The Winter Palace (a Novel of the Young Catherine the Great)

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9780552777988: The Winter Palace (a Novel of the Young Catherine the Great)

Behind every great ruler lies a betrayal. Eva Stachniak's novel sweeps readers into the passionate, intimate, and treacherous world of Catherine the Great, revealing Russia's greatest matriarch from her earliest days in court, where the most valuable currency was the secrets of nobility and the most dangerous weapon to wield was ambition.
 
Two young women, caught in the landscape of shifting allegiances, navigate the treacherous waters of palace intrigue. Barbara is a servant who will become one of Russia's most cunning royal spies. Sophia is a pretty, naive German duchess who will become Catherine the Great. For readers of superb historical fiction, Eva Stachniak captures in glorious detail the opulence of royalty and the perilous loyalties of the Russian court.

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Review:

Tasha Alexander Reviews The Winter Palace

Tasha Alexander is the author of the bestselling Lady Emily series. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she signed on as an English major in order to have a legitimate excuse for spending all her time reading. A confirmed Anglophile from birth, she and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago and the UK.

Like most lovers of historical fiction, I’m on constant lookout for a book into which I can completely disappear, one that will engulf all my senses and, in effect, turn my couch into a time machine. I want the history to be accurate, the characters to be compelling, and the story to make me reconsider preconceived notions about a period outside the area of my expertise. Eva Stachniak’s The Winter Palace does all that in spectacular fashion.

The scandal, luxury, and political unrest rife in eighteenth century Russia provide a rich backdrop, and Stachniak takes full advantage of all of it without sticking to the ordinary and expected. Instead of presenting Catherine the Great at the peak of her powers, she gives us the infamous empress during her youth, when she was Sophie, a young German duchess betrothed to the future Tsar Peter III. A not entirely welcome foreigner, Sophie is thrust into a court full of corruption and deceit, where nothing is more important than have a source of reliable information. It is by taking advantage of this circumstance that Stachniak gives her novel extra depth. Catherine is not the protagonist of The Winter Palace. Stachniak tells her story through Barbara, a young woman whose heartbreaking life has led her to employment as an ill-treated seamstress at the palace.

Until someone realizes she’d make a better spy.

Stachniak’s well-chosen protagonist enables her to give the novel a full and satisfying depiction of the Imperial Court, seen not only through the eyes of the privileged nobility, but through a woman who is keenly aware of what goes on above and below stairs. She brings to life the plight of the less fortunate and the delicate balance of truth and lies necessary to survive in the murky labyrinth of Barbara’s world. Stachniak fills her novel with intricate details--the opulence is all but tangible--but never does so at the expense of her story, which moves along at a clipped pace. Her prose, lush and evocative, is as elegant as the fabled Amber Room at Catherine’s summer palace.

The Winter Palace should secure Stachniak a place among the best historical novelists. It is one of those rare books that grabs the reader and won’t let go, one that begs to be read again, one that lingers pleasantly in the mind long after the finishing the last page. And for me, it proved itself in a more simple way: the minute I closed the book, I wanted to get my hands on everything else Stachniak has written.

About the Author:

EVA STACHNIAK was born in Wroclaw, Poland. She came to Canada in 1981 and has worked for Radio Canada International and Sheridan College, where she taught English and Humanities. Her first short story, "Marble Heroes," was published by the Antigonish Review in 1994, and her debut novel, Necessary Lies, won the Amazon.com/Books in Canada First Novel Award in 2000. Stachniak is also the author of Garden of Venus. She lives in Toronto.

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Eva Stachniak
Editore: Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom (2012)
ISBN 10: 0552777986 ISBN 13: 9780552777988
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Descrizione libro Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the glittering, dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress heir. Set to spy on her, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit liaisons and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court. But Sophie s destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?. Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780552777988

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Eva Stachniak
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Descrizione libro Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the glittering, dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress heir. Set to spy on her, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit liaisons and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court. But Sophie s destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?. Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780552777988

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Descrizione libro Black Swan. Condizione libro: New. 2012. Paperback. When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress' heir. Num Pages: 512 pages. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 163 x 199 x 33. Weight in Grams: 358. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780552777988

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Descrizione libro Black Swan, 2012. Condizione libro: New. 2012. Paperback. When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress' heir. Num Pages: 512 pages. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 163 x 199 x 33. Weight in Grams: 358. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780552777988

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Descrizione libro Transworld Publishers Ltd. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, The Winter Palace (a Novel of the Young Catherine the Great), Eva Stachniak, When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the glittering, dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress' heir. Set to spy on her, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit liaisons and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court. But Sophie's destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?. Codice libro della libreria B9780552777988

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Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Not Signed; When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the glittering, dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Pr. book. Codice libro della libreria ria9780552777988_rkm

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