Monday, June 10, 2019

Book Review: Romanov

by Jenn Patrick-Seiler, Five Points West Regional Branch Library

Romanov 
Nadine Brandes

Romanov, by Nadine Brandes, caught my attention because
1) that gorgeous cover, and
2) I love the idea of fictionalizing historical events, with a dash of magic thrown in.

Though we might all, more or less, have an awareness of what happened to the Romanov family, this tale actually begins when the family is already in exile and is more of a story of domestic life than one of revolution. It’s also a story of kindness, forgiveness, and true devotion to country. I found the book to be engaging, so much so that I nearly forgot about the impending death of most of the Romanovs, wondering if the magic spells in the story could work and if Nastya would discover them in time to save her family.

One element of the narrative that I found distracting is the overwhelming way in which the author encourages forgiveness and “turning the other cheek.” In my opinion there are many ways to think about forgiveness and ways to go about it, but the way that Nastya handled some of the situations seemed like it could be a harmful depiction of forgiveness and possibly confusing for the age group that this book is targeted toward. However, if you can overlook that (or simply disagree with me), it is an enjoyable work that provides a twist on a long-told tale and mystery.

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