My name is Anastasia . . . The history books say I died . . . They don’t know the half of it.
And so, it begins. Romanov by Nadine Brandes is a very unusual book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It is a creative combination of historical and fantasy fiction. These two genres are not easily combined but Ms. Brandes did an excellent job.
I have always been a history buff and I love historical fiction.
Before reading Romanov, I knew very little about the Romanov family or the Russian Revolution.
I’d heard of Anastasia, of course, and knew her life and death were shrouded in mystery but reading this book has piqued my interest in time period and family.
In the first part of the book, Ms. Brandes sticks to the historical facts as much as possible. I did gain a deeper appreciation of this time in history. At the back of the book the author tells us what parts were true and exactly where she stretched the truth. I really appreciated this.
The truth-stretching is most rampant towards the end of the book when the magic and fantasy elements take over.
I am not big on magic in books, but this is the fairytale type of magic. It is not dark magic.
The Romanov family are Christians because many times they pray to Jesus. Because dark magic was not involved I was able to relax and enjoy the fantasy parts of this book.
The book blurb states that Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.
Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are either to release the spell and deal with the consequences or to enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.
That is until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.
As the blurb suggests, this book is full of excitement, drama, and emotion. The family drama, loss of life, and hopelessness may be too intense for younger youth. I would not recommend this for middle-grade or extremely sensitive youth, but any adult or young adult who enjoys a well-written historical book with a magical fire will enjoy this book.
If you’ve read Romanov, I would love to know what you thought about it.
Do you enjoy historical fiction? What about fantasy?