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Empress of the Night por Eva Stachniak
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Empress of the Night (edição 2014)

por Eva Stachniak (Autor)

Séries: Catherine the Great (02)

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16018134,524 (2.89)13
A follow-up to "The Winter Palace" continues the Romanov monarch's reflections on her world-changing rule in the shadow of the French Revolution, during which she orchestrates a political maneuver to secure her successor.
Título:Empress of the Night
Autores:Eva Stachniak (Autor)
Informação:Doubleday Canada (2014), Edition: 1st Edition, 400 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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Empress of the Night: A Novel of Catherine the Great por Eva Stachniak

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Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I was a bit disappointed with this sequel to The Winter Palace as I was hoping it would cover Catherine the Great's political career and it was more a parade of her lovers. Keeping track of when the relationships started, ended and what became of them and when was a bit puzzling as well. Potemkin & Lanskoy died and Orlov went mad but I'm not clear on the rest. I felt the character development was weak with Imperial family serving as a backdrop and her lovers just passing through. I was hoping to see the political challenges she faced as a former minor German princess who became Grand Duchess and finally Empress of all the Russias ( )
1 vote lisa.schureman | Sep 20, 2014 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
"Empress of the Night: A Novel of Catherine the Great" by Eva Stachniak is the sequel to "The Winter Palace", her first book about the infamous female ruler of Russia. From humble, yet aristocratic, beginnings she rose to become a respected, feared, and inspiring monarch. As a young girl she is chosen to marry Peter, the next emperor of Russia. They have never met but it's an auspicious arrangement for both bride and groom. Shy and bewildered by life at the Russian court, she doesn't take long to realize that marrying Peter does not have to lead to a life of leisure, instead it is a stepping stone towards the throne. The backstabbing and treachery is constant and Catherine deals with each episode with her typical (as written) nonchalance. Her advisors offer opinions, not solutions and woe be to those that choose to ignore her demands. Staff, family, and friends are all used to further Catherine's goals and plans for dominance.

Perhaps her most infamous and lasting legacy is her (legendary but not necessarily true) sexual appetite. Throughout her life she had her "favorites" - young, beautiful, and sometimes powerful men who satisfied her and then were discarded when she no longer found them interesting or successful. Overweight with a multitude of medical issues, she nonetheless had no shortage of these men seduced by her power. It's no secret that she enjoyed her "favorites" and their stories (unfortunately) make up a bulk of the book. Poor Peter is disposed of in few sentences when she has him overthrown in a coup that is barely mentioned. Her children both love and despise her, not knowing if she will rebuke them or kiss them. The grandchildren of Catherine were meant to carry on her reign of power but, instead, failed her in a monumental way. Catherine's enemies always have her in their view but have found that their schemes don't always go as planned. It's not until the afterword that we learn how each fared in life after Catherine. She was, as they say, a force to be reckoned with.

The tale is told as a cycle of dying, life, and then death as it begins and ends with her collapse from a stroke. Everything in between is a hodge-podge of stream-of-conscientious meandering from one life event to the next. Described as told in the voice of Catherine, the narrative is scattershot; a little tale of this and then a smatter of that. Each circumstance seems to come right to the edge of making sense and importance, but often doesn't quite get there. People disappear, places change, views are expressed, and then are never again mentioned. In spite of this, it does make for compelling reading in a strange way, yet its unconventional style may be its undoing for some readers. On the other hand, its quirkiness may even leave you curious for more.

The story of Catherine is interesting, however, this may not the book to really learn about her, but simply to read about her.

Recommended for readers of the author's first Catherine novel, fans of historical fiction, and Russian history with a unusual viewpoint. ( )
  TheFlamingoReads | Jun 19, 2014 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I enjoyed the book but parts of it seemed very disjointed. I loved learning more about Catherine in her younger and older life. The book made the past come to life in an exciting way. ( )
1 vote Desilu42 | Jun 13, 2014 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Sluggish and disjoint compared to the fairly brilliant "The Winter Palace" which, despite not featuring Catherine as the central character, seemed to do a much better job of conveying a portrait of a woman and empress, as well as the world that she lived in and influenced, by letting her be viewed by the eyes of others. This one was unfortunately an unnecessary followup and I ended up skimming more than reading. ( )
1 vote corglacier7 | May 28, 2014 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I really enjoyed Ms. Stachniak's first book on Catherine the Great, the Winter Palace, which I also got from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program, so I was very excited to be selected to receive this one as well. However, I was disappointed, finding the book disjointed, and struggled to keep my focus when reading it. Perhaps it was the author's decision to tell the story as a series of flashbacks as Catherine was dying that made it disjointed, but whatever, it just didn't work for me. However, the earlier novel, the Winter Palace, is certainly a worthy read. This one, not so much. ( )
1 vote Christiana5 | May 25, 2014 |
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A follow-up to "The Winter Palace" continues the Romanov monarch's reflections on her world-changing rule in the shadow of the French Revolution, during which she orchestrates a political maneuver to secure her successor.

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813.6 — Literature American and Canadian American fiction 21st Century

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