|Print List Price:||$13.18|
Save $9.19 (70%)
Triumph of a Tsar Kindle Edition
Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I am very, very finicky about historical accuracy and cultural authenticity. I've read too many novels and seen too many movies depicting a cartoonish cardboard Russia speckled with cliches, and this novel definitely gets my stamp of approval. So many authors think it's enough to throw in references to bears, balalaikas, samovars and ushanka hats to create a sense of authenticity. Thankfully, this author does not resort to that. He does not need to rely on cliches. His knowledge of the era shines through his sharp, eloquent prose. For an alternative history novel to be effective, it has to be rooted in reality. The author has to be a political scientist and a military strategist. I cannot believe that this gem was not picked up by some major publisher like Random House. I would love to see it turned into an Amazon series.
For the uninitiated, Nicholas Romanov was the last tsar of the Russian Empire, ruling from the late 19th century until his abdication in 1917 during the February Revolution (aka Bolshevik Revolution). A year later, he and his family were murdered at the hands of their Bolshevik guards, ushering in the era of Lenin and Stalin and the communists. The story of their tragic fate has been widely written about, and like me, has captured the imaginations of people all over the world. Many theories have swirled in the last 100 years about the potential survival of Anastasia, Nicholas’ youngest daughter, proving that the story of the family’s murder has long tugged on the heartstrings and compassions of thousands of people.
This type of fascination often leads to “what if” questions — what would the world be like today had Nicholas (or his father) done things a little differently? What if Nicholas’ father, Emperor Alexander III, had given the people a constitution, turning his reign into a constitutional monarchy? What if the Bolsheviks had not been successful because the Russian people as a whole supported their emperor because their grievances had been addressed to their satisfaction? In this ambitious work, Tamar Anolic set out to address these questions with Triumph of a Tsar.
This book was not at all what I expected, and it is somewhat unlike the types of books I am used to reading. For me, the story was propelled not so much by a series of “action shots” or by tension, but by a continual desire on my part to know how Alexei, the son of Nicholas II, and the boy who eventually takes his father’s place as Emperor of Russia, would handle the next crisis or political problem making up the “alternate” nature of the history. Early in the book I remember thinking that I wished there was somehow “more” – more time to dwell on certain events or people, for instance. As I adjusted to the style of the writing, it suddenly didn’t matter anymore. The breadth of the story itself is too vast to linger at any one point in time for too long. Soon I began to realize that I kept coming back to read the book because my enjoyment of it was at a deeper level. I enjoyed watching Alexei grow and develop as a man and a leader, and I was undeniably curious to know how the political and social events would develop differently from real history.
Alexei himself was portrayed in this book exactly how I’ve always imagined him to be. Anolic’s characterizations in general were simply beautiful. Simple and straightforward, there is something very classic about her approach in writing the individuals flowing in and out of the story, and in and out of Alexei’s life.
Anolic’s research and breadth of knowledge of her subject was obvious. There is so much to know about the politics, economy, world politics, and the social problems of 19th century Russia that lead to the overthrow of the tsars, that for Anolic to write about them in such a way so as to correct the mistakes made by the Romanovs in order to make her alternate history viable, I think it took an enormous amount of work and thought. And the book was very well thought out, on all levels.
There were places that perhaps the author used more modern and casual dialogue than I prefer in historical fiction, and admittedly this did pull me out of the story a few times, this is a skill that gets honed over time in an author’s career.
More comment than critique, and certainly not criticism — I did find it very difficult to keep track of the huge cast of characters and their relationships to one another. Part of this was because of my unfamiliarity with the Russian way of passing along surnames within a family. Also because the author chose to use not only the characters’ given names, but also the nicknames they used for one another within the family. In instances like this, I find it helpful to be able to flip to the beginning of a printed copy of the book to refer to a character list. I’m not certain if such a list was provided in this book because I didn’t check. It’s much more cumbersome to do such a thing on a Kindle (and I was reading an e-copy). Needless to say, this didn’t take away too much from my enjoyment of the book. I always knew who the significant characters were, and really that was enough for me.
Contrary to what I said earlier about the foundations of the book being less about tension and action, I do have to say that the ending was very intense! It most definitely provided a satisfactory outcome to what most of us hope for in an alternate history.
I definitely recommend this book to lovers of history in general, to those fascinated by the Romanov family, and anyone interested in political and social history.