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The Lost Crown Paperback – July 10, 2012
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Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. Like the fingers on a hand—first headstrong Olga, then Tatiana the tallest, Maria most hopeful for a ring, and Anastasia the smallest. These are the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, grand duchesses living a life steeped in tradition and privilege. They are young women each on the brink of starting her own life. The summer of 1914 is that precious last wink of time when they can still be sisters together—who link arms and laugh, sisters who share their dreams and worries, and who flirt with the officers of their imperial yacht.
But in a gunshot the future changes—for these sisters and for Russia.
As World War I ignites across Europe, political unrest sweeps Russia. First dissent, then disorder, mutiny—and revolution. For Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, the end of their girlhood collides with the end of more than they ever imagined.
At the same time hopeful and hopeless, naïve and wise, the voices of these sisters become a chorus singing the final song of this great empire. Impeccably researched and utterly fascinating, acclaimed author Sarah Miller recounts the final days of Imperial Russia.
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
"- SLJ July 2011"
The Lost Crown.
Miller, Sarah (Author)
Jun 2011. 448 p. Atheneum, hardcover, $17.99. (9781416983408).
The Russian Grand Duchesses, who were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918 along with the rest of their family, have become something of a literary mainstay. This thoroughly researched novel brings the four young women to readers in their own voices. In alternating chapters (each with a small photo of the
narrator), Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia report on their lives and their relationships and slowly but
surely reveal the perilous situation in which they find themselves. Each Grand Duchess comes across as a unique personality, with the best known, Anastasia, the most distinctive. But each girl is given time and space to reveal and reflect, and like the best historical novels, this allows modern-day teens to see parts of themselves in very different people. Sometimes the Russian words and history overwhelm the narrative, but by the heartbreaking book's conclusion, readers will be caught up in the girls' story. A glossary, a note about the Russian calendar, and an affecting epilogue complete the book.
--"BOOKLIST", April 15, 2011
Tsar Nicholas II's four ill-fated daughters provide a fictional, inside look at Imperial Russia's dying days in this thoroughly researched, poignant and compelling account of how the deposed Romanovs coped with abdication and arrest from 1914 to 1918.
At the beginning of World War I, Russia's grand duchesses, Olga (19), Tatiana (17), Maria (15) and Anastasia (13) lived privileged, protected lives with their mild-mannered father, Nicholas, their anxious mother, Alexandra and their hemophiliac younger brother, Aleksei. Relying on letters, diaries and photographs of the imperial family as well as memoirs of people who shared their last years, Miller imagines how war and revolution irrevocably transported the Romanovs from their palace to house arrest in rural Tobolsk and final captivity in Ekaterinburg. The human side of their story is related chronologically through the alternating first-person voices of insightful Olga, organized Tatiana, kind-hearted Maria and impish Anastasia. Removed from the political drama exploding outside their doors, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia emerge as isolated, unique young women with their own dreams and fears. As they nurse wounded soldiers, care for their fretful mother, amuse their ailing brother and suffer humiliation and deprivation, the four sisters symbolize family devotion and enduring hope in the face of bitter fate.
A fascinating, moving exploration of the endlessly fascinating Romanovs, buttressed by extensive and fascinating backmatter. - "KIRKUS, "May 1, 2011, *STAR
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world."
--Greg King, co-author of "The Fate of the Romanovs" and" Resurrection of the Romanovs "
"As Romanov fiction goes, this is probably the best of the bunch."
Helen Rappaport, author of "The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg"
About the Author
- Publisher : Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (July 10, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1416983414
- ISBN-13 : 978-1416983415
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Lexile measure : 880L
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,485,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #790 in Children's Military Fiction (Books)
- #1,023 in Children's Europe Books
- #4,193 in Children's Siblings Books (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2022
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At the beginning is the happy times - aboard the yacht Standart, with their only worry their brother Aleksei's hemophilia to cast a shadow. Almost before the reader knows it, the war occurs, then abdication, and finally house arrest. The girls still hope - for a better life, for escape - but Ms. Miller creates a foreboding attitude near the end of the story, yet still Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia continue to dream of a better life. It ends in a cellar at Ekaterinburg, with the brutal Romanov Massacre. The way Ms. Miller chose to write about the massacre tore my heart to shreds, but after I read the Epilogue, I flipped it over and started again!
The Lost Crown was an amazing book of hope and dreams, sadness and fear, but ultimately, the love and bond of four sisters, whose world was changing around them, and when you finish, you'll be in awe that this actually happened for real - such a sad, tragic story, but Ms. Miller handles it with talent and personality that other authors might not even dare touch. The Lost Crown is a must-read for all teens - and every other Romanov fan, regardless of age.
She has also chosen to focus on what I feel is the most interesting part of their lives....the years beginning with the advent of WW1. Though brought up in a sheltered world, each girl shows a remarkable mettle when facing the increasingly horrific situation of their later years. It's a testament to family unity and sisterly devotion.
I have been a Romanov enthusiast for many years and this book sparkles with the young people I have had in the corner of my eye and whose voices have rung in my ears all that time. It's kind of a shock to meet them in via another's words.
Ms Miller's ability to paint with words is also amazing and there is a marvelous tactile sensibility at work here. Seemingly every part has a jewel of a description that puts you right there.
I feel " The Lost Crown" will become a great engine, drawing to the family the new generation of Roman enthusiasts. But this time they will known the true history from the start.
Those who are not familiar with Romanov history might find this a great introduction to the subject. The book includes an index of names and roles, Russian phrases, pictures and a summary of historical context. Each chapter contains a photo of the sister narrating which may alleviate any confusion a reader may have with the constantly shifting perspective.
The events are played out just as they did almost 100 years ago, which is a testament to the author's thorough research. I found that the dialogue as imagined by Miller is well written and sounds so authentic, with each Grand Duchess having a distinct voice. The characters are wonderfully portrayed, and witnessing their growing indignity and helplessness really moved me. I can't say enough about the emotional impact this had on me, so I will leave it to readers to experience it for themselves.
OTMA is how the girls were referred to, but those 4 were deeply affected by their upbringing, surrounding and their parents woes. Naive and sensitive, intelligent but lacking in social skills, their growth was stunted in comparison to others in their age group.
Tho this book THE LOST CROWN is fiction it IS based on letters and diaries ,so the girls ( mostly - tho Alex is included) become PEOPLE not merely names. Heartbreaking in that the reader knows what the ending holds and yet, for some reason, hope remains. The time span covers the interim period of life in the palace and their deaths in captivity.
But they were loving young ladies who deserved much more than bullets and bayonets in the basement.