Romanov

Romanov

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 saving herself and her family a...

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Title:Romanov
Author:Nadine Brandes
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Edition Language:English

Romanov Reviews

  • C.G. Drews

    I already knew I'd love this book before I picked it up, I mean pfft have u seen

    which is a magical Guy Fawkes retelling that exploded into my life and I am still thinking about a year later?!? Exactly. Nadine Brandes does the

    HF retellings...but adds in magic and heartbreak and endings that cut deep, but also aren't hopeless. I love that balance.

    it.

    If you know the history of the

    I already knew I'd love this book before I picked it up, I mean pfft have u seen

    which is a magical Guy Fawkes retelling that exploded into my life and I am still thinking about a year later?!? Exactly. Nadine Brandes does the

    HF retellings...but adds in magic and heartbreak and endings that cut deep, but also aren't hopeless. I love that balance.

    it.

    If you know the history of the Romanovs, then you know...this isn't a light quirky story ok. It gut-wrenching. It picks up when the Romanov family are in exile, banished to a house where they need permission to even open a window. It's basically a waiting game, while they're promised a fair trail, but they're dreading being executed. So the plot isn't an action-adventure...we feel trapped and stagnate with Nastya. We feel the dread and the thin hope as maaaaybe the White Army will save them. I would've liked to have seen them in their palace life though?! I wanna prequel. 🤗

    ok something I love about Brandes novels is how she weaves magic in so flawlessly you kind of forget...history...didn't have magic?! It's incredible. We have spell ink here, so you can learn the words and write the spells and they sink into your skin. And isn't that an awesome magic system?! 10/10. With Rasputin dead, Nastya is the only one who can do a little magic (she desperately wants to learn to be a full spellmaster) and she can give Alexei a little relief from his illness with spells. But the ending goes BADASS with the magic and it's phenomenal, clever, and heartstopping.

    the story is Nastya and she holds onto life with all the love and fierceness of a girl who knows she has potential and the world cannot break her. Nastya is such an optimist! She's a mischief-maker and a sweetheart and she refuses to be beaten down, emotionally or spiritually. afkdlsad I do love her. And she has such a sweet relationship with her 13yo brother, Alexei, who has haemophilia and he's so sick. He spends a lot of the book in a wheelchair too. While I can't speak of any personal experience with his disability/illness, I

    feel like the disability rep was done with such love and care. Making !!! me so !!! happy !! Also he's a sassy little spitfire and I nearly choked laughing when he interrupted Nastya and Zash just as they were having a Moment. (He also shipped them so loudly, so like 😂Alexei is adorable.)

    Now Zash...ah, our love interest. He is a troubled scowling boy, a guard of the Romanov family in their house-arrest prison, and I liked that the book didn't force him and Nastya into a whirlwind romance. Their relationship was tentative and more of a promise. Which was good because captor/captee romances need to be done veeeery carefully.

    ALSO THERE WAS A DOG AND I LOVE THE DOG AND I PANICKED OVER THE DOG BUT ALL IS WELL WITH THE DOG. 🙏🏻

    it's one of those book that balances such darkness with the light. It's a brutal plot line, full of cruel intentions and unfair circumstances. And while it

    follow history a lot, so you WILL get your heart smashed, it takes spins and twists you don't expect. I loved that about it (brb sobbing tho). Nastya also explores a heavy theme of forgiveness, and whether it is worth giving. While I'm not big on forgiving evil, I did appreciate how Nastya was so soft and yet so strong with her choices here. Afdsjakld she is a gem.

    ...anyway you need this. It's ANASTASIA!!! and it is magical, powerful, and thoughtful.

  • Tucker

    If the Romanov family lived in the Harry Potter world, it would be this book. Inspiring, beautiful and captivating, I could not have loved this book more. Now, I know that not a ton of people enjoyed this book which honestly doesn’t make much sense to me. I mean, what’s not to like. No, wait. Don’t answer that.

    follows Anastasia and her

    If the Romanov family lived in the Harry Potter world, it would be this book. Inspiring, beautiful and captivating, I could not have loved this book more. Now, I know that not a ton of people enjoyed this book which honestly doesn’t make much sense to me. I mean, what’s not to like. No, wait. Don’t answer that.

    follows Anastasia and her family who are under house arrest. They are doing their best to escape their captivity. But when they try, they are shot to death. Or are they? Using magic, Anastasia and her friends escape. And now they must stop their captors, the Bolsheviks.

