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The Last Romanov Paperback – April 3, 2012
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"Crackles with tension and imagination --- an engaging story splashed upon a broad canvas. Mossanen mines an emotional landscape, rich in myth and characterization, offering an innovative perspective on what may have happened to the Romanovs. Savor the magic and enjoy the journey." - Steve Berry, author of The Jefferson Key and The Columbus Affair
"The Last Romanov spins a magically laced, bejeweled look at the end of Russia's Romanov family, as seen through the preternatural eyes of the long-lived woman bound to their fate. From the sumptuous halls of the Alexander Palace to the cramped back-alleys of the Jewish ghetto, this haunting tale of prophecy and redemption sweeps us into an opulent world of glamour, myth, tragedy, and unforgettable humanity." - C.W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
"A lyrical, magical, and utterly captivating story of redemption and the triumph of the human heart. The Last Romanov brings a tumultuous era of history to rich life, and re-creates in sumptuous detail the world of the Imperial Russian court. Darya's story will hold you spellbound." - Anna Elliott, author of Georgiana Darcy's Diary
"A thrilling, exotic sojourn in the opulent drawing rooms of imperial Russia as the Bolsheviks tighten their noose, recounted by a member of the doomed imperial family's inner circle. Unimaginable luxury and abasement and the magical properties of nature form the backdrop to stories of love and enduring loyalty despite a drumbeat of tragedies. The beautiful, opal-eyed Darya, veiled in butterflies, lives on hope and ambergris to reunite with her lover amid the chaos of the Soviet Union and to discover whether the heir to the Romanov throne survived." - Jenny White, author of the Kamil Pasha mystery series
"With the assured hand of a master story teller at the height of her game, Mossanen leads us deep into the intimate world of the last Romanovs. She weaves history and magic into a riveting page-turner that brings to life the enduring mystery of a gilded court teeming with unforgettable characters, who interact with history to create a vivid, engrossing tapestry that will haunt the reader long after the last page is turned." - Robin Maxwell, bestselling author of Signora da Vinci and The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
"Engagingly satisfying from start to finish." - Moll Anderson, Lifestyle expert and author of The Seductive Home
"This would be a great book for a reading club or discussion group. The history is real, and the characters are true to life and quite imperial. This is a must have for your library.
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/blogcritics/article/Book-Review-The-Last-Romanov-by-Dora-Levy-2434195.php#ixzz1iWafeBJ1" - Seattlepi.com
"I would recommend this book to the history buff or the fantasy fan. If you enjoy romance, intrigue, history and a bit of fantasy, this is the work that will take you there. With an eye to detail and a strong bit of history, you will be sucked into a story that holds you to the finish" - BlogCritics.Org
"Deeply rooted in an exotic time and place, ornamented with the observed detail that comes from exhaustive but discerning research, suffused with authentic historical drama, and populated with irresistible men and women who come fully alive on the page, all of which are [Mossanen's] trademarks as a novelist...a master storyteller works her powerful magic yet again." - Jonathan Kirsch, The Jewish Journal
"The Last Romanov is a wonderfully well-written read for any lover of history or even just someone who believes in the impossible." - Long and Short Reviews
About the Author
Born in Israel and raised in Iran, Dora Levy Mossanen fled to the United States at the onset of the Islamic Revolution. She is the recipient of the San Diego Editor's Choice award and the author of Harem and the international bestseller Courtesan, which have both been translated into numerous languages. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and a graduate of the USC masters of professional writing program. She lives in Beverly Hills, California.
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To be perfectly fair, I will say that there were parts of the story telling that ran slow at times. So I do agree that in a perfect editing world, the book could maybe have done with trimming down some to hold the tension tighter. HOWEVER... In my opinion it's not enough to detract from the overall excellence of this novel. It has enough good in it that I could easily stick with it even if it wasn't non stop action, all the time.
I think the character development in this novel, especially the farther you go into it and as the 'years' go by, is one of the strengths. The Romanovs were real people of course, and it is difficult to portray them in fictional literature. But Ms. Mossanen seems to handle that well. I had a good grasp of Alexandra and Nicholas' personalities and struggles, I wanted to tousle Alexei's hair, I wanted to be swept up in Avram's arms. They came across as very real and easy to connect with.
Another great strength of this book is the use of imagery and all five senses, especially the use of scent and smell descriptions, which is unusual. Every scene is desccribed so vividly and with its own unique scent. At the same time its never over done. She crafts her imagery very well, and as a reader I appreciate that. It really put me in the scenes and left me with some incredible 'memories' that I will treasure!
The plot has been covered well by other reviewers so I'll just state that it has plenty of twists and turns, a touch of the supernatural, and doesn't simply play out along the historical lines you think you know. It asks questions from angles you have not considered before (especially because the main character, who you will connect with and love, is not historical but a fictional amalgamation) and weaves new threads into the cloth. It's a fresh take on the story.
I'm extremely glad I read this book. It was like an amazing dream!
I loved it so much that I bought a copy to give to my daughter for her 50th birthday. She'll love it, too !! The only drawback I've found to my Kindle (which I also love) is that I can't loan my copy of the book to a friend. So, I buy them one on Amazon.
This story affords an intimate glimpse in the lives of the Romanovs and their chilling end. The novel's grandeur and opulent expression seemed to me to be a metaphor for the main character's refusal to discard her dignity and monarchist hopes following the Russian revolution. I found it effective and always artfully constructed.
I enjoyed this novel and was grateful for the author's evocative depiction of Rasputin. He really did come alive for me and the macabre circumstances of his death constituted one of the more gripping passages in the novel.