Top positive review
A Wonderful Debut!
Reviewed in Australia on 23 May 2019
The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers is a love story set amongst the Russian ballet amidst the horrors of war and uprising. Having not read a whole lot of historical fiction, it was that, and the stunning cover which drew me to this book. And I loved every minute of it!
The story centres around Valentina Yershova and Luka Zhirkov, both dancers in the Romanov Imperial Russian Ballet. Both having lived with poverty, Valentina was determined to build a better life for herself, utilising her talent and the help of her male protector. While Luka is finally realising his dream of being a dancer he struggles with not having the acceptance of his father who feels he's disregarding his responsibilities in regards to the war. As Valentina and Luka grow closer, Luka's guilt grows ever stronger as he is drawn into the lavish lifestyle of the dancers. As the momentum of the revolution intensifies Valentina and Luka are forced to make tough, life changing decisions.
Kerri Turner really knows her stuff when it comes to ballet. Her descriptions were so rich and vivid that it made no difference that my knowledge of dance before reading this novel was almost zero. I loved the slow building romance which for me made the attraction between Valentina and Luka so much more believable. And the descriptions of poverty, unrest, and uprising were both heartbreaking and tense.
The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers was such a wonderful debut novel that kept me gripped from start to finish. I'm really looking forward to reading what Kerri Turner publishes in the future.
Thanks so much to the publisher for providing me with a copy for my honest review as part of the HQBookClub.