Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The long awaited book reviews + The Romanovs

Since I lost my template these book reviews wont be as fancy and organized as I had hoped but fear not! That will not stop me from reviewing some news worthy novels! I have decided to do two to start with. One will be a young adult novel and a novel of choice.

Since I write young adult, there will always be at least one YA novel I review per month (Depends on how many I read and how many inspire me enough to review it.) Now when I say "review" I mean...

  • A quick summary
  • 3 likes and 3 dislikes
  • My thoughts on the plot, characters, and novel cover
  • Small paragraph about the author
  • And much more....

The 3 dislikes will be hard and some times I might not be able to list 3. I am pretty strict on what I read (I don't like oh-la-la I'm a teen in love, he's an angel.) junk. I'm pretty picky. These, as above may change. The first two novels are....

  • The Replacement- Brenna Yovanoff (Young Adult)

The Resurrection of the Romanovs: Anastasia, Anna Anderson, and the World's Greatest Royal Mystery- Greg King (Nonfiction-Russian royals-Romanovs) 

Wait what? A nonfiction book about a royal family long dead? Oh yes. You see I have a hidden passion. History. I can sit at my computer for hours (When not writing) researching royals. It's a hobby of mine. And my favorite family is the Romanovs. But wait?....Who are the Romanovs? Oh come you should know this....

The story about a orphaned Russian girl who goes into Saint Petersburg to find out who she is and where she came from. With only a pretty little necklace for a clue she finds herself and a cute stray dog in the abandoned palace. Years ago the royal family had been cursed and killed. The youngest daughter had escaped with her grandmama, only to fall off a train and bump her head. Leaving her with no memories that she is the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Inside the palace she finds two men. They are scam artist looking for a girl to pose as the Grand Duchess to travel to Paris in order to claim the money offered by the Empress in return for her granddaughter. But on their way they soon realize this girl is the real deal. They find a way for her to meet her grandmother and reunite the family. In the end she leaves the life she was born into and runs off with her love, the man who realized she was the true duchess. 

But that sweet dreamy, romantic story isn't the truth. When I was young I thought it was. When I found out the dark truth behind the deaths of this loving family I cried. The story didn't end then and there. I became interested in the royals as I started researching the lives of these people. 

This beautiful but haunting pictures is of the true Grand Duchess Anastasia. Born as the fourth daughter of Alexandra and Nicolas the second, she wasn't exactly what her parents wanted. With three other daughters they were hoping for a male heir. But instead they got this beautiful, spunky, sassy girl who has become a legend.  

Around the age of 13/14

As little girl

(Left to right. Romanov sisters)
Maria(Middle), Tatiana (Second eldest), Anastasia (Youngest), Olga (Oldest)

The family together.

Anastasia's last known picture.

Anastasia and her family were very close. Her father was known for saying he wanted to be a farmer. The children were not spoiled, they slept on hard camp beds, bathed in cold water, and volunteered their time to the needy and sick. These girls and their little brother were born into a life of wealth and royalty and because of that they were doomed for an early death. Their deaths were meaningless. But because they born into this life they were seen as a threat. As their golden life crashed around them they were whisked off as captives, taken from their beloved palace. 
The Alexander palace

Being taken away from their home didn't make them break down. Instead they enjoyed every minute of life. They changed their ways and adapted. They were fine as long as they could stay together as a family. But that didn't last long. Soon their father and mother and the middle daughter Maria were taken away. The Romanov children stayed with trusted allies, who had been working with the Romanovs since most of the children were young, they gladly followed them without pay. They were reunited at The House of Special Purpose. It would be where they spent their last days as a family at. The guards were cruel and rude, they loved to make fun of the Empress because of her German birth. Their things were taken into the shed for "safe keeping" They had to ask before getting something out. They later realized the guards were stealing things out of their luggage. 

Sewn inside the daughter's corsets were the famous Romanov jewels. These jewels later acted as bullet proof vests. Ont he night of   July 17 1918, just weeks away from Anastasia's birthday, the family was awoken in the night and taken downstairs, the guards had told them they were in danger and the basement would keep them safe until everything was over. But it had been a lie. So they got dressed, with her dog in her arms Anastasia walked with her family down into the basement. She would never return. 

One of the last pictures of the daughters taken. 

They never expected a thing. They waited hours, quietly hoping to return to bed. Then the doors opened and men entered. Guns in hand, they told them:

Nikolai Aleksandrovich, in view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you...

"What? What?" Was all he could say as the men started to shoot.

The room where they were killed.

Some died quickly. Others were not so lucky. The jewels sewn into the corsets stopped the bullets from hitting their chests. But they did not live. The ones who survived were stabbed over and over with bayonets until they were dead, laying in a pool of blood. The jewels were later found and torn from the garments. The family was later stripped, some burnt, and thrown down a mine. But after some of the guards bragged about the location they moved their bodies in the night to their final grave. 

In 2007 they finally found the last remaining bodies. One of a daughter (Either Maria or Anastasia) And that of the ill son, Alexi. Finally the family could rest together in peace. But the sad fact of the matter is the last two bodies have yet to be buried along side of their parents and siblings. Some doubt the DNA tests. Some want to believe that one or both of the missing children survived. 

The sad truth is they died that night with their family. 

I have learned a lot about the history of Russia and England through this family. My interests have grown into other royal branches such as the famous Marie Antoinette. It's a hobby of mine that never gets old. There is so much to look up. Portraits, jewelry, clothing and life styles. There is always something to be learned. I may post more about this family later on, there is no shortage of pictures to post of them, that's for sure. I suggest you look into it more yourself. Maybe you'll find yourself interested too.




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