Saturday, 3 May 2008

The Romanov Bride

Robert Alexander's third book revolving around the Russian Revolution, continues to show is knowledge and depth of understanding about the Revolution, Russian society and the personalities of the time. The focus of The Romanov Bride is Grand Duchess Elizabeth, affectionately known as Ella, who is the sister of the Tsarina, and married to Sergei, the uncle of the Tsar. As such, she is a show piece for the royal family. She is showered with jewels, opulent dresses, and feted in the highest circles of society. She is ranked as one of the most beautiful women of her time in Europe. Her life is much like on the the Faberge eggs and nick naks, that she owns many off. And is just as fragile as it turns out. Her very existance is shattered by the assassination of her husband by a bomb. Now the essense of the Revolution, the hardships of the people are really opened up to her as she strives to an understanding through a religious life, and helping the needy, the wounded and the orphaned. She, almost alone of the Romanovs in Moscow, comes to be loved and admired by the people she helps. But this will not stop the Revolutionaries in their relentless aim to rid the people of the yoke of a ruling class and a ruling family. The Romanovs must be eliminated.
The other narrator of the book is Pavel, a peasant who turns to the revolution in revenge for the tragic death of his wife. He has lived the hard life, only to find that the only thing that he cares for can still be taken from him. He becomes heavily involved in the Revolution, stirring up dissent and assassinating "worthy" targets. But it is the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, that leads him to question his involvement. He sees her good works, and how she, a member of the hated Romanov family, cares for the destitute people. But ultimately knows he will be unable to save her from the fate of her family.
Robert Alexander has a great website (, with really nice book trailers, and photos of the people in his books, and is a great reference for those wishing to gain greater knowledge from reading his books. He has been doing webcasts of late, and these have been a really good way to pose questions to the author, and are like a worldwide bookclub discussion. I hope that more authors start doing webcasts like this as it really opens up opportunities for those in other countries, like me here in Australia, to have contact with the author. And is a great opportunity for the author as well, to see how their book is received all round the world.

So three cheers for Robert on a great book, accompanying website, and such wonderful webcasts!

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