Date Finished: 10 January 2013
Rating: 4*Read the Goodreads description here
Wow. I have to say that this was one of the best historical fictions that I have ever read. The author is absolutely fantastic in the way that he manages to weave such a gripping story while still making it completely historically accurate. I loved the style of writing as well and the way it changed, as though the narrator was speaking right out of the book and reading it to me, in the first third of the book, but then the style was slowly altered until the story was being told from Arthur Ransom’s point of view.
I have to say that although I was thoroughly impressed, I also got a bit bored closer to the end of the book. It seemed as though it had lost its sparkle and was dragging on a little. It soon righted itself though. By the final few pages, I was completely hooked again and couldn’t put it down.
I absolutely loved this book, but that might just be because I am a complete history nerd. I loved the way that it was different to all the other historical fictions that I usually read in the way that it was more accurate and focused more on telling the story of the Russian Revolution rather than telling a love story. Although there was a bit of a love story, the author managed to keep it subtle and didn’t let it get in the way of the main storyline, which really impressed me. I also really enjoyed the way he managed to portray Vladimir Lenin throughout the book. The way in which he managed to imply that he was either a weak leader or extremely intelligent close to the beginning of the book was simply genius (the scene where Lenin explains to Arthur how he managed to get a neat bullet hole in his window). I also loved loved loved the way he used metaphors disguised as fairytales in the beginning of the book to explain the rise of the Reds against the Tsar (with the bear symbolizing Russia and Vlad and Lev who manage to convince it to eat the Tsar).
It was, overall, an incredible read. I would recommend it to any other history nerds out there who are looking for an accurate but gripping fictional account of the Russian Revolution.