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Tsarina: A Novel
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Published:
St. Martin's Publishing Group 2020
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Available from OverDrive
Description

"Makes Game of Thrones look like a nursery rhyme." —Daisy Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author of The Fortune Hunter"[Alpsten] recounts this remarkable woman's colourful life and times."Count Nikolai Tolstoy, historian and author Before there was Catherine the Great, there was Catherine Alexeyevna: the first woman to rule Russia in her own right. Ellen Alpsten's rich, sweeping debut novel is the story of her rise to power.St. Petersburg, 1725. Peter the Great lies dying in his magnificent Winter Palace. The weakness and treachery of his only son has driven his father to an appalling act of cruelty and left the empire without an heir. Russia risks falling into chaos. Into the void steps the woman who has been by his side for decades: his second wife, Catherine Alexeyevna, as ambitious, ruthless and passionate as Peter himself.Born into devastating poverty, Catherine used her extraordinary beauty and shrewd intelligence to ingratiate herself with Peter's powerful generals, finally seducing the Tsar himself. But even amongst the splendor and opulence of her new life—the lavish feasts, glittering jewels, and candle-lit hours in Peter's bedchamber—she knows the peril of her position. Peter's attentions are fickle and his rages powerful; his first wife is condemned to a prison cell, her lover impaled alive in Red Square. And now Catherine faces the ultimate test: can she keep the Tsar's death a secret as she plays a lethal game to destroy her enemies and take the Crown for herself?From the sensuous pleasures of a decadent aristocracy, to the incense-filled rites of the Orthodox Church and the terror of Peter's torture chambers, the intoxicating and dangerous world of Imperial Russia is brought to vivid life. Tsarina is the story of one remarkable woman whose bid for power would transform the Russian Empire.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/10/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250214454
ASIN:
B08472B34D
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ellen Alpsten. (2020). Tsarina: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ellen Alpsten. 2020. Tsarina: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ellen Alpsten, Tsarina: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ellen Alpsten. Tsarina: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2020. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Nov 06, 2020 16:02:41
Date Updated:
Dec 07, 2020 16:37:03
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Apr 11, 2021 21:30:50
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      • bioText: ELLEN ALPSTEN was born and raised in the Kenyan highlands. Upon graduating from L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, she worked as a news anchor for Bloomberg TV London. Whilst working gruesome night shifts on breakfast TV, she started to write in earnest, every day, after work and a nap. Today, Ellen works as an author and as a journalist for international publications such as Vogue, Standpoint and CN Traveller. She lives in London with her husband, three sons and a moody fox red Labrador. Tsarina is her debut novel.
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title
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fullDescription

"Makes Game of Thrones look like a nursery rhyme." —Daisy Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author of The Fortune Hunter
"[Alpsten] recounts this remarkable woman's colourful life and times."
Count Nikolai Tolstoy, historian and author

Before there was Catherine the Great, there was Catherine Alexeyevna: the first woman to rule Russia in her own right. Ellen Alpsten's rich, sweeping debut novel is the story of her rise to power.

St. Petersburg, 1725. Peter the Great lies dying in his magnificent Winter Palace. The weakness and treachery of his only son has driven his father to an appalling act of cruelty and left the empire without an heir. Russia risks falling into chaos. Into the void steps the woman who has been by his side for decades: his second wife, Catherine Alexeyevna, as ambitious, ruthless and passionate as Peter himself.
Born into devastating poverty, Catherine used her extraordinary beauty and shrewd intelligence to ingratiate herself with Peter's powerful generals, finally seducing the Tsar himself. But even amongst the splendor and opulence of her new life—the lavish feasts, glittering jewels, and candle-lit hours in Peter's bedchamber—she knows the peril of her position. Peter's attentions are fickle and his rages powerful; his first wife is condemned to a prison cell, her lover impaled alive in Red Square. And now Catherine faces the ultimate test: can she keep the Tsar's death a secret as she plays a lethal game to destroy her enemies and take the Crown for herself?
From the sensuous pleasures of a decadent aristocracy, to the incense-filled rites of the Orthodox Church and the terror of Peter's torture chambers, the intoxicating and dangerous world of Imperial Russia is brought to vivid life. Tsarina is the story of one remarkable woman whose bid for power would transform the Russian Empire.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Shelf Awareness
      • content: "Astonishing...the ultimate Cinderella story [that] makes Game of Thrones look like a nursery rhyme."
      • premium: False
      • source: Daisy Goodwin, bestselling author of The Fortune Hunter
      • content: "As detailed as the jewels and enamel inlay on the creations of Faberge...[a] crisp, elegant fictional account of history, woven with emotion and brio."
      • premium: False
      • source: Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife
      • content: "Gripping...Love, sex, and loyalty vie with war, intrigue, and treason to create an epic canvas as exotic and powerful as eighteenth-century Russia itself. Masterfully researched and beautifully written, this is historical fiction at its best."
      • premium: False
      • source: Nancy Goldstone, author of Daughters of the Winter Queen and Rival Queens
      • content: "Intrigue, rivalry, and sumptuous decadence leap to vivid life in this fascinating story of Peter the Great's second wife...conjuring the gorgeous marble of the Winter Palace and deprivation of Russia in the 18th century, the perilous ascent to power of the first woman to rule as empress is a gripping and unforgettable journey."
      • premium: False
      • source: C.W. Gortner, author of The Romanov Empress
      • content: "[Alpsten] recounts this remarkable woman's colourful life and times."
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2020

