This 3rd novel from Eva Stachniak is a fresh fictional look at the fascinating life of Catherine the Great told through her “tongue” — a young lower-class orphan who eventually becomes a spy at the Imperial Court. Fans of historical fiction will love this opulent and lush story, bursting with period detail, that brings Catherine’s life in the Winter Palace vividly to life.
When Vavara, a young orphaned Polish girl, is brought to serve at Empress Elizabeth's glittering, dangerous court in St Petersburg, she is schooled by the Chancellor himself in skills from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Soon, she is Elizabeth's 'tongue' - her secret eyes and ears. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for Elizabeth's heir. Set to spy on her by the Empress, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit seductions and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court. But Sophie's destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?
Advance praise for The Winter Palace:
'Stachniak's brilliant, bold historical novel of eighteenth-century Russia is a masterful account of one woman's progress toward absolute monarchical rule. . . . This superb biographical epic proves the Tudors don't have a monopoly on marital scandal, royal intrigue, or feminine triumph.' -- Booklist (starred review)
'Awash in period details and as gripping and suspenseful as any thriller, The Winter Palace gives us a unique look at the making of a queen. Eva Stachniak allows us to peep through keyholes and overhear whispers as we navigate the intrigues of Imperialist Russia along with Sophie, the princess who became Catherine the Great. I loved this book, and this glimpse into a world of silk and shadows, grandeur and gossip.' -- Melanie Benjamin, author of The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb
Publication date: 19/01/2012
Publisher: Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
|Publication date:||19th January 2012|
|Publisher:||Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Reading Groups,|
Eva Stachniak was born in Wroclaw, Poland, and now lives in Canada, where she has been a radio broadcaster and college English and humanities lecturer. Her debut novel, Necessary Lies, won the Amazon.com/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and her second novel, Dancing with Kings, has been translated into seven languages. She lives in Toronto,where she is working on her second novel about Catherine the Great, also to be published by DoubledayMore About Eva Stachniak