#16 – The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great – Eva Stachniak

From award-winning author Eva Stachniak comes this passionate novel that illuminates, as only fiction can, the early life of one of history’s boldest women. The Winter Palace tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.

Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has other, loftier, more dangerous ambitions, and she proves to be more guileful than she first appears.

What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power.

With dazzling details and intense drama, Eva Stachniak depicts Varvara’s secret alliance with Catherine as the princess grows into a legend—through an enforced marriage, illicit seductions, and, at last, the shocking coup to assume the throne of all of Russia.

Impeccably researched and magnificently written, The Winter Palace is an irresistible peek through the keyhole of one of history’s grandest tale. – Publishers Website

I absolutely LOVED this book.  Eva portrays these two women with such confidence, surety, and conviction in what they believe in and what they will do to get it.  I am sure that Catherine the Great, and all of what she has done in the past surely has her heroes and haters, but I really liked this book.

It is filled with drama, dilemmas, fighting and intrigue, and if you haven’t read it yet, go and get it I LOVED this book!

Reader’s GuideEva’s WebsiteFacebookTwitter


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5 thoughts on “#16 – The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great – Eva Stachniak

  1. I just took this book out of the library. It was out so much since we purchased it that I didn’t dare take it until our patrons had all had a chance at it. You may be interested to know that Eva will be at the Pelham Library in the Fall, along with Brad Smith and queen of folk music in Canada, Sylvia Tyson.

    • You are really trying to get me to that library aren’t you Elaine ! If I had a car, I would be there every time there are authors there! That way I’d be able to get a lot of my books signed.

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