Thursday 18 October 2018

Book Review: The Witches of St Petersburg by Imogen Edward-Jones (Historical Fiction)

Title: The Witches of St Petersburg
Author: Imogen Edward-Jones
Head of Zeus

Publication Date: 25 October 2018
eBook - PDF
Historical Fiction
ARC via NetGalley


The Russian Empire is on the verge of collapse. Revolution is in the air. The starving stalk the streets of St Petersburg and yet the Imperial Court still commute between their estates and organise their lavish balls.

Two sisters arrive in the city. Princesses from Montenegro; they are famed for their wild beauty and mystical powers. Initially ridiculed and outcast as the daughters of a provincial 'Goat King', they react in the only way they know how. They befriend the isolated Tsarina Alexandra and, using their gifts, they help her in her increasingly desperate quest to give birth to a son and heir. The circle closes. The girls are the gateway. Gurus, clairvoyants, holy fools and charlatans all try their luck. Then in one doomed, last throw of the dice, the sisters introduce Rasputin into the Russian Court...

Based on a true story of the lives of Princess Militza and Princess Anastasia of Montenegro during the dying days of the Russian Empire, The Witches of St Petersburg is a tale of love, lust, power and betrayal at the heart of the Romanov Court.

The Witches of St Petersburg was a gripping tale. I don't recall ever having read much about these two princesses before, so it was interesting to see a new take on the Rasputin story, which has already been told so many times and in many different ways. The girls were intriguing characters, especially Militza, but I couldn't help yelling at them in my head now and then for being so dense. Sometimes things were obviously a bad idea, but they just walked right into those situations anyway. Ah, well... Overall, though, this was a most entertaining read, and I recommend it for historical fiction lovers and those interested in the fall of the Romanovs.

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