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The Last Romanov by Norbert Mercado Book Review

The Last Romanov by Norbert Mercado Book Review

I received this book for free from Author for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

The Last Romanov by Norbert Mercado
Publication Date: July 17, 2012
Genres: Fiction, Historical, World or cultural
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Goodreads
three-stars

Enjoyable story with a thorough history retold in footnotes.

Synopsis from Barnes & Noble:

“Written by Norbert L. Mercado, the author takes us on a journey of possibilities about the tragic story of the last Romanov family – that of Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra – after the end of World War I and the Russian Revolution.”

My Thoughts

The Kindle version of this book has a wealth of history in the footnotes about the change in governments and political events that occurred in Russia from before World War I to the fall of communism in the 1990’s. While it’s very interesting, it was very distracting and I felt it impeded the flow of the story in the first half of the book. I think the footnotes would have better served the book by being separated in its own reference section at the end of the book. It would have helped the historical facts and the story itself feel less disjointed.

That being said, I did enjoy the story of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Mr. Mercado humanizes the overthrown Tsar as he and his family become prisoners in their home. The Tsar despite his political stature, is a loving father and husband and Mr. Mercado helps the reader see the family’s perspective of their beloved father first, Russian Tsar second.

I loved the Romanov children, in particular precocious Alexei, the Tsar’s only son and youngest child. Alexei befriends Alexsandr, the guard stationed at the Romanov house. My favorite dialogue in the book is when Alexei, with his childish innocence, questions Alexsandr and the Tsar about the reasons men go to war and kill each other.

What I loved even more about the book is reading the author’s dedication and his reasons for writing the story. He said, “In this age of revolution, the contemporary writer should utilize the pen for the preservation of peace” and “War should not be used as an instrument in resolving political conflicts. Writers who abet wars and revolutions must think of the widows and the fatherless, the chaos, destruction, and suffering of the people whom they claim to be concerned about.” I applaud the author’s passion for using his work to promote peace. I love the idea that we can all play a part in achieving peace with one another.

Favorite Quotes

“Comrade Evno, I have seen so much blood spilled for causes I can barely comprehend.  There has been so much bloodshed in Russia.   I think hate begets hate. If we kill them, we invite revenge. More blood will be spilled – the blood of our countrymen.  I believe it’s time for those killings to stop.”

“In this troubled world, Evno, there are several things which the blind can see, and those with sight cannot.”

“Yes. And they [the Tsar’s children] are all that we really have now. I regret that it’s only now that I realize the importance of spending time with one’s children. It gives you fulfillment, happiness, peace of mind – things I hardly noticed before because I was preoccupied with the affairs of the state,” the Monarch said.”

“‘Now, I understand what my father said about children – that they are worth more than the wealth of the world.’ The Empress smiled, fighting back her tears.”

 Challenges Satisfied

Around the World in 80 Books Reading Challenge

I’ve always been fascinated by Anastasia’s story, the daughter of Tsar Nicholas II who escaped her family’s fate.  Did you ever daydream about being a lost princess?  

Have you read other books about the Romanov family or Russia during the first World War? 

 Talk to me and let me know your thoughts, I love to hear from you and as always, happy reading!

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14 Comments

    1. The author saw my review and said they updated footnotes to make it flow better. I was flattered he took my thoughts into consideration. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

    1. Thanks Kim, I definitely would enjoy reading more fiction and non-fiction about the Romanov’s. Do you have any other books to recommend? I am going to have to check out the one Lisa suggested.

      1. I read Kathryn Harrison’s Enchantments not too long ago that was an account of the final months of the Romanovs as told from the point of view of the daughter of Rasputin which I liked.

  1. It sounds interesting. I always have problems reading footnotes on the Kindle. I can’t access them back and forth on mine. They just appear at the end of a chapter (or book) and it’s a nightmare. BUT…for this book it sounds like that would be good!! 🙂 I love the author’s book dedication. I feel like I’d check out this book due to that alone. –Lisa

    1. I have a Kindle Paperwhite and the footnote appeared after the relevant sentence. Some of them were rather long and detailed the history but then I’d forget what was happening in the story, so I found it distracting for the first half. Once I got through that though it was smooth sailing and a poignant story. I would have found it more dramatic and captivating if the footnotes were separated out so I could connect more to the characters and their situation.

      I agree though that the author’s dedication would spurn me to read some of his other works. he has 37 novels and this was a relatively short novel. What are you reading now Lisa?

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