My rating: 2 of 5 stars
With a cast of 1000’s this is no easy read. Perhaps it is my lack of knowledge of the Russian royal family, but I found the intrigues and scandals of the family almost too much to take in. Very few of the Romanov’s are written about in any great detail in the way of personality, but the book is weighed down in names, dates and dry historical facts. Why is this a bad thing? I personally am more intrigued about the actual people as opposed to historical blips on a chart. Each chapter is begun with a list of characters (often a couple of pages long) but there is almost nothing of their personalities or the social history to make these historical names more human. I wanted to know the people, not the exact facts of history.
There is no denying that Simon Sebag Montefiore’s ability to take on 300 years of history in one book for what is truly a formidable task. Obviously a great deal of research has gone into the writing of this book; there are 70 pages of notes not to mention all the footnotes scattered throughout the pages.
And its frustrating the number of hours committed to reading this book as it just felt dry. Dare I even say a touch boring? I had to read the book in chunks of pages a day – its no page turner. I feel somewhat guilty when so many people appear to think that this book is great; it just didn’t do it for me.
A little too academic for this history buff.