➳ [Reading] ➶ The Lost Crown By Sarah Miller ➩ – Saudionline.co.uk

The Lost Crown chapter 1 The Lost Crown , meaning The Lost Crown , genre The Lost Crown , book cover The Lost Crown , flies The Lost Crown , The Lost Crown de8ccd701c45e Olga, Tatiana, Maria, And Anastasia Like The Fingers On A Hand First Headstrong Olga Then Tatiana, The Tallest Maria The Most Hopeful For A Ring And Anastasia, The Smallest These Are The Daughters Of Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duchesses Living A Life Steeped In Tradition And Privilege They Are Each On The Brink Of Starting Their Own Lives, At The Mercy Of Royal Matchmakers The Summer Of Is That Precious Last Wink Of Time When They Can Still Be Sisters Together Sisters That Link Arms And Laugh, Sisters That Share Their Dreams And Worries And Flirt With The Officers Of Their Imperial Yacht But In A Gunshot The Future Changes For These Sisters And For RussiaAs World War I Ignites Across Europe, Political Unrest Sweeps Russia First Dissent, Then Disorder, Mutiny, And Revolution For Olga, Tatiana, Maria And Anastasia, The End Of Their Girlhood Together Is Colliding With The End Of Than They Ever ImaginedAt The Same Time Hopeful And Hopeless, Naive And Wise, The Voices Of These Sisters Become A Chorus Singing The Final Song Of Imperial Russia Impeccably Researched And Utterly Fascinating, This Novel By Acclaimed Author Sarah Miller Recounts The Final Days Of Imperial Russia With Lyricism, Criticism And True Compassion

10 thoughts on “The Lost Crown

  1. says:

    As an avid Romanov reader, I never liked Romanov fiction Many people have tried over and over to capture the Romanovs in fiction, but nobody really managed to capture the Romanovs The Romanovs were real people who had faults, eccentricities and virtues Rarely in fiction is the real history taken into consideration when writing Ms Miller has put years of research and dedication into the Romanovs and it shows Sarah Miller s book captures the Romanovs and I believe The Lost Crown has indeed set the bar for future Romanov fiction.

  2. says:

    Russia, 1914Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanova are the closest of sisters As the daughters of Tsar Nicolas II and his empress Alexandra, they are fluent in three languages, have lots of gorgeous clothes, and get to spend their summers hanging out on their father s massive yacht with cute young naval officers But those officers are strictly off limits for anything than minor flirtations The sisters mother keeps them isolated from the decadent Russian court they have no friends their own age Papa is doting but usually preoccupied with matters of state Mama s focus is mostly on the girls brother Alexei, a hemophiliac who wants nothing than to run around like other boys but is in danger of dying every time he scrapes his knee The only other members of this tiny circle are the servants doctors, Mama s maids, the kids tutors, Alexei s sailor nanny and Mama s dearest companion, the priest Grigori Rasputin Alexandra believes absolutely that Rasputin is chosen by God and has healed Alexei during some of the boy s worst hemophilia flare ups Most of her children follow her lead Only Olga, the eldest and most perceptive, wonders if there s anything off about Rasputin Then the assassination of a distant relation throws all Europe, and eventually the world, into turmoil The Tsar must reluctantly lead an angry populace into battle against Germany The Tsarina is German, and agitators stir resentment against her The four sisters join the war effort Olga and Tatiana become nurses to tend wounded soldiers Maria and Anastasia are considered too young for this duty, but they show up to cheer the men with socialization and antics Even as they find friends and crushes among the soldiers, they re dismayed to hear the whispers about their mom Gossip claims that Rasputin and Alexandra are lovers, that Rasputin has molested the girls themselves, that Rasputin is the power behind Nicolas and the real Tsar, that Rasputin might well be the Antichrist That while the Emperor leads his troops against Germany, the empire he left behind is falling apart Rasputin is murdered, but his death does nothing to ease the tension The girls learn that their father has been forced by Russian insurrectionists to abdicate the throne on behalf of himself and Alexei, and the line of Tsars, stretching back to the coronation of Ivan the Terrible in 1533, is broken From there, the family is moved from one house arrest to another, enduring degradation and cruelty at each successive location All they have left is each other.Content Advisory Violence Nothing to speak of in the main body of the novel, except the not terribly detailed account of Rasputin s death that Olga and Tatiana hear The epilogue, however, gives a fairly detailed account of each family member s demise and an overview of how the bodies were desecrated after Sex Anastasia and some of the officers on the Standardt prank Olga with a photograph of Michelangelo s David with the head of one of her foreign suitors pasted over the head of the statue Tatiana is Very Offended, but everyone else present gets a good laugh.Olga is aware of the tension between herself and a wounded soldier but resigns herself to never resolving it Maria is a terrible flirt She has a moment alone with a young guard at the Ipatiev House that gets misinterpreted by everyone, including her family From the perspective of the book, nothing racy happened between them.The virulently Leninist and or anti German guards draw lewd graffiti on the bathroom walls to humiliate Alexandra and the girls These pictures are never described in any detail Many of the guards bring in prostitutes and town women every night, and the family can hear them carousing through the walls Language Nothing Substance Abuse The guards at Ipatiev House are usually plastered and rowdy The epilogue mentions that the guards got themselves drunk than usual in order to carry out the execution, and their inebriation contributed to the drawing out and the sadism of the event Nightmare Fuel Nothing in the novel itself The epilogue skims the worst horrors of the assassinations and burial but there s enough in there to haunt the very young or sensitive reader.ConclusionsI first read The Lost Crown while sick in bed, ninety nine years since the outbreak of WWI I m rereading it now on the 100th anniversary of the Romanovs assassinations The first time, I read it in a single day This time I made sure to read slowly and caught a lot of details that I missed the first time around This book is written is first person present tense, from the perspectives of each of the sisters I know I complain about first person present tense fairly often, because a every other YA book uses it and b it doesn t allow for the narrator and by proxy, the reader to step away from the narrative every so often and reevaluate things It s also an immersive style, and many of the dystopias and magical kingdoms in today s trendy books are too shallow to be comfortably immersed in But in historical fiction, first person present tense narration can be extremely effective, especially when the author does their homework It s a painless way to absorb all the sensory details of the setting without dragging down the story s momentum It also avoids the stuffy dialogue associated with some time periods by jumping directly into the head of the protagonist s To use a clich , it makes you feel like you re there H.M Castor pulled it off in VIII with an unreliable narrator Sarah Miller pulls it off here with four reliable narrators and those characterizations are equally impressive The girls are so close that they can seem like quadrants of a single being Olga is the bright and sensitive spirit Tatiana is the subtle but steely backbone Anastasia is the vibrant and detached mind and Maria is the gentle, enduring heart Yet as the book progresses, one can tell which of the girls is speaking without even referring to the name and portrait at the start of each chapter They all notice and emphasize different aspects of their lives, and employ the metaphors that match their personalities By the end of the book they ve all grappled and made peace with the present situation.Olga is probably the most complex of the sisters She can be moody and sullen, and she doesn t think she s all that smart She s a lot perceptive than she gives herself credit for, observing quietly, just storing up information for when it s needed She s also a remarkably disciplined person for instance, when she falls for one of the wounded young men in the lazaret, she knows she can never marry him, and hides her feelings away in a safe corner of her mind, where she can look upon them without being overwhelmed Her close relationship with her dad is especially poignant.Tatiana s perspective says a lot about her by how little it says about her Here s a young woman who pours so much energy into helping the people around her, be they wounded soldiers, her perpetually unwell little brother, or her hypochondriac mom, that she scarcely has a thought to spare for herself The way she takes care of her mother is admirable if only it were reciprocal While the book leaves no doubt that Alexandra loved her daughters, it also appears that she was so absorbed in guilt over Alexei s condition hemophilia manifests in