    -

    - As you can see, Anastasia is rebellious, which I obviously loved. But aside from that fact that she’s willing to fight for herself, Anastasia is also kind and caring. Throughout the book, she is constantly putting herself aside to protect her brother and family which is nothing short of inspiring.

    - Broken and afraid, Zash is that character that you just want to hug. He is afraid that his family will get hurt and to protect them and himself, he joins the Bolshevik army which ends up causing lots of feelings for both him and Anastasia. He is torn between loyalty to The Red Army and his loyalty to Anastasia.

    I’ve always had a soft spot for retellings. I mean my all time favorite book is

    which is, in fact, a retelling. There is something so interesting and fun about reading history or an already existing story but with a twist. Somehow, you know what to expect but you never see the plot points coming at the same time. I love it. I can only imagine how fun it would be to basically re-write history.

    I loved the magic/fantasy twist that Nadine Brandes put on the Romanov. I do wish that the magic had been explored more. I loved that they could use spells but I wish we had some explanation. I felt like it was explained with the

    cheat. If we end up getting a book two (and we better get a book two), I want to see the magic explained. I think that once some of the rules are cleared up, it will become so much more believable and overall enjoyable.

    Finally, I loved the theme of forgiveness. Throughout the book, Anastasia had to choose whether or not she wanted to forgive her enemies and captors. I loved that the book recognized that forgiveness isn’t a simple word. It’s a battle that takes courage and insurmountable strength.

    In the end, you should read this book. If not to get your fantasy fix, than to be inspired and encouraged.

    Bottom Line:

    5 Stars

    Age Rating: [ PG-13 ]

    TW: Murder, Suicide

    Cover: 5/5 ~ Characters: 4/5 ~ Plot: 4/5 ~ Audio: 3/5 (That narrator's fake Russian accent was not great)

    Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction

    Publication Date: May 7th, 2019

    Publisher: Thomas Nelson

    Best Format: Hardcover/Paperback

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  • Ivana - Diary of Difference

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    Ever since I read Fawkes, I knew I loved Nadine’s writing, and when Romanov was announced, I couldn’t be happier. As I have spend my childhood and young adult life in the Balkans, whilst travelling across Europe, I have always admired Russia, and always enjoyed reading all the theories about the Romanov fam

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    Ever since I read Fawkes, I knew I loved Nadine’s writing, and when Romanov was announced, I couldn’t be happier. As I have spend my childhood and young adult life in the Balkans, whilst travelling across Europe, I have always admired Russia, and always enjoyed reading all the theories about the Romanov family.

    As a child I would be told stories and fairy tales, I would watch the Disney adaptation of Anastasia, and as I was growing up, I would read history books and fiction on this very subject. When I got my hands on ‘’Romanov’’, I knew I would be up for an adventure, with lots of expectations, but what I never knew was that I would be blown away of how beautiful this book is!

    This book is split into two main parts, before and after the Romanov’s execution, but it is also split into the first being the historical part, and the second being the fictional part. Both parts of the book are quite intense, and very different emotions come up to surface, but they are both very powerful throughout, and fitted together quite well.

    In the first part, we are introduced to the Romanov family, and how they are kept as hostages by the Bolsheviks. It would’ve been much better if we had more details on the pre-hostage period, why the revolution began, why the king abducted the throne, who are the Bolsheviks and what they believed in. The book starts in the middle of this whole situation, and whilst I knew the beginning before, I am certain a lot of people wouldn’t have.

