As the Romanov family is one of favorite subjects in history I picked up this book. While it was a great story (historical fiction account), I didn't like that the author towards the end of the book portrayed Rasputin in a good light. However, the author did a great job and should be commended on all her hard work researching the family and everything surrounding them during their time.
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for TeensReadToo.com
THE CURSE OF THE ROMANOVS by Staton Rabin is an absolutely spell-binding story of Alexei Romanov and the Russian Revolution.
The story begins in Russia in 1916, where Alexei Romanov is the hemophiliac heir to the Russian throne. As a hemophiliac, Alexei cannot stop bleeding, and the only person who can seem to heal him is Father Grigory, otherwise known as Rasputin. So many of the Russian people despise Father Grigory and spread gossip about his drinking and womanizing, but Alexei's mother, the Tsarina, comforts Alexei by telling him that these are all lies and that Father Grigory is their dear friend.
Alexei believes his mother, until one night when he hears a conversation between his mother and Father Grigory that challenges everything he has been told. Not knowing where to turn, Alexei confides in his cousin, who decides to murder Father Grigory. But killing Father Grigory is not as easy as it appears, and when Alexei fears for his own life, he flees to the year 2010, using a method that Father Grigory himself taught Alexei.
In the future, Alexei meets a distant relative, Varda Rosenberg, who is currently working on a cure for hemophilia. When Alexei learns about the Russian Revolution and the fate of his family, he is determined to travel back to the past and rescue them from a horrible death at the hands of the Bolsheviks. With Varda's help, Alexei travels back into the past in a desperate attempt to save his family, his honor, and his way of life. But will he be able to change the course of history?
Staton Rabin somehow mixes the genres of science fiction and historical fiction to create a novel unlike any I have ever read. So much of the story is fact-based that you will find yourself believing every word. Rabin captures the voice of a young Alexei so well, as the book is written in diary form. At the end of the novel, author's notes clear up any misconceptions and separate fact from fiction.
So many stories have been written about the Romanov family, including the Disney movie Anastasia. But Rabin's take on this famous story is so different than all of the others, it is definitely worth reading!