The Last Grand Duchess

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) The Last Grand Duchess by Bryn Turnbull 

I love a good historical fiction novel! I’ve read so many over the years, both good and bad and this one lands firmly in the ‘worth-the-read’ category although it was not one of my all-time favorites. 

When I picked up this book at the library, I was under the mistaken assumption that this novel was about Olga, the sister of Tsar Nicholas, rather than his daughter, Olga. But, like I said, I was mistaken and this book, in fact, tells the story of the last Tsar’s eldest daughter through the years of unrest, revolution, and ultimately the demise of the Romanov dynasty and imperial Russia. I honestly wanted this story to be about the Tsar’s sister, Olga, because she was one of the very few Romanovs who survived the revolution, but alas, I was disappointed. 

This was probably the most difficult thing for me to overcome while reading this book, which is clearly my own mistake, but it made reading the novel less interesting than it would have been had I not already had a particular expectation. All of that being said, this book was an interesting read and if you know little about Imperial Russia, the Romanov dynasty, and the tragic story of the last Tsar and his family, this is certainly worth a read. Much of our history is from the perspective of men and their wars so it’s always good to hear history from a different point-of-view and Turnbull does a nice job of centering the voice of Olga throughout this novel.   

Like I mentioned earlier, this is certainly not one of my favorite historical novels but it was an enjoyable read for what it is and I would recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction and/or Russian history. 

Read on my friends!

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