the male line but is carried by the female , and spiritual codependence on Rasputin, that she wasn t emotionally present for her four girls at a time in their lives when they could have really used maternal guidance Alexei s nickname may have been Sunbeam, but the real source of sunshine in the family was clearly Maria She emerges from the pages as a sweet, well adjusted, happy kid She still has flaws, certainly mostly that she s boy crazy and a little too trusting Maria narrates the first chapter, a smart choice on Miller s part, because with Mashka s personality, she seems to put a friendly arm around the reader and pull them into the story with a familiarity that her rather standoffish sisters probably couldn t manage She s pretty and hyper feminine, but so tall and strong that she can lift grown men off the floor with her bear hugs She wants twenty kids, but is strongly implied to be the one daughter whom forensic science has confirmed to carry the hemophilia gene Anastasia s voice is the most modern She has Olga s moodiness combined with a hyperactivity all her own Some of her antics can be dangerous, some of her witticisms can sting, and in both cases she s a bit slow to figure out why everyone else was scared, offended, or hurt But this is not a mean kid at all just a clown who will say pretty much anything to get a laugh She feels a bit adrift and overlooked in her own family not old enough to be useful like the two eldest sisters, yet not sweet and cuddly like Maria or the designated center of the universe like Alexei I never really caught this about her before, but it seemed obvious now that her pranks, wisecracks, theatrical productions starring the family dogs, etc were simply desperation for someone to pay attention to her for five minutes That would explain why she seemed so much younger than her years, and was still dreaming of war and safari adventures at an age when Maria was slobbering over the existence of soldiers Anastasia s most touching relationship is with Alexei It almost seems that, when she enjoyed charging around the palace or flying off the swing in the compound yard, she was allowing him to experience it through her.The format and focus of the book can t help but make Nicolas, Alexandra, and Alexei distant figures compared to OTMA, but the whole family was so tightly knit that we still get to know them pretty well The Tsar and Tsarina are shown here to be loving parents, but preoccupied with their son at their daughters expense, both because of his status as heir and his sickly condition We also get a feeling for Alexei himself The poor lad was just stuffed with rambunctious energy that he couldn t let loose He wanted to climb trees and slide down banisters and roll down snowy hills like his sister Anastasia, but he couldn t do any of this without being closely watched and risking life threatening injury No wonder he was obsessed with toy soldiers The book doesn t even bother trying to make sense of Rasputin, who dies in the first half The three younger kids accept him unconditionally because he s Mama s dear friend, and Tatiana, who imitates her mother even as she parents her, honestly believes that the man is holy Only Olga notices the strangeness of Otets Grigori and concludes that hundreds of foul rumors can t all be false While she knows that there s nothing untoward about his relationship with herself or her siblings, and does not believe that he s having an affair with her mother, she does seriously ponder other tales of his drunken debauchery and schemes for power She s both horrified and relieved when the man is assassinated The novel takes no stand on how Rasputin eased Alexei s pain, although many possibilities are briefly acknowledged in the historical notes at the end That s probably not information that the girls would have been privy to anyway.As you can imagine, the whole book is pervaded with a sense of loss and dread, but the bond between the sisters prevents it from ever becoming too dark There s even an entertaining bit of black comedy pgs 200 201 wherein Anastasia is puzzled by a history lesson about three imposters who claimed to be Dmitri of Uglich, a son of Ivan the Terrible who died under mysterious circumstances at age eight How, she wonders, could anyone who had known Dmitri be taken in by these men It really bothers her I like to think that Anastasia would have appreciated memes My one gripe with the book is the brevity of the historical notes They contain some great photographs and a meaty bibliography, but leave out a lot of fascinating information They do not address how the Soviets covered up the assassinations for years, insisting that only the Tsar had been killed on July 17 in Yekaterinburg and that Alexandra and the children were somewhere safe Even the Bolsheviks knew how cowardly it was to gun down a sickly woman, an even sicklier boy, four young women and a handful of loyal servants They also killed Anastasia s dog, Jimmy.And while the piety of the Imperial Family shines through the novel like seven candles held aloft in a steadily darkening room, the historical notes never mention that Nicolas, Alexandra, and all five children have been canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church They are not called martyrs, since martyrs die for their faith although Lenin s hatred of religion is well documented , but passion bearers, who faced a violent death with faith and a Christlike acceptance Today, a cathedral the Church on the Blood stands on the grounds where they were slaughtered The Russian Orthodox Church abroad also canonized the servants who died with the family, even though Alexei Trupp was Roman Catholic The above decision was not without controversy, since some critics within the Orthodox Church insisted that Nicolas II s apparent ineptitude as a ruler cancelled out his strong character in his personal life This book avoids making any political statement of the kind The girls did not know their father as an Emperor, they knew him as their mild mannered papa who loved cigars and chopped wood to stay in shape I find the cover art and title of the book a wee bit deceptive The young lady on the front cover is unlikely to be Olga, given her unbound hair Maria s hair was a darker shade of brown than this, and Tatiana was both brunette and old enough to wear her tresses up That leaves Anastasia, and she was way too rambunctious at the beginning of the story to sadly finger her pearls while staring into the distance By the time she was mature enough to ponder anything, she couldn t openly wear her pearls So, artistic license It doesn t reflect what s actually happening in most of the book, but it does convey what was lost.As for the title, I think that the publisher wanted something vague that didn t scream historical fiction or sad ending I m also sure that it had nothing to do with the surplus of YA books with the word crown in the name Ahem Anyway, the crown certainly was lost, but that wasn t my main takeaway from this book.One hundred years ago yesterday, four girls and their little brother were brutally slain for the sins, real and perceived, of their father, their mother, their mother s friend, and their ancestors going back centuries Let us not forget them.I can t recommend this book enough.