    The history, as much accurate as it was, also had a personalized feeling that the author wanted to give. I have to admit, a lot of the details, especially around the family were quite accurate. The family did stick together and loved each other, they did have secrets and they did make friends with their captors. Anastasia’s brother did indeed had hemophilia and Rasputin was allegedly helping him. However, the author decided to put her personal feelings into the history as well. The king is presented as a wonderful leader that cares about the people. I understand that we see this story from Anastasia’s point of view, and as his daughter, she is supposed to see her father as the best figure in the world. But I still believe this part should be more objective, if not from Anastasia’s point of view, then at least by the king’s actions and dialogues. The other big element that bothered me was the portrayal of Rasputin. He is shown in this book as a family helper and a kind man, when in fact, he was far from that. In the history books, he is described as a madman, a creepy person, and the king was not happy of him coming in the house. The family’s secrecy and the queen’s silent domination over the king, together with Rasputin’s doings were the start of the revolution, and I believe that it one of the required truths that this books should have included, but didn’t. And that troubled me.

    On top of this, is the Russian language used throughout this book. There were a lot of spelling errors, and misinterpretations. And whilst I can understand these words, many people can’t, and translation wasn’t provided in the book. Also, I really found this quote interesting, talking about the Russian culture, and how they don’t show emotions. Just a note – this is most of the time true, people won’t be nice to strangers, but actually, Russian people are quite friendly and emotional as well.

    Apart from these few things that slightly bothered me, I really enjoyed this book. Anastasia is an amazing character, and through her we can see her love towards her family, her country, and even towards the people that wish her harm. We get to see her love, cry, be hurt, be afraid, forgive, and grow throughout the book, and her journey was magical.

    I loved the beginning of the book the most. The setting was well-written, and I got the feel the same way as the Romanov family did. They tried to act as if everything was normal, when in fact, they were held captive, and moved out of their home. They weren’t allowed to go out in the garden often, and when they did have this opportunity, they enjoyed every single second of it. And they all had hope every single day. They kept smiling and stayed together.

    There are number of scenes that will always stay close to my heart – the relationship between Zash and Anastasia (as unrealistic as it might be), always kept me on my toes, his desperation, and his guilt, and her ability to forgive and love regardless.

    The brother’s illness, and his persistence through it. His motivation and his will to never give up. The love he holds for his family, and especially his sister Anastasia, and the toughness and not letting go. A few scenes were unrealistic with him, as I hardly believe anyone suffering from hemophilia can survive all those injuries mentioned in the book and the pools of blood, but above all – this character did achieve what he was meant to do – show hope where there is none.

    Thank you to Nadine Brandes, for letting me be a part of her Ninja Team.

    Thank you to the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and NetGalley, for providing me with a complimentary ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Zainab

    I don't understand why none of y'all are reading this book at this very moment. Honestly just drop whatever you're reading because I assure you it's not half as good as this book.

    I'm sure most of you are familiar with the *children* version of Anastasia. I don't really care for it because I find the true story much better. (Please look it up if you don't know)

    Anyway, this is a retelling of Anastasia (as if it wasn't clear) It involves spells and stuff and feels like a better nicer version of the

    I don't understand why none of y'all are reading this book at this very moment. Honestly just drop whatever you're reading because I assure you it's not half as good as this book.

    I'm sure most of you are familiar with the *children* version of Anastasia. I don't really care for it because I find the true story much better. (Please look it up if you don't know)

    Anyway, this is a retelling of Anastasia (as if it wasn't clear) It involves spells and stuff and feels like a better nicer version of the actual story. Sure the dark parts are still there but not half as bad as what actually happened.

    Okay so I just realized that if you don't know the actual story then this sounds like gibberish but if I do write the story, I'd be giving some major spoilers so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    The book is beautifully written and undoubtedly one of the most underrated books of the year (I know it was released only a few days ago but still)

  • Vibur

    I liked

    . Really, I did.

    But.

    The setting was… ho-hum.

    Sure, there was the whole house arrest shebang, so it'd be unfair of me to fault the setting for being as claustrophobic as it was, but I can fault the writing for being bland and undescriptive—after two hundred pages, I should have a better sketch-out of the house than just the fact that there was, uh, a couple of rooms. Oh, and stairs.

    I liked

    . Really, I did.

    But.

