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Review Excerpts

St. Paul Pioneer Press – May 1, 2008
“Riveting new novel… [Alexabder] is even-handed in his writing about these two people caught up in a violent time in Russia's history. He's a master of description, from the imperial family's wealth to Ella's calm demeanor when she literally picks up the pieces of her husband's body. But he also is sympathetic to Pavel and the other poor people, whose wretched lives cried out for the czar's attention.”
-- Mary Ann Grossman

Minnesota Star Tribune– April 18, 2008
“Nicely paced, beautifully presented and completely satisfying… Breathtaking… With the successes of his two previous books on the Romanovs, [Robert Alexander] continues to mine the rich lode of the ill-fated ruling house with The Romanov Bride, a compelling story of the Grand Duchess Elisavyeta… Alexander displays a truly solid footing in Russian history. His research is impeccable, and his knowledge of the Romanovs is encyclopedic, but he also is intimately familiar with the Orthodox faith. That is the key that has allowed him to unlock the hidden beauty – and meaning – of this remarkable story.”
-- Michael J. Bonafield

Minnesota Monthly – April 2008
“Minneapolis author Robert Alexander once again delves into the maelstrom of revolutionary Russia… Themes of revenge and redemption course through the novel, adding depth and intrigue. Alexander’s captivating narration, his grasp of the past, and his ability to humanize both sides of a conflict make this fictional tale seem almost real.”
-- Holly Saari

Publishers Weekly – March 3, 2008
“In this robust historical set during the Romanov twilight, Alexander chronicles the careers of two emblematic individuals—the real-life Grand Duchess Elisavyeta (“Ella”)… and the fictional Pavel, a young revolutionary. The author's extensive knowledge of Russia allows him to invigorate the narrative with telling details that bring the aristocrat Ella, who eventually became an Orthodox saint, convincingly to life. His depictions of workers’ miseries, from the breadlines to sausage made from cat, are especially strong... As in Doctor Zhivago, coincidence abounds and some scenes and themes call to mind that classic, but this is a compelling journey through momentous events that wraps up with a fine, deeply moving finale.”

Kirkus – March 1, 2008
“In this reverent account of the life of Grand Duchess Elisavyeta (known as Ella), her point of view alternates with that of Pavel, a peasant turned Red turned Gulag detainee, whose path crossed Ella's at crucial points in her doomed existence... The regime's free fall is vividly brought to life... A moving testament to a saintly woman's sad end.”

Booklist – March 1, 2008
“This passionate yet poised third installment of the author’s series of historical novels about the end of the Russian monarchy… brings from the vault of history the life of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth (“Ella”), who was born a princess of Hesse and married into the doomed Romanov dynasty. The novel’s format takes the form of alternating first-person narrations, by Ella, as her world slides into revolutionary chaos, and by the young peasant Pavel, who, drawn into the revolutionary movement, embarks on a path that will directly intersect with the Grand Duchess’, with fatal results.”
-- Brad Hooper
 

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