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The Tsarina's Daughter

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  2,099 Ratings  ·  285 Reviews
It is 1989 and Daria Gradov is an elderly grandmother living in the rural West. But she is not who she claims to be--the widow of a Russian immigrant of modest means. In actuality she began her life as the Grand Duchess Tatiana, known as Tania to her parents, Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra.

At the heart of the story is young Tania, who lives a life of incomparable l
...more
Paperback, 345 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by St. Martins Press-3pl (first published September 30th 2008)
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Erin
Mar 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not my first "historical entertainment" read by Carolly Erickson and I would have to point out that I knew what would happen. I knew that by the end it would be "I loved it and I wish it could have really happened that way, but it didn't." Plenty of my fellow reviewers are correct in pointing out that (1) the characterization of the Romanov family is all shades of wrong, (2) much of the plot could never have really been fathomable given what we know of the constraints the children actual ...more
Megan
Jan 29, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do NOT read this book. It deviates from history so badly it is blasphemous. Anyone who is familiar with Russia's last Tsar and his family will be horrified by how the author portrays them. If you want to read about the last Tsar and his family, read a history book.
Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18)


A cliché saying for a cliché book: I could not love it.

Trope Check
*Instalove
*breakup due to bad sex
*rich-girl-meets-poor-boy
*hater "Christians"
*heroine's unawareness of potential pregnancies

Full rant
Maybe my expectations were too high because the author was a historian, of maybe I don't get the degree of fiction she wanted to add to history. This book had a lot of potential, and during the first third of the book it seemed to fit my expectations. There was no cliché prologue that goes to 1917 be
...more
Lisa Lap
This book took me longer than books usually do but I found it enjoyable nonetheless. I'm always fascinated to read "what may have been" in regards to the demise of the Romanov family. Such tragedy that of course my imagination loves to read the possibility someone may have survived - even fictionally.

I have read many different books on this family and again, this account as told my Tatiana the second oldest daughter wrapped me right up into their history again. From all historical accounts, the
...more
Misfit
Oct 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I've just bailed at under 50 pages. I know it's fiction or "historical entertainment" as the book jacket says but even if I was in the mood to suspend disbelief -Tatiana making friends with a servant's daughter in the kitchen?? When she put on a peasant dress and left with food to go feed -- I don't even know who and I wall banged it. The writing and storyline were just not compelling enough to keep me going. Get it from the library first if you must, don't waste your money.
Jeanne Beaudet
May 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is absolutely one of the WORST books I have ever read. I understand that in historical fiction, certain liberties are taken but this one distorts the truth beyond belief:

* Tatiana, Grand Duchess, daughter of the Tsar is best friends with servants and goes beyond the Palace into the slums.

* Dowager Empress Marie is so sinister that she smuggles in Sigmund Freud under the alias Mr. Schmidt in an attempt to have Alexandra committed.

* Tatiana has two affairs. The Romanov daughters were pretty
...more
Mai Laakso
Carolly Ericksonin Tsaarin tytär kertoo Venäjän tsaariperheen viimeisistä vuosista. Kirjassa kuvaillaan tapahtumia toiseksi vanhimman tyttären Tatjanan näkökulmasta. Kirjan pohjana on faktatiedot henkilöistä ja tapahtumista, mutta kirjailija on kirjoittanut kiehtovan tarinan tsaariperheelle ja heidän suvulle. Tuohon aikaan eri maiden kuninkaalliset olivat toisilleen sukua, mutta siitä huolimatta Saksa ja Itävalta-Unkari julistivat sodan Venäjää vastaan, joka sai rinnalle Ranskan ja Englannin. Ku ...more
Helen Azar
Jul 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to at least say that this book was an entertaining read, but honestly can't... I am not even sure how I finished it... The second daughter of the Tsar of Russia having two lovers before the age of 18? Gallivanting all over town on her own? Some whimsy in historical fiction is ok I suppose, but this went completely overboard... Many parts of this book basically read like a very bad and corny romance novel. I won't mention any of the other "plots" in case someone still wants to read t ...more
Wendy
Jan 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this shortly before I joined Goodreads, so I really thought I'd reviewed it already.... I can't remember specifics of why I hated it, outside of its blatant historical inaccuracies and its total disrespect for its portrayal of real people, but there are several fine reviews already on here that explain it quite nicely.
Megan Mcgibney
Jan 28, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do NOT read this book. It deviates from history so badly it is blasphemous. Anyone who is familiar with Russia's last Tsar and his family will be horrified by how the author portrays them. If you want to read about the last Tsar and his family, read a history book.
Orsolya
I was reluctant to read this book from the beginning but it always glared at me from the library shelves. I decided to give it a chance. Fluffy, boring, and "trying too hard"; I was glad when I was done reading it (luckily, it is a fast read).

