Author: J. Nelle Patrick (Jackson Pearce)
Published: February 27th 2014 by Razorbill.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
Natalya knows a secret. A magical Faberge egg glows within the walls of Russia's Winter Palace. It holds a power rooted in the land and stolen from the mystics. A power that promises a life of love for her and Alexei Romanov. Power, that, in the right hands, can save her way of life. But it's not in the right hands.
”That wasn’t foolish Natalya. That was love. Love hopes for happy endings.”
Natalya is in love with Alexei Romanov, next in line to be ruler of Russia. It seems that they have a long history together and that is why he trusts her with a dangerous secret. Before he died, Rasputin poured his magic into a Faberge egg. This egg ensures their hold on Russia and their health. Until the egg is stolen in the middle of a riot from the Reds. They are tired of their bad treatment and poverty, so the royal family is captured and Natalya is in desperate need to find the egg. But she isn’t the only one. Leo believes that he is capable of changing the ‘owner’ of the egg in the hope to help his people. He kidnaps Natalya and her best friend Emilia and they travel to Moscow.
The world-building was great. It felt like I was walking besides Natalya and I felt the tension when she sees her beloved city fall into the hands of the Reds. The setting was interesting too. The story behind the Romanov family and the questions about the survival of Anastasia are well incorporated. It’s obvious that the author did her research on the matter, which made it all feel more realistic.
Natalya started out as a promising character. It wasn’t hard to imagine her sadness when she discovers that Alexei is hold captive and her desperation to find the one thing that might save him and his family. The only thing is, I couldn’t connect with her. I wished I liked her more, but her sudden romance with Leo messed everything up. I just can’t understand how she fell in love so fast, especially not in that situation. It almost felt like a betrayal of her love with Alexei.
Despite that, I quite liked Leo. He represented the other side of the story. He shows Natalya the reason behind their rebellion and he always came across as a good person. His character gave balance to the story and I like how it changed Natalya and her look on things. He has his reasons to find the egg – an aspect that surprised me. I never thought there would be such a focus on magic.
Overall, a good book, but it wasn’t mind-blowing.