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The Jewel of St. Petersburg

(The Russian Concubine #0)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  4,327 ratings  ·  348 reviews
Russia, 1910. Valentina Ivanova is the darling of St. Petersburg's elite aristocracy-until her romance with a Danish engineer creates a terrible scandal and her parents push her into a loveless engagement with a Russian count.

Meanwhile, Russia itself is bound for rebellion. With the Tsar and the Duma at each other's throats, and the Bolsheviks drawing their battle lines,
Paperback, 455 pages
Published 2010 by Sphere
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Meital Ben-Daniel The Jewel of St. Petersburg is first
The Russian Concubine is second
and the third is A Girl From Junchow
All beautifully written books and…more
The Jewel of St. Petersburg is first
The Russian Concubine is second
and the third is A Girl From Junchow
All beautifully written books and highly-reommended !(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  4,327 ratings  ·  348 reviews

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Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I really wanted to like this book. I love historical fiction and was very excited to read a book set during the Russian Revolution. That being said, this book fell flat in a lot of areas. The characters were empty shells. I found myself only really caring about the secondary characters. Actually, just one: Liev. And perhaps the doctor's daughter, who makes only cameo appearances. Jens and Valentina? Not so much. I didn't dislike either of them; they were just too good, too flawless. Valentina ...more
This book is a prequel even though it was published after the other two books in the series. If you read this one first, as happened with me, it's a five star! If you're reading it after the other two books in the series, I'm not sure it's worth it. This book was really good but I find that the heroine, Lydia's mother, is really changed for the worst in the first book of the series (second in a chronological order), so you end up hating her, or believing it's not the same person. However, I'm ...more
Kathleen Grace
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! This is a prequel and I haven't read the other books in the series yet but I found this one captivating and exciting! It's nothing at all like the blurb, I thought it was just going to be an historic romance but the story is more about the beginning of the Russian Revolution just before the civil war. It doesn't just focus on Valentina; the other main character, Arkin, isn't even mentioned in the blurb on the back and the story is told as much from his perspective as it is from hers.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosanne Lortz
In the years leading up to the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks agitate for change causing unrest throughout all of Russia. Valentina Ivanovna, a young Russian noblewoman, experiences their violence when a bomb blows up her fathers study permanently injuring her younger sister Katya. Consumed by an unwarranted guilt for this event, Valentina determines to devote the rest of her life to her sisters wellbeing.

Valentina, like many other aristocratic ladies, has been brought up to marry well and
Jennifer Rayment
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Good Stuff

* Exciting opening chapter, grabs your attention and makes you want to keep reading
* Descriptions of the scenery are breathtakingly written, you feel you could reach out and touch the landscape
* Epic story up there with Gone with the Wind, The Thorn Birds, etc. If this isn't made into a movie I will be totally surprised
* Couldn't put the book down and now I am dying to get my hands on a copy of The Russian Concubine
* Realistic characters dealing with horrendous choices and
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
While I really enjoyed reading the first two books this one was rather disappointing. I knew it would be a prequel to the first book which was mostly about Lydia. We were supposed to learn more about her parents and the hardships they endured while in Russia and when fleeing Russia.

Now if you've read the first book you already know what will happen. You know what I mean when I say this book is misleading. I fully expected the ending to be different and less reassuring and felt mildly
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Furnivall's The Russian Concubine so I was quite looking forward to reading the other books in the series. I have to say I found this book was not quite as good as Russian Concubine was. In part I think it was because of how much I loved the characters from Russian Concubine which were not within this story. While it was interesting seeing the background on the life of Valencia, Lydia's mother,to try and better understand her character within the Russian Concubine.

I will say
Dec 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
runofthemill: not outstanding in quality or rarity.

This book hits the mark of mediocracy. It has it's enduring moments, yes, but on the whole it's not amazing.

Set in Russia, the year is 1910. The Russian people are rallying. They want a better life, they want Czar Nicholas and all the Romanovs gone. Valentina has lived a life of supposed luxary. From the outside looking in, she appears to be just another aristocrat living the high life. Little does the outside world know, she is looking after
Oct 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know I say this a lot, but I really liked this book. My favorite part of the book was the setting. I love that it was set in Russia during the revolution. There was so much turmoil and unrest during this time that it definitely added a raw grittiness to the story. There were a lot of characters in this book, but not so many that you lose track. The story focuses on Valentina. She is from the aristocratic society whose path is already predetermined. Valentina decides to buck the system and make ...more
Amy Bruno
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!!!!!
Author Kate Furnivall has written an utterly engrossing story of Valentina Ivanova, a daughter to the finance minister to Tsar Nicholas II, set in St. Petersburg during a time of great civil unrest in Russias history. The working class and poor are getting more desperate every day as they fight starvation and disease or get injured, maimed or killed at the un-safe factories they are forced to work in while the upper class grow more rich and spend more extravagantly. The Revolutionaries are ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good read for those who are interested in the progression of the Russian revolution and an intense passionate love story to spice things up a little.
The author is great at creating imagery of Russias plight leading up to and following the end of the Romanov dynasty. I have always been fascinated by Russias history and I found this book illustrated very well the perspectives of both the bourgeoisie and proletariat.
Im not knowledgable enough in the matter but I have always held Russia to be a
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
it's ok nothing great or remarkable or as engaging as the russian concubine. There were a lot of disappointments with the story and Valetina's character i also feel like there were some HUGE plot holes......(spoiler alert) she gets pregnant but her parents still want her to marry another man she hasn't slept with.... it had me scratching my head the entire time I mean that's kinda a no argument at this point and like the other guy would even marry her..... I think that's the thing there was this ...more
Total historical fiction fluff about Pre-Revolutionary Russia that can be read in a day or two even though it seems to drag on interminably. I also find it really irksome that the author sprinkles random Russian words throughout the novel followed immediately by their English equivalents. Pick one or the other.
Imagine how dreary Clockwork Orange would have been if Burgess had written lines like, "There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, friends, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim. And we sat
Tom Heeren
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Two lovers on different levels: Jens Friis on the democratic level of making Russia a constitutional monarchy like Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg, Beligum and Norway. Ankins on the Communist level. Valentina Invinova faced many challenges such as avoiding an arranged marriage to a Imperial Russian colonel who would save her father from being forced to accept debt and pay banks, Jewish moneylenders and the like, taking a job as a nurse to show her traditional father ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
3 stars.