Although the story of Tatiana, the daughter of the Tsar of Russia, would normally be captivating; Erickson failed to keep my attention. She desperately tried to prove the deep complexities and enduring capabities of fragile Tatiana. Did she succeed? One wo
...more
Sarah Wagner
I found this novel disappointing and very far-fetched. Not necessarily far-fetched because of the idea of the Grand Duchess Tatiana surviving, but because of numerous other events and depictions in this novel. I have trouble believing Tatiana, as the daughter of the tsar, would have been able to venture into St. Petersburg and stumble on a workers' clinic at a very young age, or that her Aunt Olga would endorse and encourage her affair with an young man when Tatiana was only a young teenager, or ...more
Mimi
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I've said it before, and will say it again. There needs to be half stars on the ratings system at Goodreads. This is a solid 2.5 star book.

This book is historical fiction. On the historical front, it is not very good. The characters are cardboard and don't act how the historical record shows that they did act. There are moments you are absolutely positive this would never have happened.

However, on the fiction front, cardboard characters aside, the plot moves quickly and interestingly, and it is
...more
Diana
Aug 26, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I get that this is fiction so it will not necessarily bear any resemblance to the real events of the decline of the Romanov family, but this went beyond the pale. The writing was very disappointing and almost like reading a high school report where the writer feels the need to cram in every fact they know about the subject, but in a way that does not fit into the story in a smooth manner. Even the facts in this book seem like fiction because of the way it is written. I wanted to badly to like th ...more
Estibaliz79
Novela de ficción histórica ambientada en la última etapa de la Rusia Imperial, que aborda los sucesos previos a la Revolución de Octubre así como el inicio de la guerra civil, desde el punto de vista de Tatiana, la segunda hija del zar Nicolás.
Desde el punto de vista histórico, lo más interesante de esa historia (valga la redundancia) es su ambientación y la habilidad de la autora para transmitir las características y condiciones de una época sin caer en maniqueismos, si bien es cierto que su v
...more
Juliet-Camille
 description

Oh man, what a crock of shit.

Here's how I would have loved this novel to be:

*We open on a late summer night in Russia. Two figures are running through the woods, one a wounded Russian soldier, and the other a wounded Grand Duchess Tatiana. Tatiana has been shot, but she's able to flee, the many imperial jewels hidden in the lining of her clothing having protected her from any serious wound.

*They are on foot for many days, and take refuge at farms and local inns. Their names are changed, back s
...more
Arja
May 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could write so much against this book. But I'd rather comment it with a brief review that perfectly summarizes my overall impression.

A Twilight-like book, with Romanovs involved.
Historical accuracy has gone far, far away from there, side by side with its best friend character development and construction.

