In an endeavor similar to his debut novel, The Kitchen Boy, Alexander couples extensive research and poetic license, this time turning his enthusiasm toward perhaps the most intriguing player in the collapse of the Russian dynasty: Rasputin. This eyebrow-raising account of the final week of the notorious mystic's life is set in Petrograd in December 1916 and narrated by Rasputin's fiery teenage daughter, Maria. The air in the newly renamed capital is thick with dangerous rumors, many concerning Maria's father, whose close relationship with the monarchy-he alone can stop the bleeding of the hemophiliac heir to the throne-invokes murderous rage among members of the royal family. Maria is determined to protect her father's life, but the further she delves into his affairs, the more she wonders: who, exactly, is Rasputin? Is he the holy man whose genuine ability to heal inspires a cult of awed penitents, or the libidinous drunkard who consumes 12 bottles of Madeira in a single night, the unrestrained animal she spies "[eagerly] holding [the] housekeeper by her soft parts"? Does this unruly behavior link him to an outlawed sect that believes sin overcomes sin? The combination of Alexander's research and his rich characterizations produces an engaging historical fiction that offers a Rasputin who is neither beast nor saint, but merely, compellingly human.
Taut with suspense and rich in historical detail, The Kitchen Boy chronicles in an entirely new light the brutal slaying of Czar Nicholas II and his family. It was a crime to horrify, fascinate, and mystify the ages. On the night of July 16, 1918, Bolshevik revolutionaries murdered the entire Russian royal family in a hail of gunfire. No one survived who might bear witness to what really happened on that mysterious and bloody night. Or so it was thought. In masterful historical detail and breathtaking suspense, Robert Alexander carries the reader through the entire heartrending story as told through the eyes of a real but forgotten witness, the kitchen boy. Narrated by the sole witness to the basement execution, The Kitchen Boy is historical fiction at its best. But more than that, the accessible style and intricately woven plot – with a stunning revelation at its end – will keep readers guessing throughout.
The last in the bestselling trilogy – the drama of a grand duchess and the peasant who determines her fate
As the Russia of Nicholas and Alexandra rushes toward catastrophe, the Grand Duchess Elisavyeta is ensconced in the lavish and magnificent Romanov court. In the same city, but worlds apart, Pavel is a simple village man in search of a better life. When his young wife, Shura, is shot and killed by tsarist soldiers during a political demonstration, Pavel dedicates his life to overthrowing the Romanovs. Pavel's underground group assassinates Elisavyeta's husband, the grand duke, changing her life forever.
Grief-stricken, the grand duchess gives up her wealth and becomes a nun dedicated to the poor people of Russia. When revolution finally sweeps in, Elisavyeta is the last Romanov captured, ripped from her abbey in the middle of the night and shuttled to Siberia. It is here, in a distant wood on a moonlit night, that Pavel is left to decide her fate.
The Romanov Bride is Alexander's fullest and most engaging book yet. Combining stunning writing with a keen talent for storytelling, Alexander uncovers more compelling Romanov drama and intrigue for his many readers and all fans of historical fiction.