Tsarina’s Daughter by Ellen Alpsten
Born into the House of Romanov to the all-powerful Peter the Great and Catherine I, beautiful Tsarevna Elizabeth is the world’s loveliest Princess and the envy of the Russian empire. Insulated by luxury and as a woman free from the burden of statecraft, Elizabeth is seemingly born to pursue her passions.
However, when her mother dies; Russia is torn, masks fall, and friends become foes. Elizabeth’s idyllic world is upended. By her twenties she is penniless and powerless, living under constant threat. As times change like quicksand, Elizabeth must decide whether she is willing to take up her role as Russia’s ruler, and what she’s willing to do for her country. (publisher)
Elizabeth is a daughter of Tsar Peter the Great and Tsarina Catherine I, whose life changes when her father, mother and fiancée all die close together. She needs to learn how to survive during the years with changing rulers amidst the court intrigues. Peter tried to westernize and modernize Russia during his reign, which wasn’t well-received by everyone. So, when he dies, some people try to bring back the old ways, which also affects Elizabeth’s life.
This is the second book in a series but works well as a stand-alone. I haven’t read the first book, which tells the story of Elizabeth’s parents but could follow easily. I haven’t read a book about Elizabeth before, so this was a nice change.
The book follows adolescent Elizabeth trying to survive the court politics but sadly ends when her reign starts. I would have liked to read more about her reign. There are some magical elements in there which seemed a bit far fetched. But it’s not a huge part of the book so it didn’t matter so much.
My one problem was that it wasn’t always clear how much time has passed. At some point, it becomes clear that some years have passed but it’s not always clear how much time. But all in all, it was an enjoyable, quick read and I do want to read the previous book too.
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing (July 8, 2021)