The follow-up to the #1 bestseller The Winter Palace--perfect for the readers of Hilary Mantel and Alison Weir.
Catherine the Great, the Romanov monarch reflects on her astonishing ascension to the throne, her leadership over the world's greatest power, and the lives sacrificed to make her the most feared woman in the world--lives including her own...
Catherine the Great muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. And before her last breath, shadowed by the bloody French Revolution, she sets up the end game for her last political maneuver, ensuring her successor and the greater glory of Russia.
About the author
Eva Stachniak was born in Wroclaw, Poland, and came to Canada in 1981. She has been a radio broadcaster and college English and Humanities lecturer. Her debut novel, Necessary Lies, won the Amazon.com/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and her second novel, Garden Of Venus, has been translated into seven languages. Her third novel, The Winter Palace, has been published in Canada (Doubleday), US (Bantam) and the UK (Transworld) and will soon appear in Holland, Germany, and Poland.
“Structurally complex and psychologically intense, Empress of the Night aims for Hilary Mantel. Stachniak’s writing is distinct, however, especially in vivid descriptions of sensory details: perfume, sweat, and the click of heels on polished floors.”
—Quill & Quire
“Empress of the Night, which emerges through a series of vignettes that shift back and forth in time. A consistent strength of both books is Stachniak’s unfailing attention to detail, whether describing the pain of childbirth or the manner of a courtier’s behaviour and appearance.”
“Stachniak's latest novel is an intimate look at the private life of Catherine the Great, and readers of the genre who like lush and richly detailed historical fiction will likely approve.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“It’s an amazing tale, all the more so for being true.”
“This fun novel of lovers, intrigue and malicious and manipulative nobility keeps readers enthralled with every page, from Catherine’s precarious beginning to her surprising ascension to the throne.”
—Virtuoso Life Magazine
Solid reading.Having read this as a stand alone, I did not feel like I missed anything by not reading The Winter Palace, though I will be reading it at some point.
I do feel like I learned a great deal about Catherine the Great. I knew that she could be shrewd, but I can understand why for the most part. She really did what she had to, to benefit Russia. She was hard and stubborn but she did some great things. Now the debauchery, I know it was big at that time, but she really enjoyed herself. Even in her old age she was enamored with young men. You could say she got around more than enough corners in her life, considering most of her children were not her husbands', and they all had different fathers, still it was not her and her husbands' child to come next in line. Even with that, she did not let her infidelities interfere with her running Russia.
A great deal of thought went into this book, you can tell, and I know a lot of you will enjoy the way it is laid out and written.