    The setting was… ho-hum.

    Sure, there was the whole house arrest shebang, so it'd be unfair of me to fault the setting for being as claustrophobic as it was, but I can fault the writing for being bland and undescriptive—after two hundred pages, I should have a better sketch-out of the house than just the fact that there was, uh, a couple of rooms. Oh, and stairs.

    So much wasted potential and it's just. So. Frustrating.

    For the most part,

    —or in this case, to twentieth-century Russia.

    Not to mention, I am so, so cheesed off. I mean, seeing as how the Russian Revolution was happening at the protagonist's

    doorstep, I was hoping that at some point, I'd read something about…

    , an actual revolution? But nope, nada. Moving on.

    Then there was the plot—which, to be honest,

    Alright, so I did like the slowness of the first half. The unfortunate thing was that this slowness worked against the novel later on; going into the second half, there was a significant pickup in speed—and it was jarring enough to pull me out of the ride.

    What's more,

    —aaand I'll leave it at that, lest I start yanking my hair out.

    Regardless, there was something about Brandes' portrayal of the Romanovs that touched me.

    In which case, I have to applaud Brandes for her writing, for her playful yet elegant turn of phrase which imparted such a fierce vitality to Nastya's voice.

    And the truth is, I adored Nastya,

    Someone who possessed a deep compassion for all her people, who loved friends and enemies alike. Because in the end,

    was as much triumphant as it was tragic—a story about suffering and loss, but above all, about survival and forgiveness.

    3.0/5

    did

  • MischaS_

    ***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    The Romanov family fascinates people for a century. Well, their end does.

    And I was curious what Nadine Brandes would do with the story. And mainly how she's going to end the story, that's what I'm always curious to see.

    I believe that the book had great potential. However, it seems a bit like a miss. Like the story is always the one note away for me to really enjoy. But it's still an enjoyable read, an

    ***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    The Romanov family fascinates people for a century. Well, their end does.

    And I was curious what Nadine Brandes would do with the story. And mainly how she's going to end the story, that's what I'm always curious to see.

    I believe that the book had great potential. However, it seems a bit like a miss. Like the story is always the one note away for me to really enjoy. But it's still an enjoyable read, and I think that you won't be disappointed reading this.

    Roughly the first 60% follow the Romanov family from Tobolsk to Ekateringburg. Here, it seems very precise. The author then said that she did a lot of research. However, it seemed like she mainly used the Wikipedia article about the Execution of the Romanov family. There are some sentences that seem very similar. Or they might have the same source. (No judgement, only stating my subjective feeling).

    However, the result is that it seems a bit textbook said from the POV of a teen girl. And I'm not sure this is the desired result.

    Then the last 40% is a fiction. Following the myth that Anastasia and fully developing the fantasy element of this book.

    Strangely enough, I prefer the textbook beginning. Why? Because there it at least makes sense. Unfortunately, the author seems to be lost when she suddenly does not have a history to follow. What to do now? And suddenly there are so many problems for me to unsee.

    I have several things I need/want to point out.

    - There is a lot of Russian words used to describe things. Budenovka, fortochka, droshky. I understand all of them. But, I really doubt that someone who does not speak a Slavic language will know all of them. And unfortunately, it is not a good thing to be forced to google things, especially in fantasy. Also, I saw that several times the Russian was done wrong as well. In a basic sentences. If I remember correctly the "Good morning" was wrong.

    - The Romanov family was shown as the nicest people ever. And while I understand that of course, Anastasia would love her parents... It does not work. The author claims extensive research, but here I believe she fails. Nikolai was very much a family man who loved his wife and children. But, he was a very bad tsar. Meek. Under the influence of his wife who was HATED by the Russian people. But here Nikolai is suddenly the perfect leader who leads his family and supposedly was a devoted leader to his people. It seems fake. Romanticised. (But I have to say that I loved the relationship in the family! Well written).

    - The book should have started at a different point; not everyone is familiar with the Revolution and the Romanov family. If the book started maybe with the abdication, it would make more sense. Explain why Nikolai was forced to abdicate. Why people hated him and his wife. Explain Bolsheviks, Mensheviks. Why the revolution started, how badly the Russian people were affected by the First World War.