  3. says:

    An excellent novel about the last days of the Romanov dynasty, narrated by the four doomed daughters of Nicholas and Alexandria There are no gimmicks here no love affairs between the girls and their guards, no survivors of the cellar massacre All we have is four young women with distinct personalities managing to keep their individuality, their dignity, their humanity, and their affection for their family while their world collapses.There s also an excellent author s note and a bibliography for those inclined to read about this subject, as I certainly am now.

  4. says:

    Find this and other reviews at attempted a fictional account of the Romanovs last days almost a year ago and I m still not over the experience I was and am so disgusted with The House of Special Purpose that I almost skipped out on Sarah Miller s The Lost Crown I seriously considered abandoning it at my library s hold desk when they informed me it was ready, but I hate making the librarians process requests for no reason so I schlepped my butt downtown Four hundred and forty eight pages later, well, let s just say the trip was well worth the effort Most fictional versions of the story focus on a single individual, usually one of the younger set and inevitably tackle how they escaped the basement of the Impatiev house and went on after the revolution I tend to excuse stories published before 2008, but since the official identification of the last two family member, I find my tolerance for such fantasies is extremely limited, especially when they appear without a disclaimer Yes, I m referring to The House of Special Purpose I did mention I m still bitter right Point I m getting at here is that Miller s version ends in July 1918 and I found her adherence to what we now know to have happened both admirable and refreshing The true genius of The Lost Crown can be found in its format Telling the story from the combined perspective of all four Grand Duchesses must have been quite an undertaking, but her effort pays off in the best possible way Each girl is distinct and I liked how Miller s treatment of each allowed the reader to interpret them as individuals rather than a combined group I enjoyed Miller s interpretation of the younger set, but it was the older set that caught my eye Olga and Tatiana are usually regulated to supporting roles and I relished the opportunity to explore their characters through Miller s fiction.Another particularly noteworthy aspect of The Lost Crown is Miller s exploration of the family s public roles prior to captivity The book doesn t focus entirely on the glamour and privileges of their station, but also covers the relatively mundane patterns of their daily lives as well as the volunteer work the girls did as part of the war effort Miller took great care to honor historic context over the course of the narrative and I think that attention to detail sets the novel above much of its competition.

  5. says:

    And here I am, continuing on my Russian fiction journey and I am loving it I love how many books have or are coming out about Russia This is a historical fiction book told from the point of view of the four daughters of the last Tsar of Russia Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia It s been awhile since I ve read any books or watched anything about the Romanovs and I had forgotten how long they had to wait to find out their destiny For some reason, I had it in my head that they were taken away from the palace and met their end not long after In reality, the family was moved from the capital to Ekaterinburg, a coal town in the middle of Russia, where they were basically guarded until the end I can t imagine just having to wait like that At least in Miller s book, some of the sisters are still keeping diaries and one of them comments how boring her diary has become as they re not allowed to do anything.This was definitely one of those historical fiction books that is now going to plant the seed in my head that I need to start reading about the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution.I know that the Russians were upset with Tsar Nicholas and his family because they felt like they were really struggling when the family was not at all However, the two older sisters helped out as nurses to help the wounded military personnel And the two younger sisters hoped to help out as nurses someday I thought it was kind of cool that they had gotten training in something like that.Miller does a great job of pulling you into the story I think that it was especially effective to tell the story from the point of view of the different sisters as they have really different points of view and things that they are thinking about or worried about Miller does a good job of keeping all of the voices distinct and separate, which can be really difficult to do sometimes.Bottom line This is a great young adult historical fiction that really transcends just being a young adult book.

  6. says:

    It is generally not easy to find quality historical fiction, and this goes tenfold for fiction about the last Russian imperial family This book is a definite exception to the rule Historically accurate down to minute details, and at the same time very well written, the story in The Lost Crown starts just before the revolution and covers the events that lead up to the assassination of the Russian imperial family Seen through the eyes of the four historically neglected daughters of the last Tsar Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia OTMA , who are usually treated as a collective whole unless you count trashy novels like Tsarina s Daughter or Anastasia survivor pseudo non fiction, which of course you shouldn t In this novel, the sisters are portrayed sensitively and realistically, and most importantly as individuals They are depicted as neither saints, nor as brats, but as normal girls young women, as they most certainly were The novel is told from the perspective of each individual sister, each takes a turn with the narrative Their personalities develop as each chapter unfolds, and it is all based on historical descriptions of those who knew the girls personally, so it will satisfy even the most purist Romanov phile OTMA are presented, atypically, as multi dimensional characters, with numerous factual anecdotes effectively incorporated into each girl s narrative, which adds a lot of reality to the story At times they are funny, at other times touching or sad, but they are all very real IMO, this is arguably the best depiction, fiction or non fiction, of the ill fated OTMA sisters The only thing I would change about this book is the publisher s choice of title, as I don t feel it accurately conveys the book s essence, but I suppose they know better what sells