The Jewel of St. Petersburg was okay. It was not incredible, nor was it awful. There were plot elements that I felt were unnecessary and nonsensical which took away from what it could have been. Also, this was a very character driven book, but with characters that I did not connect with enough for it to be enjoyable as the centre of the novel.

In one word, this book was 'meh'.
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absorbing yarn set in St Petersburg in the years years leading up to the Revolution.
Ana Curo
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reading! I found that I love novels that include a bit of history for some time now and this one is a true gem. :) Interesting, fuelled with historical happenings, love, romance, crime... I couldnt hold my head up! ...more
Amy Lignor
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction at its finest (and I am not over exaggerating). Not since Pam Jenoffs, The Kommandants Girl, have I literally felt pulled back through time because of the fantastic storytelling of a truly brilliant author. Not only that, but as a true fan of Tsar Nicholas II, Alexandra, Rasputin, and that whole time period, this could not have dropped into the lap of a better reviewer.

We begin our story with young Valentina Ivanova. Now Valentina is a much beloved character already; she
Sandra Olshaski
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Jewel of St. Petersburg by Kate Furnivall (Rated: P: mild, S)
Berkley Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-0-425-23423-5
Published: August 7, 2010
Trade Paperback, 410 pages

I can rarely resist a book that either contains the name St. Petersburg in the title or promises a good tale with that city as its backdrop. I wasnt disappointed as Kate Furnivall wove a tale of intrigue, treachery, loyalty, rebellion and love in pre-revolution Russia.

It is 1910 and Tsar Nicholas Romanov sits on the throne and as the
Toni Osborne
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The novel transports us back to a time preceding the Russian Revolution of 1917. Set against a background of elegance and opulence this dramatic story is of love, courage, revenge and heartache.

The heroine is Valentina Ivanova, daughter of a minister under Tsar Nicholas also a young pianist and the darling of St. Petersburg's wealthy aristocracy. Valentina's only dream is to become a nurse and take care of her sister, who was maimed for life during a Bolshevik attack on the family estate. Her
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was written last as part of the trilogy, but it's actually the prequel to "The Russian Concubine." I read the whole book before I realized that I was reading the prequel! It had been 3 years since I had read "The Russian Concubine," so I had forgotten the characters names, etc... Once I realized it was the prequel, I then reread "The Russian Concubine" and finished it up w/ the 3rd book in the series. I enjoyed all of the books in the series, but this one ended up being my favorite. It ...more
Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks
I found it harder to connect to this novel than Kate Furnivall's first two. I had been so disappointed by the endings of the first two novels, especially Under a Blood Red Sky, that I think I was partly protecting myself from disappointment again.

The writing didn't feel like it had the same passion as the other two, even though Valentina was a strong, determined woman, Arkin believed so intently and so devotedly in the Bolshevik cause, Jens felt so strongly that Russia could be saved by finding
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
*spoiler alert* Overall I liked the book. It was however predictable until the end I wasn't sure what was going to happen. The last page is probably the best unless your copy contains the first few pages of The Russian concubine(I have not read either of the other books in the series). The begining pages just pissed me off. Valentina went through so much lost her entire family finally got her hubby back only for him to be taken from her again. Does this upset any one else that read the series? I ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, romance, history, betrayal, simmering anger at political figures, I really liked the lead female, she showed strength and courage in a time when girls/women were to do as their told, (by men)

Her love affair with the Danish engineer was beautiful and tugged at the heart, at first I felt sorry for the arkin character but then true colours were shown and I really disliked him. Well written and the characters were enjoyable too
Jun 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Now is a moment where I find the 5 star system insufficient. I liked this book a lot. I probably cried at least once. I was fully engaged. I don't want to give it a 3 because i liked it a lot. But a 4 seems to unfairly align it with some books which are way out of its league.

Regardless, I did like it.
Darlene Jones
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm ticked with Furnivall. I lose sleep after reading her books. Yes, the character portrayals are that vivid and intriguing. Yes, the settings are that vivid and evocative. Set during the last of the Tsar's and the beginnings of the revolution, The Jewel of St. Petersburg is spellbinding.
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
This book was okay. I probably expected a bit too much. It was similar to the last Furnivall book I read. Strong heroine manages to overcome just about every horrible thing that happens to her because she is beautiful. Yawn.
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book although I wish I had read this before The Concubines Secret as it explained so much about the characters!
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
grand story, location period in history.. will love the movie if and when.
extremes of poverty,ignorance and suffering and then wealth beyond measure.
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Kate Furnivall was raised in Penarth, a small seaside town in Wales. Her mother, whose own childhood was spent in Russia, China and India, discovered at an early age that the world around us is so volatile, that the only things of true value are those inside your head and your heart. These values Kate explores in The Russian Concubine.

Kate went to London University where she studied English and

Other books in the series

The Russian Concubine (3 books)
  • The Russian Concubine (The Russian Concubine, #1)
  • The Girl from Junchow (The Russian Concubine, #2)

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