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  • Tsarina

    If you want to read a book that's gripping and atmospheric you should read 'Tsarina'. The characters take you back to a harsher world, but at the same time it's fascinating and interesting in its vivid detail of all aspects of life in Russia , under the rule of Peter the Great.

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  • A really good read

    Didn't think I would like this book when I started it but the history and character's drew me in and I found it fascinating and in parts hard to read. A great story makes me want to know more about the subject. Recommended read

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  • Action packed, passionate and horrific in places.

    Ellen Alpsten brilliantly portrays life, and death, in Russian in the early 1700’s at the time of Peter the Great. The story is told through the words of Marta, an illiterate from a serf family, who becomes Catherine 1, Tsarina and Emporess Of Russia. Having visited Moscow & St Petersburg last year, I was captivated to learn from the novel so much about the establishment of those great cities. The story is action packed, passionate and horrific in places but so well written that it is hard to put down.

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  • Well researched.

    A fascinating biography . Well worth a read to anyone interested in Russian history.

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  • A rags to riches historical novel

    I got Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten from NetGalley for a fair and honest review Tsarina is an historical novel about the life of Catherine I of Russia and second wife of Peter the Great. From her illegitimate birth being sold buy her family, through to the Russian court and introduction to the Russian court marrying the Tsar to eventually being the Tsarina. Ellen Alpsten has written, a really enjoyable novel, which is truly, a rags to riches tale told through the eyes Catherine her self. The story starts of Just before the death of Peter the great, then goes back in time to when Catherine, who was born with the name Marta, was with her family. Telling the story from that point, and every so often going back to the night that her husband the Tsar dies. The book is well written with each character being well rounded as they each come into her life. With the Tsar being one of the most interesting as he seems brutal one page, and then almost childlike in the next, as he deals with to modernise Russia with brute force . Catherine her self in novel is no angel, seems to be her reacting to any given situation, as though she did not want to do this but if I don’t something terrible would have happened to me, in most cases this is correct, although as Catherine is the narrator this fits in with the style of the story. What Ellen Alpsten has done well, which to me is what all good historical novels should be, is a really good story well written, not telling it by what happens but putting the reader in to the mind of the real life person so they can examine, why they took the actions and decisions they did. One other thing an historical book should do is give, the reader an interest in finding out more about the time and place where the book was set. Which after reading I can defiantly that this book has made me do that, with all this in mind I can highly recommend that you pick up and read Ellen Alpsten, new book Tsarina

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