This is a review of Romanov by Nadine Brandes.
Based on the history of Anastasia and the whole Romanov family. This book is set in Bolshevik Russia. After the revolution the Tsar is forced to step down and the whole Romanov family is put in exile. Anastasia her father gives her the responsibility to smuggle an ancient spell on their way to exile. This spell might be the only hope for the Romanov family. In exile the days are dull and the only thing that keeps Anastasia going is her family, hope of rescue/escape and a blooming friendship between her and one of the Bolchevik guards.
I grew up with the dreamworks movie Anastasia. It was one of my favorite movies growing up. Because of this I have always been intrigued by the history of the Romanovs and the myth of Anastasias survival.
This book is a great balance of historical facts, magic and fiction. I really enjoyed reading this book however for some reason I had higher expectations going into this book. Maybe it is because the whole story of Anastasia has intrigued me since I was little and therefore I expected more. It felt like the story was a bit slow. It was not actionpacked but also did not have a big emotional impact (I mostly prefer books that are either actionpacked and have a lot going on or have a bigger emotional meaning and impactful characterrealtionships). Because of this it felt dull at some points.
The story in itself was good. I especially liked the way the author managed to bring magic into the story. It did not feel forced into the story and it fitted well with the history of the Romanovs. From the characters Alexei is my favorite. He is so full of spirit despite of his sickness and the responisbility he has as (ex)heir to the Tsar.
Another thing I like about this book is the complexity of good versus bad. With the main question; does being on the other side of history make you bad? With the friendships between the guards and the Romanovs you see that not everybody who is on the other side is your enemy and that some are on the other side by force. Besides learning about eachother can make you change your perspective of your side.
All in all the book was not as good as I expected and a little bit on the slower side. Still I really enjoyed it and would give it 5 stars. 3/5.