Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller –NOT RECOMMENDED

Miller, Sarah The Lost Crown, 448 pgs. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011. $12.14. (Language-G Violence-PG13; Sexual Content-G.)
Everyone has heard of Anastasia, the Russian royal who is rumored to have escaped the slaughter of her entire family. But what was she like? This book attempts to bring us historically accurate fiction of not only Anastasia’s last years, but those of her family. It shows us what their life was like while at the height of power and what follows when the curtain of war and revolution descends. The story is presented from the alternating viewpoints of each the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas: Olgan, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia.
I was excited to read this well-researched book and have the players come to life in a way that I could not imagine on my own. But I was disappointed. There are more characters than I can count, many with nicknames, so its positively overwhelming. The author chose to include a wide variety of Russian words, no doubt to add to the setting/feel of old Russia, but most were used out of direct context, forcing me to use the lengthy dictionary/list at the start of the book too often. The four sister alternating viewpoints didn’t work out that great either –as the characters were too similar and they all blurred into one voice. Although I knew the inevitable tragedy was coming, the author failed to connect me to the characters enough for me to dread or even grieve for their impending doom.
HS – NOT RECOMMENDED Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate.

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