Thursday, June 7, 2012

SINS OF THE EMPRESS - Review + GIVEAWAY

This week author Paula Paul hosted here at EBJ with a compelling post on Equality for Women (see here).

Today, here's my review on her new book: 




This is the first time I read an HF novel on Catherine the Great- and I loved it! I had read here and there about this grand empress and about her many lovers…hmmm- but there’s always more to the story than that.

Together with her very strict, self-serving and uncaring mother, the young Sophia (later confirmed to Catherine) leaves her home in Berlin to go live in the court of Elizabeth, Empress of Russia. There she is betrothed to Peter III- an immature and senseless young man (he never does grow up- or improve).  The whole purpose of this marriage was to produce an heir for Russia.  Pathetic as can be, Peter had no idea how to be a man, in any sense of the word.  Poor Catherine who gave up everything to live up to her every role, was belittled, chastised, disillusioned and consequently, never truly happy.  

Catherine did find some peace within her newly found Russian Orthodox faith (definitely a positive thing in her favour with regards to Empress Elizabeth).  Other than that though, many who opposed the marriage, made Catherine out to be this rather cold, detached, somewhat defiant and calculating being- all things that she was most certainly not.  All she ever did was for love, for her people and her country.

Catherine did find some joy in friendships created within Peter’s circle, and through the trust of her closest chamber maid, Sveta.  Sadly and to  her own demise, the love she sought was found through lovers who never reciprocated in complete honesty.  

I was amazed at how easy it was to dupe Peter and the rest of the court-and country- into believing the legitimacy of the heir born to Catherine! Not only that, as the country rejoiced this birth, Catherine again was to suffer alone as her baby was literally grabbed away from her to be raised by the Empress herself.  It would be months before she would even get a glimpse of him. Another chance at love snatched away from her with no recourse.  Throughout the course of the book I learned that this was the least of the pain she would suffer when it came to her children and the great love she had for them…

The book is filled with such moments where you can’t help but feel for Catherine and her pain..So, yes, Catherine may have had a few men in her lifetime (and there are long detailed passages about this…), but each time she gave her love completely and faithfully; thinking this was her one and only- and her last, only to be deceived once more.

Although ever-so- unlucky at love, Catherine finally triumphed in gaining what she craved most; love, loyalty, respect and trust, ultimately, as great ruler of Russia. 

I definitely enjoyed this book and want to read more about Catherine the Great.
 
GIVEAWAY...

Cool Well Press is offering ONE of my lucky readers Sins of The Empress in e-format!!!

Open to Canada and US.

To ENTER:

1) You MUST be a follower of this Blog

2)Please leave your comment and email address 

3) Extra Chance for everytime you FB, Tweet, or blog about this

Winner Announced Sunday, June 10

GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!!

4 comments:

Allison Macias said...

This sounds like an awesome book. I follow you!!
Thanks!!
Allisonmharper@hotmail.com

Denise said...

I've read several HF books lately set in Russia, and I'm anxious to read this one, too!

deniseincoralsprings@gmail.com

I am an EbJ follower!

valleau said...

Thanks for your thorough review and wonderful offer. I would love to win this one.

valleauATsuddenlinkDOTnet

I am a follower. Thanks.

Margaret said...

I would love to read this!

-shared on fb and tweeted

Margaret
singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com