Sonja Schmitt Schmitt từ Jahan Khosh, Lorestan, I-ran
I loved reading this book. I’ve studied some Russian history in the past, so I suppose that might have drawn me into this book faster than most readers, but I still feel that this was a very easy and appealing read. Anastasia’s narration was honest, complicated and very accessible. You could relate easily to this character somehow, despite the time difference, the cultural factors, the social factors. Somehow Ms Dunlap makes it ever so easy to listen to Anastasia. The book, whilst seeming to provide endless details, is fast paced and full of tension and expectation. It follows the timeline of the Russian revolution (and World War One) precisely and yet information is doled out at calculated intervals - through revelations Anastasia gets here and there (by listening at a door, or speaking to Sasha etc). You feel the impact of these events, like a tidal wave grabbing Anastasia and throwing her here or there - so detailed is her account. As one critic put it: What Twilight did for vampires, this book will do for Russian royalty. There is just no way to loose sympathy with the patriotic, humane and brave family portrayed in this book. Despite the vast array of characters in this book, each one was memorable. You feel like you know these people, you come to care for them. This book was touching, sentimental, it makes you want to cry and smile. I really enjoyed the romance aspect of the book - Sasha is tempting, yet real, he’s kind and yet flawed. And somehow, you could imagine their relationship having occurred perfectly even though it is so improbable, so wonderful and perfect is the writing and crafting of this novel. And everything is handled with such sensitivity. I should note that some scenes in this book make it unsuitable for young readers (ages 14+ I would say). If you are a romantic then you will love this book, if you are a historian you will love this book. I adore the cover - it draws you in. The gaze is so direct, the dress and background so detailed - just like the book itself. This book pulls punch after punch and doesn’t let go. Even it’s ending leaves you ramped up for more. This book was so good that I’m going to pick up something from Susanne Dunlap’s back catalogue!