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Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten Review

I didn’t expect this book to be nearly 500 pages but boy what a journey it was. Tsarina is the story of Peter the Great’s second wife Catherine. A woman who is often overshadowed by great leaders who came before and after her.

The beginning of this book was amazing, I couldn’t put it down. Marta’s young life was crazy. She starts off as a poor peasant girl and before the age of 20 her life has changed so many times.

This is the story of a fighting independent woman who scraped by tooth and nail to make a name for herself and to protect her family.

For me the ending felt a bit rushed, I mean we spent all this time working up to this dramatic finish and it just kind of falls flat. I wish the apologue had expanded a bit more or if there were more details toward the end. I do also wish the book or a bit shorter I don’t know that they needed to be almost 500 pages. The first half of the book I read in a day, then for the majority the second half it started to feel repetitive.

If the character development in this book was amazing. You can tell that the author truly spent time researching and putting souls into the characters. They felt like people I knew or had met instead of just people in a book and those are my favorite type of characters. I think that’s a specially hard to do when you’re writing about real people from history. I love how the majority of the book is taken from history specifically, it’s awesome I appreciated learning so much more. A good deal of this book focused on the building of St. Petersburg which is something I knew little to nothing about.

If you’re a fan of Russian history or historical fiction, I would recommend this book. it might take you a bit to finish it but I think you’ll enjoy it, I know I did.


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