Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Winter Palace

The Winter Palace
Author: Eva Stachniak
Source: A Chapters buy
Days to read: 10 days

I picked this book up at Chapters while I was shopping for a birthday gift for a friend. I think I have mentioned this before but historical novels are my FAVOURITE!!! More specifically, I love reading about women in history. Cleopatra, Josephine Bonaparte, Anne Boleyn to name a few! After reading the inside flap I knew it would be a goody!

This novel follows the life of Varvara, a young girl, in the Russian court. Because of a promise made by the Empress to her late father, Varvara is taken into the court and cared for. Her role is to be one of the many “tongues” to the Empress, listening, watching and reporting back to her majesty. She learns to be invisible, to read people and to know what the Empress is thinking, feeling and wanting to hear.

But when young Sophie (destined to become Catherine the Great) is brought to court to marry, Varvara finds in her, a friendship that she has been longing for. Varvara begins to align herself with Catherine and slowly forgets all that she has learned at the Russian Court. Power comes with a big price.

The only thing lacking in this book was a love interest for Varvara. She is the narrator of the story but I felt that she was too much on the sidelines. I really began to care for Varvara so I wanted some good things to happen to her and not just Catherine. But other than that I loved the book!

I ended up buying it for my friend Lauren; I wonder what she will think of it! Next time I am in Chapters I will pick up some other books by Eva Stachniak.
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