Ninety-nine years old, with a sharp memory for every jewel she owned and every conquest she made, Mathilde Kschessinska, - prima ballerina assoluta of the long-vanished Russian Imperial Ballet - sits down to write her memoirs.
And what a life it has been. The greatest dancer of the age, her scything technique caught the eye, and heart, of one Nikolai Romanov when she was only seventeen years old. When Nikolai ascended the throne as czar and was forced to give up his mistress, she turned her gaze on his cousins, the grand dukes; despite betraying each man with the other, her loyalty to Niki never wavered. As the last czar presided over a fatally crumbling empire, her devotion to the imperial family was tested in ways she could never have foreseen.
In Adrienne Sharp's richly imagined novel, we see the seething beginnings of revolution and the blind giddiness of a doomed court. Based on fact, The True Memoirs of Little K is historical fiction as its meant to be written: passionately eventful and alive with emotions that resonate today. It is a magnificent entertainment.
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"Though Mathilde is a bit narrow in terms of her icy ambition, her story is an unrelenting thrill ride and chockfull of the stuff that historical fiction buffs adore: larger than life characters, epic change, grand settings, and lusty plotting." - Publishers Weekly
"Balletomanes, devotees of stories about the Romanovs, and those who enjoyed Sharp's previous books are the likely audience. Other readers probably won't put up with Little K's self-centered recollections and Sharp's excessive descriptions of the Russian aristocracy." - Library Jounral
"With intimate word paintings of historical charactersRasputin makes an appearanceand with a strong-willed heroine, Sharp's novel will appeal to lovers of the genre" - Kirkus Reviews
"I tore through this delectable book like a box of elegantly crafted chocolates. Even now, I keep riffling though the crumpled gold wrappers, wishing there was more. A fascinating, carefully researched and intricately rendered portrait of the last tsar and his clever, talented and wildly ambitious mistress, prima ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska. Bravo, Little K." - Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black
"This novel is a rare and rich pleasure, full of exquisite details of the Russian imperial court, of ballet, of diamonds, of intricate love affairs backstage in theaters and palaces in a vanished world." - Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin and Sashenka
"Mistress of grand dukes and Russia's last tsar, Mathilde Kschessinska was the fabled prima ballerina assoluta of St. Petersburgs Maryinsky Ballet during the Empire's last decades. In The True Memoirs of Little K, novelist Adrienne Sharp reveals the passion, greed, and lust for life behind the fairy tale of the ballerinas real memoirs, and the secret about her son's paternity that it's easy to believe just might be true." - Lynn Garafola, author of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes
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Adrienne Sharp trained at the prestigious Harkness Ballet and has been a Fiction Fellow at MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writers Conference. She is the author of White Swan, Black Swan and The Sleeping Beauty.
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