Book Review: The Romanov Empress

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna – C.W. Gortner

Lately, I’ve been on an Imperial Russian history binge and I do love a good historical fiction book to add to my non-fiction reads. This book may be in my top 5 best historical fiction books, it was that good! Over the years, I’ve read a ton of historical fiction about royal women, some good, some not so good but this book was completely engrossing, well written, and I didn’t even mind that it was 17hrs. of listening time for the audio version! 

The story is told in the voice of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, mother to the last Tsar, Nicholas II of Russia. She begins the story when she is a teenager destined for a royal marriage (whether she wants it or not) and goes through the end of her life following the Russian revolution and the death of her son and his family. I found this story completely captivating and honestly, couldn’t wait to keep listening to the book! Gortner did a masterful job of creating a distinct and believable personality for Maria, lending a sense of authenticity to her motivations and explanations for her actions (even if much of this was fictionalized). As I listened, I felt like I was learning so much about Imperial Russia and European Royal history as all of the royal houses were connected and had various dealings both personal and political throughout Maria’s lifetime. 

If you are at all interested in Russian history, royal historical figures, or just learning about a time and place you are unfamiliar with, this is a great place to start! The setting and culture are vibrant, the historical characters are brought to life in a most believable and intriguing manner, and Maria’s life story is a beautiful mix of happy and tragic, complex and confined, political and familial. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend picking it up and giving it a chance, I don’t think you’ll regret it! 

Read on my friends!

-Haddi encourages you to support local, small, independent bookstores whenever possible. If you would like to purchase online while still supporting independent bookstores, please consider purchasing from

#thebookwar #bookstagram #bookblog #booklover #bookrecommendations #bibliophile #bookreview #ilovebooks #historicalfiction #fiction

Two sisters blogging and sharing reviews and opinions about every type of book all year round.

The Book War


We don’t spam