  7. says:

    There is nothing terrible than when young people die Mr Mason of Downton Abbey The Lost Crown begins with the story of the third Romanov sister, Maria Nikolaevna, articulating her experience as her family leaves their home Miller brilliantly conveys the sadness and tragedy of OTMA s world when switching from their family s departure to their happy days prior to WWI The world of OTMA slipping quickly through their naive grasp is demonstrated next in Tatiana s chapter, followed by Anastasia and Olga s, in a continued POV alteration to the end In the first 100 pages, the author evokes the sisters sheltered and privileged world prior to the revolution Next, we follow the sisters on a tragic but poignantly rewarding journey through their captivity at the Alexander Palace, then Tobolsk, and finally Yekaterinburg a journey of sisterhood, friendship, family, and dreams.Olga is the smart, sassy, bookish one with a strong independent will Tatiana the protective, elegant, classical beauty whose leadership earns her the nickname the Governess Maria the sweetheart who dreams of nothing than a simple life of being married to a soldier and having dozens of babies and Anastasia is the imp and jokster, her heart bigger than she bothers to let on Their personalities are brilliantly reconstructed by Miller in this fictional retelling, which is unprecedentedly accurate in historical fiction, especially of the Romanov sisters Romanov fiction has always portrayed OTMA very inaccurately in personality and in events But this novel is out of this world in its virtual historical accuracy.

  8. says:

    It is impossible not to enjoy this book Because it takes place from all four Grand Duchess s points of views, you fall in love with every one of them Each one has a unique personality that is displayed throughout the story The whole book was wonderful, in depth, descriptive, and unique from anything else I have read on the Last Grand Duchesses However, my very favorite part of this book was the last four chapters, one from each of the girls You could tell that would be the last you would hear from them, because each one ended with a conclusion where that individual girl thought of her future or her dreams, or was just content Then, when you finish Olga s chapter and the epilogue, you come fact to face with a two page portrait of the family It really was heartbreaking and reminded me of why their story fascinates me so much All together, a very enjoyable read.

  9. says:

    I have been fascinated by the doomed Romanov children for years I think it s because they took so many photos of themselves The photos make the imperial family in their pretty dresses and sailor suit with the occasional smile unusual in pictures of that era make them look approachable and real It makes their ending seem even horrible The Lost Crown covers the last four years of the imperial family s life It starts out at the beginning of World War I, when things are basically fine, with just an undercurrent of problems to come The imperial children have a charmed, happy life, marred only by Aleksei s hemophilia.The book is told from the alternating perspectives of the four girls Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia The author does a good job to give each character unique personalities, but having four voices going through basically the same things does make the book a bit confusing It is easy to forget that the girls were in their late teens and early twenties during this time period Throughout the book, they seem much younger than their actual ages They ve been so sheltered throughout their lives, that they are children than young women They keep this naivete even as things go increasingly sour While it seems odd that people of their age would be so immature, I am guessing this may be fairly realistic They really were kept very sheltered.I was surprised the book was as long as it was The author did a good job of switching things up, showing things from different points of view, having events move steadily forward, but I still think you easily could have docked 50 100 pages That being said, I was impressed with how she managed to add plot and drama to the girls lives in captivity when every day was really of the same.The main problem with this book can t be helped It is Depressing, with a capital D Not because the author makes it that way, but because it s reality I became attached to these characters throughout the book They were sweet, innocent, and loved Russia But I knew there would be no happy ending No last minute hero coming to rescue them And I desperately wanted that They lived every day completely ignorant that it was one day closer to their last and I knew going in when that last day would be I was very impressed with the book s ending She wrote the Romanov s deaths in a way that was simple and poignant It brought some closure to an otherwise horrible tragedy.The Lost Crown is a great book for anyone interested in the Romanov family It s not a super speedy read and it is very depressing, but it is consistently interesting and sweet.Rating 3.5 5

  10. says:

    Setting this aside for later at page 146, but not because this is bad On the contrary, the writing is lovely and so are the Romanov princesses At first I was wary of four sisters POVs, but I was impressed with Miller s ability to give distinct voices to each girl, while at the same time showing how similar they were, and how much they loved each other They are so sweet, and they try so hard to face the war, and the revolution, and imprisonment with dignity and grace What happens to them just sucks I knew what would happen to them going in, but I did a little research online when I started this and I just felt sick reading the accounts of their deaths I just can t bear to keep reading right now knowing what s coming I m really in the mood for some happy endings I will definitely pick this up sometime in the future.

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