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Beschreibung des Verlags
'Sumptuous, sexy and haunting. I adored this novel' SANTA MONTEFIORE.
Starving men and women stalk the streets of St. Petersburg. Revolution is brewing. Yet in the Imperial court of Nicholas II and the lavish palaces of the aristocracy, there is unimaginable luxury and extravagance.
Into this world of stifling splendour come two sisters. Princesses Anastasia and Militza from Montenegro are famed for their wild beauty and mystical powers. They befriend the isolated Tsarina Alexandra and use their psychic gifts to help in her increasingly desperate quest to produce a male heir. In one doomed last throw of the dice, the princesses introduce Rasputin to the Russian court. Forgotten by history, these extraordinary sisters played a frustrating role in the fate of the Romanov family – a true story of love, lust, power and betrayal.
'I couldn't put it down' CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN.
'Brilliant' CANDACE BUSHNELL.
'A rip-roaring read' DAISY GOODWIN.
'Sumptuous ... Intrigue and black magic in the time of Rasputin' iNewspaper.
'Glamour, scandal and Russian princesses ... A rollicking read' Good Housekeeping.
Edwards-Jones's rich historical debut explores the lives of the Montenegrin princesses Militza Nikolayevna and Anastasia, who married Russian royals and introduced Siberian mystic Grigory Rasputin to the Tsarina Alexandra. After their arranged marriages in 1889, the young sisters settle into their lives, though doing so is difficult. They're derided for their provincial upbringing and told they smell of goat. However, their reputation for otherworldly talents captures the tsarina's attention, and after the death of the tsar's beloved brother, George, Alexandra begs the sisters to help her conceive a son. After an endless parade of professed holy men and charlatans, a son, Alexei, is born, but his blood disorder puts more pressure on the sisters. Enter the odiferous, duplicitous Rasputin, who claims he can help Alexei. A palpable darkness settles over the narrative as the author plunges into the unsavory aspects of mysticism and the occult while revealing how far the sisters are willing to go to retain power. The sisters do inspire sympathy: they have very little agency, and the occult offers them glamour and influence beyond their wildest dreams. Edwards-Jones also paints a sympathetic picture of the tsarina, herself an outsider. Readers fascinated with the Romanovs and this tumultuous period in Russian history will be enthralled by this deliciously dark and memorable novel.