As someone who is majorly obsessed with Anastasia, you know I had to track down Romanov. It’s a story about family, growth, and magic.
The history books say I died.
They don’t know the half of it.
Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.
Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .
That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The cover of this book is absolutely stunning. It’s one of those books I probably would have picked up just for the cover alone. And then I find out it’s by Nadine Brandes, author of Fawkes, and an Anastasia re-telling and it became the easiest decision. Romanov is a book about magic and family. At the same time it’s a book about forbidden romance, finding your own courage, and forgiveness. At the heart of Romanov is a story about loyalty, seeing beyond the binary of enemy and ally, and giving people second chances.
At the beginning, Nastya still sees the world in black and white. As her family versus the guards who took her away from her home. It isn’t about animosity, in fact her family makes friends with the guards, but it’s still about two sides. Throughout Romanov Nastya begins to see the shades in between. The question the facts she thinks she knows about her life, and to see beyond the soldier’s faces. Into their hearts, especially as she begins to fall in love with one of them. All while seeing, first hand, the destruction forbidden love can bring.
She is fiercely loyal to her family, determined to save them, and because of that we can empathize with her. Haven’t we all discovered secrets that changed the way we saw our family members? Moments where we see them more as people, not our parents, or sisters. As humans, capable of mistakes, betrayal, and lies. So Nastya has to figure out who she is separate from her family, what will she stand for? This becomes increasingly more complex as Nastya desires to a be a spell master. Her brother’s conditions require constant spells for relief, but also to help him heal, and Nastya feels increasingly helpless without the knowledge to heal him.
A theme I liked a lot, but cannot talk about without spoiling the book, is the notion of mercy and forgiveness. When people wrong us, can we find it in our heart to forgive them? Can we grant other’s mercy even when they don’t deserve it? And what does this say about us? Romanov is a book based in facts, and flourished with fantasy. It imagines how the past could have played out, while trying to remain faithful to fragments of history. What results is a fascinating magical story about lost princesses, revolution, and hope.
A copy of Romanov. Starts May 7th and ends May 20tha Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author
Nadine once spent four days as a sea cook in the name of book research. She’s the author of FAWKES and of the award-winning The Out of Time Series. Her inner fangirl perks up at the mention of soul-talk, Quidditch, bookstagram, and Oreos. When she’s not busy writing novels about bold living, she’s adventuring through Middle Earth or taste-testing a new chai. Nadine and her Auror husband are building a Tiny House on wheels. Current mission: paint the world in shalom.