Monday, 31 December 2018

Book Review: The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers by Kerrie Turner (Historical Fiction)

Title: The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers
Author: Kerrie Turner
Publisher:
Harlequin Australia

Publication Date: 21 January 2019
Pages:
436
Format:
eBook - PDF
Genre:
Historical Fiction
Source:
ARC via NetGalley




Petrograd, 1914. A country on a knife edge. The story of two people caught in the middle - with everything to lose...

A stunning debut from a talented new Australian voice in historical fiction. Valentina Yershova's position in the Romanovs' Imperial Russian Ballet is the only thing that keeps her from the clutches of poverty. With implacable determination, she has clawed her way through the ranks, relying not only on her talent but her alliances with influential men that grant them her body, but never her heart. Then Luka Zhirkov - the gifted son of a factory worker - joins the company, and suddenly everything she has built is put at risk.

For Luka, being accepted into the company fulfils a lifelong dream. But in the eyes of his proletariat father, it makes him a traitor. As civil war tightens its grip and the country starves, Luka is torn between his growing connection to Valentina and his guilt for their lavish way of life.

For the Imperial Russian Ballet has become the ultimate symbol of Romanov indulgence, and soon the lovers are forced to choose: their country, their art or each other...


The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers is a sweeping story that offers a tantalising view of the revolution through the eyes of people caught between the two camps. I particularly loved the way Turner brought the world of the ballet to life; it's easy to tell that she is a dancer herself from her lovely descriptions during those scenes. The love story didn't always work for me. I had trouble seeing Luka and Valentina as a workable couple at times. They didn't feel a natural 'fit' to me. But in all other respects I enjoyed this book, and I would definitely read more from Kerrie Turner in the future. I recommend this one for fans of historical fiction looking to see the Russian revolution told from a fresh perspective.

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