Jan 30, 2014

[Book Review] Der Winterpalast

Hello sweeties <3

It is time for another book review :)

Title: Der Winterpalast
Original Title: The Winterpalace
Author: Eva Stachniak
Pages:  530
Language: German 
ISBN-10: 3458358951
ISBN-13: 978-3458358954

You can buy the book here
Geheime Gänge, verdeckte Türen, dunkle Nischen: Als die Waise Warwara als Dienstmädchen in den Winterpalast kommt, lernt sie schnell, sich ihrer Verschwiegenheit und ihren aufmerksamen Blick zunutze zu machen. Keine Intrige, die ihr entginge, kein Getuschel, das ihren Ohren verborgen bliebe. Schnell wird sie zu einer der wichtigsten "Spioninnen" im Palast. Als die junge Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst - die spätere Katharina die Große - an den Hof kommt und auf dem Weg zur Macht eine Verbündete braucht, wird Warwara ihre engste Vertraute. Schließlich erklimmt Katharina den Zarenthron - aus der unerfahrenen Fremden wird eine der mächtigsten Frauen ihrer Zeit.

[English - Goodreads Summary]
Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has other, loftier, more dangerous ambitions, and she proves to be more guileful than she first appears.

What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power. 
What I think about it:
To be honest I bought this book because I liked the cover and I loved hearing stories about Catherine the Great in the past. I wasn't really expecting anything and so I was really surprised about how great the book actually was.
It tells the story of Catherines rise to power not as you would think. We see here struggles through the eyes of another young woman who through the strings of destiny comes to work as a spy at the Russian court under Empress Elizabeth. Through her eyes we not only see the lives of all the historical personas surrounding Catherine but we also learn about the lives of the people working for those famous historical figures.
Eva Stachniak did a great job researching the life at the Russian court during that time and also about the historical figures. Even though many things in this book are mainly a work of fiction the constellations and characters seem to be true to the real historical persons. I really like how she combined the "real" people with her own creations like Warwara and her family.
I think Eva Stachniak did a great job bringing the Russian court back to life. One might think that historical fiction might be boring but I enjoyed every page of this book to the fullest and just can't wait to read "The Empress of the Night".
What is your opinion on historical fiction? 

Have a nice evening <3



  1. Wow, das klingt SO nice! *___* Ich bin ein riesiger Russlandfan, das würde mich echt mal interessieren! >w<

    1. Das Buch ist echt super :) Kann ich nur empfehlen ^.^