Review | Romanov by Nadine Brandes

RomanovTitle: Romanov

Author: Nadine Brandes

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 Stars)

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: May 7, 2019

“Impatience was the grim reaper of all true victories”


I’ve always loved Russian-inspired fantasy stories, but this was probably the first one I read that was so grounded in actual history – and I am happy to say, I loved it just as much.
Romanov follow the exiled Romanov family as they begin their exile after the Bolshevik Revolution. Nastya must smuggle an ancient spell that could hold her family’s survival under the Bolshevik leader’s nose as she grows closer to handsome soldier Zash.


Things I Liked 
The magic system was so unique. Combining spellink and spoken and written words was such a cool was to utilize magic without it taking away from the real world history of the story. It also helped keep the story very grounded – which made it very easy to fall into.

You know me, give me an impactful family plot (or even side plot) and I’m sold. I loved how dedicated the Romanov family was to each other and those around them. Their kindness and care radiated off of them and made them incredibly easy to root for them and hope they have a happy ending.


Things I Didn’t Like 
I started the story on audiobook and almost didn’t finish. The first chapter was so long and I was just not interested at all. But as soon as I switched from the audiobook to the ebook, it was much better.

Time moves so quickly throughout the story. There are a lot of little time jumps that quickly move the pace, I found myself wishing there was more time in the story to just breathe. And I did find a few scenes to be confusing, especially when the matryoshka doll’s magic was first introduced.


After my rough start with the story, Romanov managed to keep me engaged through strong family relationships, an interesting magic system, and compelling heroine who is determined to save not only her family, but her people. It’s a wonderfully tragic story that’s given a hopeful outlook to care for those around you.

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