UK Reviews

Rappaport has found a gripping way of telling the story of the Imperial family...it is imagined like a great novel, but it is not fiction. Rappaport is a serious historian, she knows her facts, she knows her Russia...This book is....that perfect but rare blend of history, sense of place, human tragedy, drama and atmosphere which just cannot fail.

Susan Hill, book blog

Utterly absorbing, a really good read, sensitive and balanced and surely the definitive last word on the subject

Dr. Harry Shukman, Emeritus Fellow, St Anthony’s College Oxford

Quite simply, stunning...the most detailed, authentic and gripping account of the bloody end of the Romanovs that I have ever read.

...Helen Rappaport [has] reconstructed and evoked such searingly vivid images...Chilling and poignant, this is how history books should be written.

Alison Weir, Author and Historian

A highly accessible account...rather than romanticising the family members, the author explores their numerous character defects. Set against the rich political backdrop of the bloody birth of the revolution, the result is extraordinary and powerful.

Oxford Tmes

An effective and engaging synthesis...with skill and imagination[ Rappaport] juxtaposes the escalating chaos outside with the day-to-day tedium of the prisoners...the result is an intruiging personal angle on what had seemed an exhausted subject.

Sunday Times

There is a very powerful sense that you are reading the words of someone who is witnessing the sights and sounds of the place first hand, [who] is returning to primary sources and conjuring up the atmosphere with an accomplished writer’s eye... what made this book most special for me were the beautifully detailed character studies of each member of the family...I liked the family in a way that no book about them had ever made me feel before...it’s truly gut -wrenching but utterly compelling reading.

Lynne Hatwell, Dovegreyreader book blog

By turns gripping and shocking, [it] brings one of the 20th century’s pivotal historical events to life in the way all the best historica lwriting does - by focusing on the human aspect.

Mark Thornton, proprietor Mostly Books, Abingdon

This book brilliantly shows how history is never simple but always enthralling when written with this style.

Bookseller; Bookseller’s Choice for June 2008

A riveting account of turbulence, social upheaval and murder in early 20th-century Russia... The author strips away the romance of [the Romanovs] incarceration and the mythology surrounding their murders to reveal an extraordinary human situation and it’s seismic worldwide repercussions.

Sainsbury’s Magazine,  August 2008

Helen Rappaport's remarkable book ...is informative and concise … As a fresh look at a crucial point in Russian and world history it presents new evidence and some fascinating first-hand accounts. As a family drama - parents alongside their children unaware of their deadly fate -  it is claustrophobic and gripping. I cannot recall the last time I enjoyed a history book as much as this.

Scott pack, Me and My Big Mouth book blog

Helen Rappaport brilliantly assembles the intricacies of the story in untroubling prose with some colourful re-imaginings to make this account utterly compelling. The filthy botched intimacy of the murder, the perfidy of King George V and the clumsy drunken attempts to dispose of the bodies still retain the power to shock.

Daily Telegraph


The Romanov sisters pose for a mass-produced public photograph, 1915 Alexey Pavel Medvedev,left, head of the Ipatiev House guard

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