The Winter Palace
Two young women, caught in the landscape of shifting allegiances, navigate the treacherous waters of palace intrigue. Barbara is a servant who will become one of Russia's most cunning royal spies. Sophia is a pretty, naive German duchess who will become Catherine the Great. For readers of superb historical fiction, Eva Stachniak captures in glorious detail the opulence of royalty and the perilous loyalties of the Russian court.
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This court is a new world to you, I could have said to her, a slippery ground. Do not be deceived by tender looks...
1. The novel starts with a quotation from a letter the future Catherine the Great wrote to the British Ambassador, Sir Hanbury-Williams: Three people who never leave her room, and who do not know about one another, inform me of what is going on, and will not fail to acquaint me when the crucial moment arrives. ...
"The book roars along, with all the backstabbing, forced marriages, shifting alliances and drama that make up this royal household. . . . A very entertaining book."
—The Gazette (Montreal)
"Stachniak has uncovered a treasure trove of rich material. . . . [Her] vision casts light over recent Russian history too, which is exactly what a piece of historical fiction should do."
—The Globe and Mail
"A sweeping novel."
—O, The Oprah Magazine Magazine