The Tsarina’s Daughter – Ellen Alpsten

I’ve really been getting into historical fiction lately, and damn, is The Tsarina’s Daughter a good one. It is compelling, addictive and about as twisted and dark as you might expect it to be. Centering a woman with ambition, who refuses to back down even if it would be easier, this shines light on eighteenth century Russia and its politics. More please!

Many thanks to Becky Hunter at Midas PR and Bloomsbury for sending me an ARC. All opinions are my own.

RELEASE DATE: 08/07/2021



OPINIONS: So I couldn’t put this down. I kept telling myself, oh I’ll just read a couple chapters and bam, it was a hundred pages later. I raced through this and really enjoyed it – think the political machinations of A Song of Ice and Fire combined with a strong and stubborn main character, minus most of the sexual violence. And oh, it’s actually based on history so you learn some interesting things while reading. I hadn’t read Tsarina (yet), but The Tsarina’s Daughter works just as well as a standalone. I really do need to get me a copy now though, as I enjoyed this one so much.

Set in the eighteenth century, at the Tsarist court, The Tsarina’s Daughter really goes into all the politics and manipulation that go into ruling an empire, into determining what happens when there is not a clear line of succession. The story revolves around Elizabeth, younger daughter of Peter the Great, and her long journey to eventually become Tsarina herself. While rooted in history – and giving the reader a great insight into eighteenth century Russia, I have had a deep dive into the Romanovs myself inspired by the book – it is a thoroughly modern book. It is of course fiction, and an excellent one at that. I really liked that it didn’t take many easy ways out, there is very little sexual violence (though abuse happening off-page in different ways), which I always find is something that crops up too much in these sorts of political novels.

Elizabeth is charismatic, ambitious and so damn stubborn, which makes her a great character to follow. She doesn’t give up even when facing overwhelming odds, and is portrayed as smart and caring. Many of the characters in the story are not neccessarily likeable, but all of them are interesting and nuanced.

This is definitely one I would recommend if you like twisty books full of manipulation and politics, told through the eyes of a wonderful main character. Add The Tsarina’s Daughter to your Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

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