Article first published as Book Review: The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen on Blogcritics.
In The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen, we learn more about the years and treachery, the color and pageantry, and the sadness and despair of this family that continues to bring questions and still hold many enthralled. With a deft pen and a deep and interesting look into the history following the family, Mossanen takes you back in time, building a story of love and passion, with a twist of belief and a bit of myth. I have never really understood the fascination with the imperial family of Russia, yet I now find myself just as interested and wondering as the most adept of seekers. How did all this happen? Did the Romanov’s really just not understand the seriousness of the times, or was the advice they received not reliable?
Mossanen has given us the character of Darya, through whose eyes we view the mysteries and enchantments of the times. As caregiver to Alexei, she puts her charge above everything else in her life including that of her love. After the fall of the Romanovs, she is still convinced her Alexei has survived against all odds, and she makes it her life’s work to find the heir to the Russian throne and return royal blood to an imperial Russia.
The characters are an amazing array, with the Royal family themselves, the mysterious Rasputin, and then there is Darya, an enigma who is full of passion, and just a bit of danger and magic. The descriptions and story are moving and exciting, and yet forlorn and sad. The action is thrilling and yet horrifying. A real history tied in with myth and mystery, it is hard to find a time to put the book down. You will find yourself enthralled with the history of a family that just did not seem to see beyond themselves, or understand the hysteria of the time. Their life continues to evoke interest, and their deaths to create questions. Many questions seem to remain unanswered and open to interpretation even today.
Darya is a character full of mystery herself, and fits well within the parameters of the differences evinced within the family. She is mysterious and beautiful and yet shrouded in mystery. Her life wends throughout the story adding a darkness and mythical cadence, a richness just a bit more sublime. The love and care of the family and all who are a part is heartfelt and creates a genuine feel that makes you long to know more.
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.
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.
This book was received as an ARC through the publicist. All opinions are my own based on my reading and understanding of the material.