Princess Dagmar of Denmark or Minnie is a daughter to Denmark's King Christian IX and sister to Alexandra, who would marry Edward VII and become Queen of the United Kingdom. Minnie knows she too must marry and would rather marry for love. When she meets Nicholas Alexandrovich, or Nixa, the Tsarevich of Russia, Minnie is taken. However, as fate would have it, Minnie marries Nixa's brother, Sasha, Tsesarevich Alexander of Russia, and eventually becomes Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna of Russia. Minnie must adjust to Russia, a new religion and rules of royalty. Minnie exceeds in her role and is a driving force within the Russian government. Although, times are changing in Russia and things become dangerous for Minnie and her family. Minnie sees that the government also needs to change. When her beloved Sasha passes, Minnie's son, Nicholas becomes Tsar. Nicholas' wife, Alexandra is not as diplomatic as Minnie and finds herself in a war of wills with Minnie. As actual war finds its way to Russia's door, Nicholas heeds his wife's opinion and that of her mystic Rasputin over Minnie's and brings the downfall of the Russian empire with him.
With historically accurate detail, The Romanov Empress gives an in-depth and entertaining look at the amazing woman behind the storied last Tsar of Russia. Told from Minnie's point of view from the time she was a teenager through her son's death, we get a full view of her life. I went into this book not knowing much at all about this time in Russia's history and I was very pleased that I was able to learn about Russia through her eyes. As Minnie came to love Russia, she saw the faults as well as its amazing features. Minnie wanted Russia to grow, change and survive, but as a woman she could only offer so much guidance to the men in her life. I enjoyed seeing how Minnie was able to affect change in the government, even if the men did not always listen. I also took to heart her and her sister, Alix's motto of living to the next day: "You will live,...You can do nothing else." It was very insightful to see Minnie's relationship with her son Nicholas and his wife Alexandra especially when Rasputin came into the picture. I did not know the breadth of Rasputin's influence on Russia at the time and his relationship with Alexandra and her children. Maria's story brings us through the fabled deaths of her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. While I knew of this story, I was unaware of the reasons behind it and the political climate of Russia at the time. Overall, an astounding and epic tale of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.