Book Review - The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller
Summary: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. Like the fingers on a hand–first headstrong Olga; then Tatiana, the tallest; Maria the most hopeful for a ring; and Anastasia, the smallest. These are the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, grand duchesses living a life steeped in tradition and privilege. They are each on the brink of starting their own lives, at the mercy of royal matchmakers. The summer of 1914 is that precious last wink of time when they can still be sisters together–sisters that link arms and laugh, sisters that share their dreams and worries, and flirt with the officers of their imperial yacht.
But in a gunshot the future changes for these sisters and for Russia.
World War I ignites across Europe, political unrest sweeps Russia.
First dissent, then disorder, mutiny, and revolution. For Olga, Tatiana,
Maria and Anastasia, the end of their girlhood together is colliding
with the end of more than they ever imagined.
book was very, very emotional. It chronicles the last four years of the
Romanov’s lives, and I spent most the book dreading the ending that I
knew was coming. I absolutely fell in love with this book and the four
sisters who narrated it. As I got further and further into it, I felt
like I was there, experiencing everything they went through: the start
of WWI, the months Olga and Tatiana spend as Red Cross nurses, the
measles, and the house arrests in their palace, Tobolsk, and finally the
Ipatiev house in Ekaterinberg.
Sarah Miller gave each of the four grand duchesses their own distinct voices and personalities. Olga, the oldest, was the headstrong daughter, but she was also a worrywart. Being an oldest child myself, I understand her need to hide important yet scary things from Maria, Anastasia, Aleksei, and in some cases, even Tatiana.
Tatiana, the second eldest, was given the nickname “Governess” because she was strict and forever scolding them. She was also notedly the most elegant and beautiful of the sisters, but that didn’t stop her from speaking her mind whenever the time warranted.
Marie was amazing, and so adorable. She was relatable because she was just so nice to everyone, even her captors, and always tried to have a kind word for everyone. All of the deaths were gruesome but hers bothered me the most. Her kindness shone through their adversity and she proves to be a role model.
My favorite character was Anastasia. She was seriously a hilarious character and I can only imagine the mischief she caused her older sisters. Being the youngest, she was the family clown, but she had her angsty moments as well. After all, the chapters where she worries about how she could still be funny when she felt she had no reason to laugh are some of the strongest in the novel.
This books is definitely a masterpiece and it fed my growing appetite for novels about the last days of Imperial Russia. I so wished the book could end in a different way, but unfortunately, it doesn’t in history. It’s at times like these, when I read about atrocious crimes like what happened to the Romanovs, when I hate that I love history and historical fiction.
Nicholas, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Aleksei, you will always be remembered, and I hope you are resting in peace.