Listen, I was nervous to read this book because I absolutely ADORE the animated Anastasia movie, and I have done some of my own research about the Romanov family, so I was wondering how this was going to go. After finishing this book, I can honestly say this is going to end up being one of the best books I have read this year.
This story is set in the 1910’s in an alternate world with magic abilities, and it follows the Romanov empire but with some CRAZY plot twists and changes that are absolutely jaw dropping. We get to see Anastasia growing up with her sisters and brother, and how she meets her love interest, Damien. We then see them all grow up and face different obstacles, and Rasputin is introduced. He becomes an integral part of the Romanov estate because he is the ONLY person who has been able to heal Alexei, Anastasia’s younger brother that has hemophilia (a blood disease where his blood doesn’t clot). This is how Rasputin digs his claws into the Romanov family, and secrets are revealed that throw EVERYTHING for a loop (no spoilers).
I loved the characters in this story, Anastasia and Damien grow so much individually, and after her family dies (no spoilers), Anastasia grows so much and learns so much about herself. After her family dies is the hardest thing I’ve had to read in a while. Throw in the plot twist that makes you go “Is this really happening?” and you’ve got a SOLID story. I also love how Anastasia enables Damien to feel strong enough to control his death touch, and how they are together ❤ Overall, such a phenomenal read.
Like always, you can’t love everything in a book, and the only real thing I didn’t love about this story was that it felt very slow. This book is 850 pages on KU, and I was nervous cuz that is a LOT of pages. I started reading and got to page 200 and I was wondering, “This is Sophie Lark, when do they smash?” I called Lexi, complaining that they haven’t even kissed yet, and she asked me if I checked to see if this is a slow burn. Of course, I hadn’t, so I looked it up, and it was indeed a slow burn. At that point, I was so invested in the story that I couldn’t put it down, and after reading the whole thing I am able to see the importance of the build-up, but at the time it felt very drawn out.
Overall, I ADORED this book, and Sophie did a fabulous job with bringing this story to life in a new and exciting way. If she does anything like this in the future, sign me up because this was a great experience. I gave this book 4.5 stars, with the only deduction being for my own idiocy in thinking Anastasia and Damien would get it on sooner and not be such a drawn out introduction. I 1000% would recommend this book to anyone, it is such a great story and will genuinely have you crying and laughing and loving right along with everyone else in the story.
How did you feel about the pacing? What did you think about the HUGE plot twist at the end? Was there a point in this book where you debated DNFing?