Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Empress of the Night: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak

Title: Empress of the Night: A Novel of Catherine the Great
Author: Eva Stachniak
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Historical Fiction (Russia 1790)
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

The follow-up to the #1 bestseller The Winter Palace--perfect for the readers of Hilary Mantel and Alison Weir. 

Catherine the Great, the Romanov monarch reflects on her astonishing ascension to the throne, her leadership over the world's greatest power, and the lives sacrificed to make her the most feared woman in the world--lives including her own...

Catherine the Great muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. And before her last breath, shadowed by the bloody French Revolution, she sets up the end game for her last political maneuver, ensuring her successor and the greater glory of Russia.

I have not yet read The Winter Palance, but I just added it to my Amazon cart to pick up with my next batch of books.  Eva Stachniak just may be getting added to my "but everything she writes" list.  Her writing was caprivating and very descriptive without going too far and giving too much.  

The court and life of Catherine the Great was very different from many of the European courts I have read about during that time.  Stachniak captured the grandoise lifestyle and obsession with impressing Russia's European counterparts and need for expansion.  There was so much I never realized about Catherine the Great - such as she wasn't really Russian and her name wasn't originally Catherine.

Her story was amazing, told as a memory she has after a fall towards the end of her life.  She had many enemies, but many people also truly loved her and relied on her rule to make life in Russia better.  I can't wait to see what The While Palace is like - told from the point of view of a close servant instead of Catherine.  It's amazing how the same story can be completely different when told from two perspectives.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

No comments:

Post a Comment