• The Romanov Empress

  • A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna
  • By: C. W. Gortner
  • Narrated by: Katharine Lee McEwan
  • Length: 17 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,195 ratings)

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The Romanov Empress  By  cover art

The Romanov Empress

By: C. W. Gortner
Narrated by: Katharine Lee McEwan
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Publisher's summary

For listeners of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir comes a dramatic novel of the beloved Empress Maria, the Danish princess who became the mother of the last Russian tsar.

"This epic tale is captivating and beautifully told." (Lisa Wingate, New York Times best-selling author of Before We Were Yours)

Barely 19, Minnie knows that her station in life as a Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a royal marriage - as her older sister, Alix, has done, moving to England to wed Queen Victoria’s eldest son. The winds of fortune bring Minnie to Russia, where she marries the Romanov heir, Alexander, and once he ascends the throne, becomes empress. When resistance to his reign strikes at the heart of her family and the tsar sets out to crush all who oppose him, Minnie - now called Maria - must tread a perilous path of compromise in a country she has come to love.

Her husband’s death leaves their son, Nicholas, as the inexperienced ruler of a deeply divided and crumbling empire. Determined to guide him to reforms that will bring Russia into the modern age, Maria faces implacable opposition from Nicholas’s strong-willed wife, Alexandra, whose fervor has led her into a disturbing relationship with a mystic named Rasputin. As the unstoppable wave of revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.

From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg and the intrigue-laced salons of the aristocracy to the World War I battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the anarchic fall of an empire and the complex, bold heart of the woman who tried to save it.

Praise for The Romanov Empress:

“Timely... [Gortner’s] ability to weave what reads as a simple tale from such complex historical and familial storylines is impressive.... Maria’s life as a royal reads like a historical soap opera.” (USA Today)

“Gortner, an experienced hand at recreating the unique aura of a particular time and place, will deftly sweep historical-fictions fans into this glamorous, turbulent, and ultimately tragic chapter in history.” [Booklist (starred review)]

“Mesmerizing... This insightful first-person account of the downfall of the Romanov rule...is the powerful story of a mother trying to save her family and an aristocrat fighting to maintain rule in a country of rebellion.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A twist on the tragic story you’ve heard many times before.” (Bustle)

©2018 C. W. Gortner (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“A lost age and a woman for the ages come to life in this epic tale. Gortner skillfully opens a window into the life of a woman who is both complex and entirely human, and sets the stage for the violent end of the Russian empire. Captivating and beautifully told, this story is a gem as rich as the opulent era it depicts.” (Lisa Wingate, New York Times best-selling author of Before We Were Yours)

“A sweeping saga that takes us from the opulence and glamour of tsarist Russia to the violent, tragic last days of the Romanovs. Brave and inspiring, Maria Feodorovna confronts assassinations, the Rasputin affair, and the Russian revolution. C. W. Gortner breaks new ground here, skillfully painting an intimate, compelling portrait of this fascinating empress and her family.” (Stephanie Dray, New York Times best-selling coauthor of America’s First Daughter)

The Romanov Empress has all the glitter and mystery of a Fabergé egg. The waning days of a doomed dynasty are recounted by the vivacious but tough Danish princess who would become one of Russia’s most revered tsarinas, only to see her line end in war and revolution. Gortner pens a beautiful tribute to a lost world, weaving a tale as sumptuous as a Russian sable.” (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Alice Network)