The only thing I can find not against this book is the general panoramic over royalty's world in XX century, its crazy richness and flaws.
Heli
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: venäjä
Venäjän viimeisen tsaarin perheen kohtalosta on kerrottu loputtomasti tarinoita. Historiallisia romantikkoja on ensimmäisen maailmansodan jälkimainingeista lähtien kiehtonut ajatus siitä, että joku tsaariperheen jäsenistä olisi jäänyt henkiin. Huhuja ovat ruokkineet myös useat huijarit, jotka ovat esittäytyneet teloituksesta selvinneiksi suuriruhtinattariksi. Monesti juonena - ja tässä tarkoitan juonella sekä fiktiivisen teoksen juonta että ahdingosta selviytymiskeinoa - on jonkinlainen vaihdoka ...more
Kim
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanov-russia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole
Jul 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book deals with one of my favorite topics, the Romanov family in Russia. While Erickson does a great job with the "story-telling" of this novel, her history is grossly inaccurate. The book itself was good. I loved the premise and the story. I loved that it came from Tatiana Romanov, one of the Grand Duchesses we hear much less about. However, the story was much more fiction than historical. While elements of the novel were accurate, the majority of the storyline was fictional. I would recom ...more
Lesley
Oct 31, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Carolly Erickson, the well-regarded chronicler of royal families, notably the Tudors, tries her hand at the Romanovs, with so-so results. Last of the Russian emperors,all slaughtered during the Bolshevik Revolution, Erickson imagines their final years through the eyes of Tatiana, the 2nd oldest of Nicholas and Alexandra's 5 children. Intelligent and resourceful, Erickson's Tania sneaks out of the palace to mingle with peasants and revolutionaries, somehow managing love affairs with a German prin ...more
Richard
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author's great narrative transported me back in time to Russia 100 years ago. Superb writing and sense of time period plus what it was like to be in the royal family and how weak the Royal Tsar and Tsarina's people and governing skills were.

Historical fiction lovers will enjoy this tale.
Jinny
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who don't mind lots of fiction/made up stuff in historicals
3.5 stars, IMO.

This is the third Erickson book I’ve read now, and I’ve come to a realization: if you want historical fiction that is also historically accurate, you probably won’t like Erickson’s works. But if you don’t mind authors taking some liberties with history, then you’ll probably enjoy Erickson’s novels. I fall in the latter group — I don’t mind authors making things up (though I do enjoy historical accuracy as well). And there are a lot of made up events and characters in The Tsarina’s
...more
Amanda
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently have become a fan of Carolly Erickson's historical fiction novels. I really respect her as a top-notched historian and wonderful storyteller who can bring history to life in a way that's realistic and fairly close to accurate. I've also been searching for some great Russian Revolution era/Romanov historical fiction due to the surprising lack of it on the market. I was excited when I discovered that Erickson had already penned something in that period, but was a bit discouraged by all ...more
Amanda
Aug 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently have become a fan of Carolly Erickson's historical fiction novels. I really respect her as a top-notched historian and wonderful storyteller who can bring history to life in a way that's realistic and fairly close to accurate. I've also been searching for some great Russian Revolution era/Romanov historical fiction due to the surprising lack of it on the market. I was excited when I discovered that Erickson had already penned something in that period, but was a bit discouraged by all ...more
Jayme VA
I'm only giving this three stars because while I enjoyed it, I think that it is missing something essential to the Romanovs. I've read a great deal of fiction and non fiction surrounding the Tsar and his family, and while there are many interpretations of their character, one thing is always there: love. Love for one another, Nicholas's and Alexandra's love for each other, and a love for Russia. That doesn't come through at all in this novel; as a matter of fact, it doesn't even seem that they l ...more
Emily
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well-written prose, and I love the possibility and setting. I found the heroine mediocre, however. The fictionalised Tania seems too good to be true, particularly when one considers contemporary accounts of who knew her. Personally I find Olga a fascinating character, historically, but here she is portrayed as a sour ninny, and her cleverness and passion is reduced to being a moody, bossy teacher's pet. Tania feels less real and more like the admittedly "pretty one" has been forcibly remoulded i ...more
Katie
This was a just-for-fun read that historically was way off-the-mark. It made several acqusations that the Tsarina Alexanderia was dillusional, that Tsar Nicholas II cheated on the love of his life with prostitutes, and that the middle daughter/main character Tatiana had two love-affairs before the age of nineteen. Entertaining, but terribly unlikely. Other then dates and outside the imperial-family russian events, there is no real historical value to this book. It's just a fun read about one of ...more
Abby
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
MissyLynne
I knew before I stared that "The Tsarina's Daughter" was not historically accurate but I wanted to read it since I love Romanov history and Tatiana is my favourite of the four Grand Duchesses. However, the story was hard to get into since I knew many events and plots were not real, characters were not as they were portrayed in the book, etc. I did not like how Tatiana's character behaved and acted.

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521 followers
Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, The First Elizabeth, Great Catherine, Alexandra and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Hawaii.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/caroll...
More about Carolly Erickson

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