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18 September 2018


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The Last Romanov

By Dora Levy Mossanen (Sourcebooks, $14.99)

Speaking of last surviving members of a dynastic family... The Last Romanov is also a fantasy, but it branches off in a more romantic direction – think bodice-ripping historical fiction stirred up with a bit of magic.

Mossanen’s is a richly imagined tale that centers on the long and tumultuous life of a century-old woman, Darya – daughter of a grand duke and a circus dancer, whose fate is bound up with the Romanovs in ways she herself does not fully comprehend. She feels responsible for their fate, and especially for that of the tsarevich.

Somehow convinced that the Tsarevich Alexei survived the family’s mass execution in Yekaterinburg (which she herself miraculously survived, whisked away by her Jewish lover), Darya spends her life searching for the heir, egged on by the incongruously powerful Russian Nobility Association, and by the prophesies of Rasputin.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2012