Annette S. (Duluth, GA)
The Winter Palace
The Winter Palace is a wonderful historical fiction novel about an exceptional woman, Catherine the Great of Russia. Catherine was an extraordinary woman in many ways especially when making judgments and in her political courage. This is a very readable book and the reader has a great opportunity to see into the everyday life of Catherine as she grew from a young woman of 14 until she ascended the throne as Empress of All Russias. The book is extensively researched and portrays Catherine a a woman ahead of her time. She was widely popular and fiercely ambitious. A fascinating book about the lavish and byzantine lives along with the intrigues, gossip, rumors and treachery that flourished in the courts of Russia. I look forward to Eva Stachniak's next book, The Empire of the Night, which will continue the story of this remarkable woman.
Jane A. (Lakeport, CA)
an unfortunate disappointment.....
Catherine the Great was truly a larger-than-life individual. I was disappointed by the way this author chose to tell her story....as tabloid material. I wish the author had told her story through a more worldly and knowledgeable spokesperson.
Angela S. (Hartland, MI)
Wonderful blend of history and fiction.
The Winter Palace was a delight to read. The characters are well written, so that the reader finds themselves rooting for, or against them. The book is also a wonderful mix of history and fiction, and it is never boring. It would certainly appeal to readers of historical fictions, especially the history of Russia and it's fascinating leaders. As many readers will say, it was the kind of book I did not want to put down, yet also did not want it to end!
Karin D. (Glendale, AZ)
A Good Read
For those of us who love Historical Fiction this is a good, richly detailed story about Catherine the Great. The author lets you "see" the events of Catherine's life and does very well insetting mood and character. Written in the 1st person it was a little offsetting at first but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Peggy K. (Long Beach, CA)
Told from the view of a young woman ordered to be the "tongue" for the Empress, this story gives us a peek into the world of the Russian royalty and in particular Catherine the Great when she was just Sophie. There is so much information here and so much intrigue. It is a fiction work but it grabs your attention from the first page. Catherine is one of the great figures in Russian history and simply fascinating to watch. A book club would find so much here to talk about and pose questions. I think many readers will find Catherine's early life in Russia very different from how they have viewed her and new readers will just soak it all up. Fiction or not this is a great way to be introduced to Catherine. Russian royalty had a very different take on being royal. You have all this and then there is Varvara, and her life serving so many masters. This is a grand romance book in many ways but also a thriller in some. Younger people might not care for it so much but women in general I think will truly enjoy this adventure. I have read books about Peter the Great and this book, even as fiction, takes a lot of factual information and uses it as well as many non fiction books. Even if you have little interest in Russian history you can still enjoy this book just for the characters.
Debra L. (Deerfield, IL)
The Winter Palace the story of Catherine the Great
The Winter Palace is an average historical fiction account of Catherine the Great. I read a lot of historical fiction novels about Queens and Kings. I love them! This one was too long with very little substance. There was no "meat" to it. It was uninteresting. It was weighed down with details of setting and place. There was very little action. I would not recommend this one- boring and long. There are far better stories out there. I would like to read another account of Catherine the Great, maybe she was the bore!