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Friday, January 20, 2012

The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen

The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (368 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

For almost a century, Imperial Russia has captivated the imagination— the ruthless execution of the royal family, the disputed survival of the heir: it’s a cinematic chaos that the masterful Dora Levy Mossanen unravels for her readers. Taking readers deep into tarnished grandeur, The Last Romanov follows Darya, a wise old beauty whose time spent with the Imperial family has haunted her entire life. When the murderous events unfold, Darya is plagued by the prophecy made by the Empress’s advisor, Rasputin. She must find the missing Tsarevich Alexis Romanov and restore the monarchy or risk losing her own life.

What could happen in today’s Russia if there had been a surviving member of the Romanov family? This is the question that Dora Levy Mossanen asks in The Last Romanov. She takes you through the last years of the Imperial Couple’s rule, up to the moment of their execution… and possible survival of the teenaged Tsarevich, Alexis Romanov. Prepare yourself for one wild ride through history as Darya tells her tale and makes her search for the missing Tsarevich!

Darya believes it’s her divine destiny to guard and protect the young Tsarevich Alexis Romanov from everything that might possibly oppose his eventual ascension to the Imperial throne of Russia. She’s so focused on her duty to the royal family that she often sacrifices things important to her for their benefit. While this is an honorable and often required trait in a member of the royal household, it also shows a single-mindedness that might not always make for a good companion, either. She lets her care of, and eventual search for, Alexis Romanov consume the remainder of her life. Darya is, on the other hand, a loyal and caring caretaker to Alexis as well as a devout and dedicated soul.

Darya’s one distraction from the young Tsarevich and the Imperial Family is her one true love, Avram. Their romance is fiery and passionate, made even more so by the fact that he is a forbidden Jew. For someone of her standing to be involved with a commoner was unheard of at that time, but for this commoner to also be a Jew? It was pure scandal. Darya and Avram do not let this come between them, however, showing both grace and the strength of true love to overcome all obstacles. The way the keep finding one another, despite the odds and political crisis of the time, is both magical and hope for us all.

However, despite Darya’s complete obsession with the young Tsarevich and what became of him, her story is one of the most interesting I’ve read in a long time. This era of history, and the Romanov family itself, has long been a curiosity of mine. To find such an imaginative and intriguing story set during this time and involving this family was a happy surprise for me. Filled with both wild and the more sedate historical characters plus just a touch of the mystical, The Last Romanov brings magic and history together in a spectacular way.

The Last Romanov is a wonderfully well-written read for any lover of history or even just someone who believes in the impossible.