To Go: 59
41. The Winter Palace — Eva Stachniak
Two young women, caught in the landscape of shifting allegiances, navigate the treacherous waters of palace intrigue. Barbara is a servant who will become one of Russia”s most cunning royal spies. Sophia is a pretty, naive German duchess who will become Catherine the Great. For readers of superb historical fiction, Eva Stachniak captures in glorious detail the opulence of royalty and the perilous loyalties of the Russian court.
I’ve decided that, to make everyone’s life easier, the book description is going to be center-aligned. Then you’ll be able to tell where that stops and I begin. Anywho!
Let’s face it: Russia is probably one of the most interesting countries. From spies and intrigue to royalty and gorgeous architecture, Russia has got it all. And Eva Stachniak’s The Winter Palace delivers all of that and more — history, nobility, opulence, and mystery.
The Winter Palace is first and foremost a fantastic historical fiction, and a fascinating sort-of biography of one of Russia’s most influential women, Catherine the Great. It’s full of spying and treachery and all those other mysterious things that Russia is famous for. And, at its heart, it’s a portrait of three strong women — Empress Elizabeth, Catherine the Great, and Varvara Nikolayevna — who wielded power in a man’s (man’s man’s) world.
Though The Winter Palace was a long, consuming read, every scene was riveting. It was worth the week that I spent reading it. Pick it up if you’re in the mood for a lush historical novel. (Who isn’t in the mood for one of those?)
Next book: one of those short Michael Connelly ones I bought at BMV. Harry Bosch, here I come!
PS: Bet you won’t be able to resist hitting replay after you listen to that Seal song.
PPS: Enjoy some literary humour. Texts From Jane Eyre.