Saturday, December 13, 2014

Empress of the Night by Eva Stachniak

The follow-up to the #1 bestseller The Winter Palace--perfect for the readers of Hilary Mantel and Alison Weir. 

Catherine the Great, the Romanov monarch reflects on her astonishing ascension to the throne, her leadership over the world's greatest power, and the lives sacrificed to make her the most feared woman in the world--lives including her own...

Catherine the Great muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. And before her last breath, shadowed by the bloody French Revolution, she sets up the end game for her last political maneuver, ensuring her successor and the greater glory of Russia.

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Bantam
** - ***
(a cross between 'it's okay' and 'I liked it")

I really enjoyed The Winter Palace, it was my first venture into HF Russia.  I've hear of Catherine the Great but knew next to nothing about her, I liked the authors writing style and got a real feel for the country and it's people.

I met Eva Stachniak just after The Winter Palace was released.  She was doing a reading ad I was able to have a nice talk with her afterwards.  Her passion for this time and place in history was evident and I got real excited when I heard about the sequel.

My feelings for Empress of the Night are mixed, as you can see from my rating.  I really struggled with this book,  I don't think it was because my expectations were too high, the format was one that I liked.  Catherine having suffered a stroke is reflecting on her life.  The narrative is what I struggled with, it had a surreal feel to it and at times I had trouble following the story and really couldn't connect with anyone in this book. 

There is a bright side and that is my interest in Russian history has peaked and I am on the lookout for books taking place there.  Also the cover is gorgeous.

Will I give up on Eva Stachniak, not a chance, she has already shown what she can do with The Winter Palace and I have a couple of her other books in my tbr pile.

1 comment:

  1. I read The Winter Palace and plan to follow up with this one. Just haven't gotten to it yet. Sorry it was a mixed experience for you.