ARC Review: Romanov by Nadine Brandes

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Review Type: Spoiler Free

Title and Author: Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Genre and Subgenre: YA Historical Fantasy

Length: 352

Goodreads: 5/5

Buy it here.


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 survival 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’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for 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.


First of all let me just say: wow. Anyone who knows me knows how unreasonably picky I am I am not one to give five-star reviews lightly. But this book definitely deserves every single one.

For those who are planning to read this book (and that should be all of you) don’t go into this expecting the romanticized 20th Century Fox version of Anastasia that we’ve grown up with. Instead, expect something much darker and more interesting. Nadine wove this tale with the perfect balance between well-researched historically accurate facts and her own unique embellishments, character quirks, and fantastical elements.

Anastasia’s (or ‘Nastya’s’) comical mischievousness coupled with her family values made her so easy to love from the very beginning. And, even though the book was taking place in Russia in the early 1900s, there was so much about it I related to: family above everything, humility in the face of humiliation, desperately trying to make people see you for who you are, and so much more.

I’m honestly struggling to remain spoiler free here because all I want to do is fangirl about this book with everyone in the world right now. I can give you my personal guarantee that if you read this book you’ll find within: touching family relationships, a ship-worthy love story, magic and mischief, accurate historical details, heartbreak, heartbreak, and more heartbreak. I cried so much reading this book, guys.

This is normally the part where I say, ‘this book is for readers who like [INSERT GENRE HERE]’. But even if you’re not normally a historical fantasy fan or even a YA fan, I can’t imagine someone reading this book and walking away without finding something about it they loved.

Nadine, for this amazing read I’d just like to say: blagodaryu vas.

I tried to look up how to say ‘thank you’ in Russian. I’m very sure I’m wrong, but I tried.

Thank you again to Nadine for providing us with an ARC copy of this amazing book! Nadine Brandes’s Romanov is scheduled to publish on May 7, 2019, do yourself a favor and pre-order a copy here!

4 thoughts on “ARC Review: Romanov by Nadine Brandes

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