C.G. Drews's Reviews > Romanov

Romanov by Nadine Brandes
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it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, read-2019, young-adult

This was definitely the type of Anastasia retelling I have been waiting for!!! I already knew I'd love this book before I picked it up, I mean pfft have u seen Fawkes which is a magical Guy Fawkes retelling that exploded into my life and I am still thinking about a year later?!? Exactly. Nadine Brandes does the best HF retellings...but adds in magic and heartbreak and endings that cut deep, but also aren't hopeless. I love that balance. Love it.

*:·゚✧ | PLOT | *:·゚✧
If you know the history of the Romanovs, then you know...this isn't a light quirky story ok. It gut-wrenching. It picks up when the Romanov family are in exile, banished to a house where they need permission to even open a window. It's basically a waiting game, while they're promised a fair trail, but they're dreading being executed. So the plot isn't an action-adventure...we feel trapped and stagnate with Nastya. We feel the dread and the thin hope as maaaaybe the White Army will save them. I would've liked to have seen them in their palace life though?! I wanna prequel. 🤗


*:·゚✧ | MAGIC | *:·゚✧
ok something I love about Brandes novels is how she weaves magic in so flawlessly you kind of forget...history...didn't have magic?! It's incredible. We have spell ink here, so you can learn the words and write the spells and they sink into your skin. And isn't that an awesome magic system?! 10/10. With Rasputin dead, Nastya is the only one who can do a little magic (she desperately wants to learn to be a full spellmaster) and she can give Alexei a little relief from his illness with spells. But the ending goes BADASS with the magic and it's phenomenal, clever, and heartstopping.


*:·゚✧ | CHARACTERS | *:·゚✧
the story is Nastya and she holds onto life with all the love and fierceness of a girl who knows she has potential and the world cannot break her. Nastya is such an optimist! She's a mischief-maker and a sweetheart and she refuses to be beaten down, emotionally or spiritually. afkdlsad I do love her. And she has such a sweet relationship with her 13yo brother, Alexei, who has haemophilia and he's so sick. He spends a lot of the book in a wheelchair too. While I can't speak of any personal experience with his disability/illness, I do feel like the disability rep was done with such love and care. Making !!! me so !!! happy !! Also he's a sassy little spitfire and I nearly choked laughing when he interrupted Nastya and Zash just as they were having a Moment. (He also shipped them so loudly, so like 😂Alexei is adorable.)

Now Zash...ah, our love interest. He is a troubled scowling boy, a guard of the Romanov family in their house-arrest prison, and I liked that the book didn't force him and Nastya into a whirlwind romance. Their relationship was tentative and more of a promise. Which was good because captor/captee romances need to be done veeeery carefully.

ALSO THERE WAS A DOG AND I LOVE THE DOG AND I PANICKED OVER THE DOG BUT ALL IS WELL WITH THE DOG. 🙏🏻


*:·゚✧ | OVERALL | *:·゚✧
it's one of those book that balances such darkness with the light. It's a brutal plot line, full of cruel intentions and unfair circumstances. And while it does follow history a lot, so you WILL get your heart smashed, it takes spins and twists you don't expect. I loved that about it (brb sobbing tho). Nastya also explores a heavy theme of forgiveness, and whether it is worth giving. While I'm not big on forgiving evil, I did appreciate how Nastya was so soft and yet so strong with her choices here. Afdsjakld she is a gem.

...anyway you need this. It's ANASTASIA!!! and it is magical, powerful, and thoughtful.
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Reading Progress

June 30, 2018 – Shelved
June 30, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
May 15, 2019 – Started Reading
May 15, 2019 –
page 50
14.84% "I am 11 books behind on my challenge, internally screaming, and ashamed i still haven't read this yet -- bUT i'm here now 🙌🏻"
May 17, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
May 17, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019
May 17, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 17, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Olivia (new)

Olivia "ALSO THERE WAS A DOG AND I LOVE THE DOG AND I PANICKED OVER THE DOG BUT ALL IS WELL WITH THE DOG" << me always 😂

Great review!


C.G. Drews Right?! I get so worried whenever a dog appears on page. 😂


message 3: by Caia (new) - added it

Caia Is it a standalone?


C.G. Drews Caia wrote: "Is it a standalone?"

As far as I know, yes!


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