those last few days, with you knowing what will happen to them, knowing that they don't.

There are also chapters about the men who killed them, and the royal European cousins who could a
Michelle Ule
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent overview of the death of the tsar by a fine writer. I learned things I'd never known and I've been reading on this topic for 40 years. The only flaw I saw was after devoting a chapter to the tsar, the tsarina and the girls (wonderful), I expected a similar chapter on Alexei.

Recommended if you're interested in Russian history and the Romanovs in particular.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Romanov's dynasty tragic end continues to fascinate public. As I'm reading this book, a certain Russian MP ( a former prosecutor) with dubious mentsl health also tries to publish her "book" on the errors in the upcoming film on the balerina Matilda Kseshinskaya, a mistress to (now saint) Nicolas II. The saint couldn't have had any affairs! He was a saint! Helen Rappaport, on the other hand, tries to show how ordinary and regular this saintly family was. Nicolas was an indifferent ruler, incompet ...more
A charting of the last months of the lives of the Imperial Family that is absolutely chilling. Rappaport is an excellent writer and has meticulously researched her subject, and also writes in a style that is easy to follow and utterly engrossing.

What I particularly enjoyed about the book is that Rappaport takes the time to discuss each family member. So often they are just lumped together, particularly the four Grand Duchesses (indeed, they so often signed or referred to themselves as OTMA - th
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book goes into the final days of the Romanovs after they had been moved to Ekaterinburg. The author really did a great job of research and made it one of the more interesting books on the subject. While reading the book I kept hoping for a different outcome although I knew what was coming but the description of the actual massacre was heartrending.

Rappaport does not go into great detail about Rasputin, just the necessary parts to the story and I appreciated not going over details that I've
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love Rappaport's writing about the Romanovs. This is heartwrenching and difficult to get through because of the detail in which she describes their deaths and the rush to attempt to dispose of the bodies. But I--who have read so many books on this topic--learned quite a bit. She has certainly done her research. Put that together with her easy-to-read, beautiful prose, and this is a winner. I really enjoyed this. If you're interested in Russian history, I highly recommend this book t ...more
Christina DeVane
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 🌟 for this factual book written in excellent story style. A few spots were hard to follow with so many places and names. But the history of the end of the Russian dynasty is so incredibly interesting and tragic!! This was my first read about the Romanov story, and I highly recommend for any history lover or lover of fascinating stories!!
Marike Deutz
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I became fascinated with the Romanovs after reading Rappaports book on the Romanov sisters. This book was much more historic, not an easy read (also because of all the names and terms). Interesting read though!
Jana Light
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written ending to the tragic story of the Romanovs. Rappaport goes into more political detail here, which I appreciated. Her epilogue was a little too saccharine and gushing for my taste, which betrayed her very sympathetic attitude towards the family throughout the whole narrative, a sympathy certainly legitimate for the children, quite a bit less so for the Tsar and Tsaritsa. But reading Rappaport's two books in historical order is a treat and I highly recommend them for those looking f ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read them backwards. But not really!
After finishing The Romanov Sisters, The Last Days of the Romanovs seemed a logical choice for my next read. It picks up virtually where The Romanov Sisters left off. The book is told in a countdown form, with each chapter representing one day. It describes the background of each of the main players in the story, from Nicholas and Alexandra to their children, Dr. Botkin, and even the backgrounds of their future assassins and communist leaders. This is a very honest account of the end of the Roma ...more
Linda Lipko
Thanks to Sher (ProfilerSR) for recommending this book in 2009. Continuing my quest to learn more of Russian history, I noted The Last Days of the Romanovs in my LT library.

It was a hot, humid evening in Ekaterinburg, in the industrial town located in Siberia. July 16th started as other days for the Romanovs. They entertained themselves by playing cards, reading and caring for their young son and brother. Frail from blood that refused to clot, they continued their hovering and worrying.

Thin from
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Fate of the Romanovs
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • Little Mother of Russia: A Biography of the Empress Marie Feodorovna (1847-1928)
  • Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
  • Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • The Romanovs: The Final Chapter
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
  • Anastasia: The Lost Princess
  • The Secret Plot to Save the Tsar: The Truth Behind the Romanov Mystery
  • From Splendor to Revolution: The Romanov Women, 1847--1928
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
  • The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias
Born in Bromley, England, Helen Rappaport studied Russian at Leeds University but ill-advisedly rejected suggestions of a career in the Foreign Office and opted for the acting profession. After appearing on British TV and in films until the early 1990s she abandoned acting and embraced her second love - history and with it the insecurities of a writer’s life.

She started out contributing to biograp

Other books in the series

The Romanov Sisters (3 books)
  • The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • The Race to Save the Romanovs: The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family