        Alpsten's debut reimagines the other Catherine--Catherine Alexeyevna, wife of Peter the Great, who took over the empire after her husband's death in 1725 (and his torture and murder of his son, the heir apparent). The 100,000-copy first printing bespeaks in-house confidence.

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        September 28, 2020
        Alpsten’s overlong but ultimately rewarding debut chronicles the life of the first woman to rule Imperial Russia. In 1725, Peter the Great dies without a male heir old enough to rule, and his second wife, Catherine Alexeyevna, schemes for a place in the succession. Alpsten flashes back to Catherine’s past, beginning with her birth as a peasant in 1684 and the poverty and abuse she suffers until her beauty catches the eye of Alexander Menshikov, the czar’s closest friend, when Russia’s wars with Sweden brings its army to her home near the Baltic Sea. Peter is drawn to her sexuality and fearlessness and takes her as a mistress. None of her 12 pregnancies with him result in a male heir, but her shrewdness helps cement her relationship with the czar, who marries her in 1712 and crowns her czarina in 1724. Catherine bonds with Menshikov and others as a way to cope with Peter’s philandering and cruelty, even as his vision transforms a once-hidebound nation with a series of modernizing reforms. Though the prose can be clumsy and the time spent on Catherine’s early years feels superfluous, Alpsten shines once she puts Catherine in Peter’s orbit. Lovers of Russian history, strong women protagonists, and sweeping historicals will savor this vivid portrait.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 1, 2020
        Catherine Alexeyevna progressed from humble origins as a serf to become Catherine I, Empress of all the Russias. The first woman to rule Russia in her own right, she was the second wife of Peter the Great, a man whose legacy of modernizing Russia in the early eighteenth century is well-documented in popular culture. Lesser known is the sometimes bloody story of the more than twenty years Catherine spent coddling, supporting, and challenging him. Alpsten's debut relates a compelling, if unverified, story of Catherine's early years before she entered Peter's orbit. Once married, Catherine bore him twelve children, only two of whom lived to adulthood. She traveled with him to war fronts. She was a constant in his life through successes, failures, and numerous mistresses. She was the one person who could soothe his rages and return him to reason. Illuminating the realities of life in premodern Russia and the growth and changes brought about in the Petrine Era, this is a fascinating and extraordinary ride from slavery to royalty. Fiction about real people appeals to readers who like history and also like to listen in on conversations. Offer this to fans of historical fiction, Russia, political intrigue, and powerful women.Women in Focus: The 19th in 2020

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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"Makes Game of Thrones look like a nursery rhyme." —Daisy Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author of The Fortune Hunter
"[Alpsten] recounts this remarkable woman's colourful life and times."
Count Nikolai Tolstoy, historian and author

Before there was Catherine the Great, there was Catherine Alexeyevna: the first woman to rule Russia in her own right. Ellen Alpsten's rich, sweeping debut novel is the story of her rise to power.

St. Petersburg, 1725. Peter the Great lies dying in his magnificent Winter Palace. The weakness and treachery of his only son has driven his father to an appalling act of cruelty and left the empire without an heir. Russia risks falling into chaos. Into the void steps the woman who has been by his side for decades: his second wife, Catherine Alexeyevna, as ambitious, ruthless and passionate as Peter himself.
Born into devastating poverty, Catherine used her extraordinary...

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