    And I wish Grand Duke Michael was at least mentioned in the book.

    -This is one of the problems. People need knowledge. One time Nicholai talks about his cousin King George V of the United Kingdom. But he does not say his name and people are left guessing. Or confused.

    - There is a lot of talk about the White Army, but once again I felt like it was very confusing unless you know the history. And by the way, correct me if I'm mistaken. But wasn't it the Czechoslovak legion that was reaching Ekaterinburg? They were going East so that they could go back to Czechoslovakia if I remember correctly.

    - Also, Maria went with her parents first and once they left her sisters sewed the jewels in their dress. So, how is it possible that Maria wore jewellery in her dress as well in the end? The jewels had to be put there before leaving Tobolsk but they started to do it once Maria left.

    - Do I have any Russian friends here? If yes, please, help me here. Zash. I'm really confused by the name. I know the name Zasha exists, but I never saw Zash. I know that защитник (zashchitnik) means defender. But is there Zash as a name?

    - Also, Zash is supposed to be from an aboriginal tribe from Siberia, but his description makes him sound more Scandinavian than Siberian.

    - Talking about Zash.

    - And the ending:

    - Also, Anastasia is injured if only cracked ribs, but she was starved for months with a minimum of exercise. She's wearing a skirt, corset and heavy coat. But suddenly she's able to walk for a day while carrying her brother. Then she manages to jump out of the train on a horse and then from horse to the train... Oh, I almost forgot, MOVING train. I'm saying no. Making her a superhero is stupid and I hated this part.

    - The problem with this book is simple. It tries very hard to be historically correct but always fails in small things which matter. And it does not work with the fantasy element. I want to believe that if it was fantasy all along, different names, different family, setting it might have worked. This book needs to be more fantasy, or more historically correct, the mix right now is very in between and seems artificial.

  • Erin

    Hi, my name is Erin. I have been under the spell of books since I first met Anne Shirley at age 7. Some stories/periods of time I will return to again and again. I am not here to recover, I just attend to get more recommendations and eat these cookies.

    This historical fiction/fantasy standalone takes readers to Russia in 1918 where Tsar Nicholas and his family are being imprisoned by the Bolsheviks. One hundred and one years later, the tragedy of Russia's royal family still captivates many, incl

    Hi, my name is Erin. I have been under the spell of books since I first met Anne Shirley at age 7. Some stories/periods of time I will return to again and again. I am not here to recover, I just attend to get more recommendations and eat these cookies.

    This historical fiction/fantasy standalone takes readers to Russia in 1918 where Tsar Nicholas and his family are being imprisoned by the Bolsheviks. One hundred and one years later, the tragedy of Russia's royal family still captivates many, including this particular reader. I liked

    but I didn't love it.

    The story is told through the eyes of youngest daughter, Anastasia (Natsya) Romanov. Imprisoned with her parents Nicholas and Alexandra, sisters; Olga, Tatiana, and Maria and brother Alexei, Anastasia brings to life the families last months of life. Rich in historical detail, what has been passed down about the Romanov's and their guards is all there on paper. Nadine Brandes adds some dark magic and spells to push her narrative a little farther in scope.

    Now I have read previous books that discuss alternative history from Anastasia, Maria, and Tatiana's point of view and how they escape from their tragic fate. Aside from the magic that is new, I felt there was a lot of sameness in this book. The romances with guards, the Rasputin subplot, and the promise that whatever character has survived is going to live this incredible life albeit in secrecy. I wanted a bit more fireworks for this story.

    All in all, the release of this book is definitely going to bring the story forward to a whole new generation of readers. My hats off to Nadine Brandes for her dedication to getting her version of the story out there. I wish it had happened that way.

    Goodreads review 07/05/19

    Publication Date 07/05/19

  • Katie  Hanna

    DNF.

    Please do not mistake the lengthy ramblings below for "I-read-the-whole-book-and-here-are-my-thoughts," but rather, "I-decided-not-to-continue-and-here's-why."

