Romanov by Nadine Brandes – ARC Review

Romanov by Nadine Brandes.jpgSummary:

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Review: 4 Stars

Romanov was a book that I was very excited about. I grew up watching Disney’s Anastasia and was fascinated with the Grand Duchess who might have possibly survived the slaughter of her family. I had previously read Nadine Brandes’ book Fawkes and loved the way that she brought history and fantasy together while staying true to the historical events. I had put off reading this for a while, but when I finally picked it up I found myself quickly enveloped in the story and I tore through it pretty fast.

The characters in this story brought history to life. I admired Nastya (Anastasia) and how loyal she was to her family, but mostly how she cared for her brother Alexi, who suffered from Hemophilia. Her compassion for others during such dark time really showed her true integrity. The family suffered at the hands of the Bolsheviks, yet they still managed to show love for their captors. It was easy to admire them and to root for their survival.

When reading historical fiction like this it can be difficult for the author to develop their own plot because the reader knows how the story ends, but the great thing about Anastasia’s story is that for years people believed that she survived, which gives this historical story a lot of freedom. Nadine Brandes also weaves fantasy elements into historical stories, creating her own alternate history without losing the truth of what happened. The story of the Romanovs is a sad one, but Nadine Brandes managed to fill it with hope and joy as well.

I loved this tale of the Romanovs. The magical elements provided a source of hope in really dark times ant the story revolves around the importance of family. I was a little hesitant to picked this up because I knew how the Romanovs met their demise, but Nadine Brandes’ story telling made this sad story a hopeful one instead. She is an author to follow, because I have never read such beautiful stories that blend history and fantasy so seamlessly.

18 thoughts on “Romanov by Nadine Brandes – ARC Review

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  1. Hm… fantasy mixed with biographical historical fiction? Sorry, I don’t think that works for me. I really liked Ariel Lawhon’s book “I was Anastasia” however, and that one doesn’t mess with reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really didn’t think it would work at first, but Nadine Brandes has a particular talent for it. Her book Fawkes, about Guy Fawkes and the gun powder plot was AMAZING. But I can fully understand why you wouldn’t want fantasy in your history. I definitely want to read I was Anastasia, her story always fascinated me when I was younger… Still have the Disney movie on VHS.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was Don Bluth’s animation studio, not Disney I think. A favorite of my kids. I used to sing them the songs when they were smaller. 🙂


      2. You’re not the only one. Anya is an unofficial Disney princess to a lot of people. 🙂
        Don Bluth was a Disney animator. He left to make his own films, Secret of NIMH, American Tale, All Dogs Go To Heaven.

        Liked by 1 person

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