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The Witches of St. Petersburg: A Novel

The Witches of St. Petersburg: A Novel


The Witches of St. Petersburg: A Novel

evaluări:
3.5/5 (12 evaluări)
Lungime:
15 hours
Lansat:
Jan 22, 2019
ISBN:
9780062909381
Format:
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Descriere

Inspired by real characters, this transporting historical fiction debut spins the fascinating story of two princesses in the Romanov court who practiced black magic, befriended the Tsarina, and invited Rasputin into their lives — forever changing the course of Russian history.

As daughters of the impoverished King of Montenegro, Militza and Stana must fulfill their duty to their father and leave their beloved home for St. Petersburg to be married into senior positions in the Romanov court. For their new alliances to the Russian nobility will help secure the future of the sisters’ native country. Immediately, Militza and Stana feel like outcasts as the aristocracy shuns them for their provincial ways and for dabbling in the occult. Undeterred, the sisters become resolved to make their mark by falling in with the lonely, depressed Tsarina Alexandra, who — as an Anglo-German — is also an outsider and is not fully accepted by members of the court. After numerous failed attempts to precipitate the birth of a son and heir, the Tsarina is desperate and decides to place her faith in the sisters’ expertise with black magic.

Promising the Tsarina that they will be able to secure an heir for the Russian dynasty, Militza and Stana hold séances and experiment with rituals and spells. Gurus, clairvoyants, holy fools, and charlatans all try their luck. The closer they become to the Tsarina and the royal family, the more their status — and power — is elevated. But when the sisters invoke a spiritual shaman, who goes by the name of Rasputin, the die is cast. For they have not only irrevocably sealed their own fates — but also that of Russia itself.

Brimming with black magic, sex, and intrigue, The Witches of St. Petersburg is an exquisite historical fiction debut novel filled with lush historical details from the Romanov era.

Lansat:
Jan 22, 2019
ISBN:
9780062909381
Format:
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Despre autor

Imogen Edwards-Jones is an award-winning journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. She is the author of the bestselling Babylon series of industry exposés, which sold over a million copies worldwide. The first book in the series, Hotel Babylon, was adapted into the returning prime time BBC1 TV series.  Author of over twenty other books, she is the editorial consultant on Julian Fellowes' Belgravia. She read Russian at Bristol University and has traveled extensively in the old Soviet Union, writing the travel book, The Taming of Eagles: Exploring New Russia. She lives in London, is member of the London College of Psychic Studies and an honorary Cossack.


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  • (3/5)
    The Witches of St. Petersberg are Militza and Stana, princesses of Montenegro who have made advantageous marriages to Grand Dukes of Russia in order to enrich their impoverished country but pretty universally despised by the more established courtiers. However, their practice of seances and other 'magic' earns them some notoriety. When the Tsar and Tsarina fail to produce a male heir, the sisters court and gain the Tsarina's favor by utilizing their 'powers' and 'rituals' to bring about the desired offspring. Their machinations become more complicated the longer the Tsarina fails to reproduce, and when she finally does, and the Prince turns out to be hemophiliac, they have an opportunity to retain their power by producing a 'healer' to keep him alive.
  • (3/5)
    Two sister princesses from Montenegro are married off by their father to men within the Romanov court. Despite struggling to be accepted by the Russian society they manage to make themselves indispensable to the Tsar and Tsarina. I thought the writing was good and I really liked the story. A bit fantastical but still an interesting glimpse into this world and time period.
  • (4/5)
    This is a very atmospheric book that delves into Tsarist Russia, with a hint of mysticism. Edwards-Jones writes a compelling historical novel while at the same time having characters that come springing off the page.
  • (4/5)
    Author Imogen Edward-Jones highlights a lesser known pair of historical figures in this novel set in Czarist Russia and endows them with magical abilities that go further than they expected.Sisters Militza and Anastasia,aka Stana, managed to marry well as princesses of Montenegro but are snubbed by upper class Russian society due to the humble origins of their home country. However, when Militza takes a prime opportunity to move up the regal social ladder by connecting herself with new czarina Alexandra, she does not neglect to bring her sister along for the climb.Aided by their combined talents in dark magic, Stana and Militza are easily able to make themselves powerful players in the court of Nicholas II. Yet, when a royal heir is in need of medical care, the sisters cast a spell to find a powerful healer which summons Rasputin, a man who proves to be more trouble than he's worth. Ridding themselves of him tests the limits of their skills and may prove to be the undoing of everything they've ever wanted.Edward-Jones did a good amount of solid research into the real life members of the Russian court to enhance her creative vision of magic and ambition that ought to make readers wonder the what ifs of that time very well.
  • (3/5)
    Russian history with a lot of names to keep straight as well as titles.Militza and Stana are forced by their father, the crown prince of Montenegro, to leave their provincial country and move to St. Petersburg and marry men with senior positions in the Romanov court. Militza and Stana are shunned at court because of where they come from and have a hard time mixing with the aristocrats. In fact they are called "The Goat Princesses" the devils daughters, witches because it is said they practice the black arts. Trying to fit in or find a place in court is like dealing with school bullies.Militza decides the only way they can get ahead in court is to befriend the Tsarina who after giving birth to 4 daughters is desperate to give the Tsar a son and heir. The sisters start working their magic and soon convince the Tsarina to believe in them. From there the story takes off with all the court gossip, backstabbing, black magic and Rasputin! I enjoyed the story and the book held my interest. I just had trouble keeping all the players and names straight.
  • (3/5)
    Sisters Militza and Stana fight their way through the Russian court using spiritualism, charm, black magic and manipulation of the Tsar and Tsarina. They married into the court but learn quickly that the way to power is to control Tsarina Alexandra. With every daughter born, Alexandra becomes more despondent and willing to try any magic or listen to any religious charlatan that the sisters send to her.This is a different side of the Romanov court where incredible waste and riches gave way to superstition and desperation. When the sisters discover Rasputin they unknowingly unleash a monster that could mean their downfall. Politics, history, court gossip and the incredible sexual escapades of Rasputin are all shared in great detail. The author has spent time doing her research but there were times I wanted to skim to get to the action. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy. (less)
  • (3/5)
    Off to a slow start but then it got rolling. Really scandalous and juicy!!!