The novel establishes itself as a memoir being told by a servant of the Romanov family. He says he was their kitchen boy during those fateful last days in Siberia, up until the Tsar and his family were brutally murdered.
I admit, the first half of the book was a little slow for me, but it did pick up as the family attempted to send and receive messages from the outside in an attempt at rescue. Knowing what would happen to those children, made my heart ache as the Romanovs were roused from their beds during the night and taken to the cellar. Then it hit me. The date. It was July 17, 1918. And I was sitting there on July 17, 2017 reading this. Exactly 99 years to the day. It gave me goosebumps. How tragic. How ugly people can get in the name of politics. Every other monarchy in Europe had a relatively peaceful transition to democratic rule (except France). Why not this one?
Alexander presented the story not as a political narrative, but a human one. It was about people and violence and humanity. I loved the ending, too!
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2004
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