Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Curse of the Romanovs by Staton Rabin

No spoilers.

The Curse of the Romanovs
Author: Staton Rabin
Year of Publication: 2007
Genre: Fantasy, historical fiction, YA
Pages: 271
First Line: "'Mama! Mama! -- it hurts! Please, God! Mama, come kill me!"
Summary: Alexei Romanov, heir to the Russian throne, is in deadly danger.

It's 1916, the struggling Russian people are tired of war and are blaming their Romanov rulers for it, and some are secretly plotting to murder the young heir and his family. But nobody outside the palace knows that Alexei suffers from a terrible bleeding disease, hemophilia, which threatens to finish him off even before the family's enemies can. The only person able to help Alexei is the evil and powerful religious mystic Rasputin -- and now Rasputin is trying to kill him too! Desperate, Alexei flees through time to New York City in 2010, using a method taught to him by the mad monk himself.

In New York, Alexei meets smart and sassy Varda Rosenberg, and discovers she is a distant cousin. Varda is working on a gene therapy cure for hemophilia, as the disease still runs in the family. When Alexei learns that history shows that his entire family will be assassinated in 1918, he and Varda travel back in time to the Russian Revolution, with Rasputin hot on their heels. Will they be able to rescue Alexei's family before it's too late?

Source: Back of book

Review: First, let me just apologize for the typing quality of my last review. Having just copy/pasted to use the template for this review, I saw there were numerous typos. For this I am sorry. Now, the book about which this review is, was not bad. It seemed to take forever to get going but once it did, I was fairly satisfied and interested. Rabin admits to altering many of the historical facts and dates in numerous pieces after the book (which are interesting, for the most part -- if you read this book, read the pieces after the actual story) which was somewhat disappointing to learn, but she does justify many of the alterations with reasons. The book is "rated" for readers 12 years and older, but if you are a parent of a 12-year-old, I may give the book a read through first, just to be sure the child is emotionally ready for it, particularly the pieces after, but the ending of the book as well as other parts sprinkled throughout. It can be a difficult book to read emotionally if the reader becomes attached to the characters. Recommended for those interested in the Romonovs' history.

Worst part: The grandfather complex was not discussed at all. I really felt it should have been.

Best part: The last few parts were very well written (aside from the very end) and definitely served to increase the emotional bond with the characters.

Grade: C+

Other Books by This Author: Betsy and the Emperor and Black Powder

61 / 50 books. 122% done!

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