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Monday, August 4, 2014

The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming [Review + Giveaway]

Title: The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia
Author: Candace Fleming
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade

“[A] superb history.... In these thrilling, highly readable pages, we meet Rasputin, the shaggy, lecherous mystic...; we visit the gilded ballrooms of the doomed aristocracy; and we pause in the sickroom of little Alexei, the hemophiliac heir who, with his parents and four sisters, would be murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.” —The Wall Street Journal Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost;The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read as well as a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards.
"An exhilarating narrative history of a doomed and clueless family and empire." —Jim Murphy, author of Newbery Honor Books An American Plague and The Great Fire
"For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming’s extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience." —Booklist, Starred
"Marrying the intimate family portrait of Heiligman’s Charles and Emmawith the politics and intrigue of Sheinkin’s Bomb, Fleming has outdone herself with this riveting work of narrative nonfiction that appeals to the imagination as much as the intellect." —The Horn Book, Starred

We all know about the Romanov's, whether from a history class or from Anastasia, the fantastic cartoon that depicted Russia as a place full of sing alongs. We have all heard about their ultimate fall and there has always been some mystery involved when thinking about that time period and their culture as a whole.

I've always been a fan of historical fiction, that often times leads into nonfiction as well. I loved the narrative in this book, Candace Fleming has a way of retelling history in a way that isn't dry or boring. Most often I hear issues with a book's voice in nonfiction. Nonfiction shouldn't feel like the simple retelling of facts, but rather feel like an accurate retelling that is interesting while still being informative.

Candace Fleming definitely delivered in the storytelling department. I've always been interested in history, but even those who haven't found it so appealing may enjoy this title. It covers Imperial Russia very fully through the prime down to the ultimate Fall in great detail.

The Romanov line is one that some still question to this day. People say that Alexandra was secretly sleeping with Rasputin, people claim that since Anastasia's body wasn't decidedly found in the debris that she somehow made it out alive, and still little Alexei's illness never became public until after his death.

There are so many details about the Romanov's that aren't talked about and this novel really put me into the life and times of not only the emperor and empress but each of their children.

If you're a lover of historical fiction, this book should be on your list.

It tells of one of the most famous families ever, which just so happens to also be one we often don't talk about as much as we should.

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