Monday, August 6, 2012

The Romanov Conspiracy- Taut And Complex, Though Morally Questionable

The Russian Revolution was certainly a bloody affair.  Fear and chaos abounded.  It turned an entire nation upside down. And in the center of it all was the brutal assignation of the Tsar and his family.  A murder surrounded in a mystery, which became legendary.  Did the daughter of the Russian royal family survive?

Glenn Meades’ latest novel, The Romanov Conspiracy hits the ground running with a gritty and harrowing account of an attempted rescue of the Tsar and his family during the final days of the Russian revolution.

In the center of the story are Uri Andrev and Leonid Yakov.  Friends since childhood, they find themselves on opposite sides of the revolution.  Bitterness and anger rooted in betrayal and fueled by events spinning wildly out of control cause both men to seek to undo the other.  But even war can’t totally unravel the cords of deep friendship Uri and Leonid had woven over a lifetime.

Paramount to the plot is the Romanov family – the Tsar, his wife and children – including the willful Anastasia, held captive by Lenin’s men and soon to be murdered.  But help is coming in the form of a headstrong Irish gunner runner, Lydia Ryan, and Joe Boyle, a man of mystery who has been on more than one death defying mission.  Together with Uri Andrev they infiltrate Russia, making their way through the chaotic blood-soaked countryside, hoping to free the imprisoned Tsar and his family before it’s too late.

Meades' novel is taut, historically rich, and replete with complex characters.  It will quickly draw you into the horrifying upheaval that was the Russian Revolution and leave you breathless.

However, as an author known well to the Christian market, Meade does promote, albeit subtlety, the worldview that in the midst of heartache and turmoil it’s okay to “love the one you’re with”.  In The Romanov Conspiracy two of the characters find solace in the arms of someone other than their spouse.  The underlying feeling being that God understands.  That, for me, made a stellar novel less great.

A courtesy copy of The Romanov Conspiracy received from Howard Books in exchange for an honest review.