Lover. Murderer. Mother. Meet TSARINA, the most powerful woman history ever forgot.
Spring 1699: Illegitimate, destitute and strikingly beautiful, Marta has survived the brutal Russian winter in her remote Baltic village. Sold by her family into household labour at the age of fifteen, Marta survives by committing a crime that will force her to go on the run.
A world away, Russia’s young ruler, Tsar Peter I, passionate and iron-willed, has a vision for transforming the traditionalist Tsardom of Russia into a modern, Western empire. Countless lives will be lost in the process.
Falling prey to the Great Northern War, Marta cheats death at every turn, finding work as a washerwoman at a battle camp. One night at a celebration, she encounters Peter the Great. Relying on her wits and her formidable courage, and fuelled by ambition, desire and the sheer will to live, Marta will become Catherine I of Russia. But her rise to the top is ridden with peril; how long will she survive the machinations of Peter’s court, and more importantly, Peter himself?
Tsarina is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.
Tsarina was a fascinating, enthralling historical novel which really brings Russian history to life.
Firstly Catherine was truly an amazing woman. The fact she managed to get to such a high position when she was born a peasant, couldn’t read or write and was a woman in a male dominated society was truly remarkable. I found I admired her more as the book went on and I was firmly on her side, hoping that she succeeded.
The author has clearly done a lot of research into this period and all the little details about life back then helped bring the period to life. I knew nothing about this period so greedily absorbed everything I could. As the blurb says Catherine has mainly be forgotten from history which is really sad, and not much is known about her early life so the author has had to use some imagination at times which I found completely enthralling. Peter was definitely an interesting character who did much for modernising Russia. He was definitely a cruel man and some of his actions were very brutal which made for uncomfortable reading sometimes. One particular scene made me feel slightly sick so just be warned it’s quite graphic at times.
Overall I thought this was a fast paced, addictive read which I flew through in a few days. I found myself so completely emersed in the world she’d created that I found myself confused when I had to come back into the present. The author definitely knows how to make history interesting and I thought this book was brilliantly written and just draws the reader into the story. I will definitely be looking out for this author in the future.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Bloomsbury publishers for my copy of this book via Netgalley.
About The Author:
Ellen Alpsten was born and raised in the Kenyan highlands, before attending L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Whilst studying for her Msc in PPE she won the Grande École short story competition with her novella Meeting Mr. Gandhi and was encouraged to continue writing. Upon graduating, she worked as a producer and presenter for Bloomberg TV in London. She contributes to in ternational publications such as Vogue, Standpoint and Conde Nast Traveller. Tsarina is her first novel. She lives in London with her husband and three children.