    *deep breath* *cracks knuckles*

    is a historical fantasy novel starring 16-year-old Anastasia Nikolaevna, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. We learn within the first few pages that Anastasia, or "Nastya," aspires to become a Russian 'spell master' (i.e., practitioner of an ancient brand of magic that lets you speak special

    DNF.

    Please do not mistake the lengthy ramblings below for "I-read-the-whole-book-and-here-are-my-thoughts," but rather, "I-decided-not-to-continue-and-here's-why."

    *deep breath* *cracks knuckles*

    is a historical fantasy novel starring 16-year-old Anastasia Nikolaevna, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. We learn within the first few pages that Anastasia, or "Nastya," aspires to become a Russian 'spell master' (i.e., practitioner of an ancient brand of magic that lets you speak special words & thereby receive powerful favors). We also learn that Nastya's teacher/mentor in the basics of this art was none other than Grigori Rasputin.

    There's a lot to unpack there, so let's start from the beginning.

    First off, this type of "spell magic" is the exact same thing that got so many Christians so upset about

    . Now, for the record, I don't have a problem with HP; mainly because HP to my mind is clearly not intended as a representation of our real world. Howeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, I do think spells like these become a lot more--shall we say--Murky when they're introduced into a real-world, historical setting [like the Russian revolution]

    Because that's who Rasputin WAS. You can't get around that part of his reputation. And you definitely can't convince me that his historical reputation as "Powerful, Successful Dabbler in the Occult" wasn't a big part of the reason why he was chosen for the fictional role of "Powerful Magic Teacher" in the first place.

    I was, as I say, disturbed. But I was willing to continue reading to learn more about what sorts of things this fictional magic system does. I soon found out.

    On page 11:

    "Thirteen years ago, I'd watched Mamma and Papa open a layer of that painted doll and

    "

    [Alexei being her younger brother.]

    Yes. You read that right. These people have a magic spell that allows them to conceive a human baby.

    And not [if I'm reading this correctly] to 'help' conceive, not to cure dysfunction or whatever; but to literally, directly conceive a child.

    Do you See *rubs nose pensively* do you Begin to See where the Problem might lie, Jeeves?

    Real talk: I am not comfortable with seeing the power to create life allocated to human beings, through magic, even in a fantasy world with no God. But, this ISN'T a fantasy world with no God!!! This is our real, historical world, populated with real historical figures who

    to believe in God and Jesus and the Bible; and yet, when they wanna make a baby, they turn to magic and not to prayer. Which is . . . disturbing. The fact that this magic [allegedly, according to the story logic] ACTUALLY WORKS is 1000x more disturbing.

    Like. Would you mind telling me, Mr. and Mrs. Romanov--would you mind telling me just WHO you imagine sent you this baby; and WHAT he/she/it/they might stand to gain in return?

    Moreover, I'm not at all comforted by Nastya's assurances that this baby-creating spell is now "forbidden." Sure, maybe they don't use it any more; but they used it at least

    ? And it

    ?? And now they have this living, breathing kiddo walking around who (by their own admission) was FedEx'd to their parents' bedroom from Somewhere in the Cosmos, and definitely

    from the Big Fella Upstairs??? I can't get on board with that, people. I just can't.

    The ONLY WAY I could continue reading this book with a clear conscience is if I had assurances that the whole point of the story would be overthrowing the magic system--if Nastya's character arc were aimed at her realizing that Rasputin had led her whole family astray and that she should never touch any of these spells, ever again. That, however, isn't the impression I get from other readers. In fact--I've been told that the climax involves Nastya using a spell to

    And Rasputin was horrible.

    Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

    *peace out*

  • Nadine Brandes

    Any ANASTASIA fans in the room?

    I have been DYING to share this news with everyone! ROMANOV will be another historical fantasy standalone. And now that I'm squealing, I'm at risk of revealing spoilers (BECAUSE I'M THAT EXCITED.) For those who want a teensy more info about the book's inspiration,you can find it in

    .

  • emma

    well, i started using netgalley.

    my tbr should fear me.

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