Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Pages: 337
Published: May 7, 2019

Book Description: The history books say I died. They don’t know the half of it. Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before. Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her. That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

I received this book as an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I have always liked the story of Anastasia and when I read the description of this book I was intrigued to see what kind of retelling this would be. Overall I enjoyed reading it and thought it had a fun take on it. I liked that there was more of the magic involved in the story and that Rasputin was using it to save her brother and she herself was learning how to use the spells. I thought it was unique that the spells were written with magical ink and then put on the skin; almost in my mind like the stick on tattoos.

The characters were pretty well written. You got to see how what was happening to the Romanov family was effecting all of them differently; which I thought was interesting. The chemistry between Nastya and Zash worked well and I was rooting for them from the beginning. I liked that you really felt like all the characters in the book played an important part of the story.

The book was well written and the story flowed along nicely. I really liked the idea that there was a Matryoshka doll that held different spells that would open specifically when the family needed them. I was very surprised when Nastya used the one spell she had been waiting for and what it did! (I won’t say because I don’t want to spoil the surprise) I also thought that the story did have some of the history of what happened involved in it. I liked of course that the ending was different than what actually happened.

This was a fun read and I would suggest it to Anastasia fans, and even those that just like a good fun historical retelling!

Book Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Reading Challenges: Golden Trio #36, Read Harder #2, 52 Books in 52 Weeks #26, Linz Bookworm #53, NJM #4, A-Z Author – N, A-Z Title – R, Dancing w/ Sci-Fi & Fantasy #16, Netgalley/Edelweiss, Historical Fiction, European RC, & Bookiary2019.

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