The Winter Palace (A novel of the young Catherine the Great)

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9780552777988: The Winter Palace (A novel of the young Catherine the Great)

When Vavara, a young orphaned Polish girl, is brought to serve at Empress Elizabeth's glittering, dangerous court in St Petersburg, she is schooled by the Chancellor himself in skills from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Soon, she is Elizabeth's 'tongue' - her secret eyes and ears. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for Elizabeth's heir. Set to spy on her by the Empress, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit seductions and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court. But Sophie's destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?

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Review:

Tasha Alexander Reviews The Winter Palace

Tasha Alexander is the author of the bestselling Lady Emily series. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she signed on as an English major in order to have a legitimate excuse for spending all her time reading. A confirmed Anglophile from birth, she and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago and the UK.

Like most lovers of historical fiction, I’m on constant lookout for a book into which I can completely disappear, one that will engulf all my senses and, in effect, turn my couch into a time machine. I want the history to be accurate, the characters to be compelling, and the story to make me reconsider preconceived notions about a period outside the area of my expertise. Eva Stachniak’s The Winter Palace does all that in spectacular fashion.

The scandal, luxury, and political unrest rife in eighteenth century Russia provide a rich backdrop, and Stachniak takes full advantage of all of it without sticking to the ordinary and expected. Instead of presenting Catherine the Great at the peak of her powers, she gives us the infamous empress during her youth, when she was Sophie, a young German duchess betrothed to the future Tsar Peter III. A not entirely welcome foreigner, Sophie is thrust into a court full of corruption and deceit, where nothing is more important than have a source of reliable information. It is by taking advantage of this circumstance that Stachniak gives her novel extra depth. Catherine is not the protagonist of The Winter Palace. Stachniak tells her story through Barbara, a young woman whose heartbreaking life has led her to employment as an ill-treated seamstress at the palace.

Until someone realizes she’d make a better spy.

Stachniak’s well-chosen protagonist enables her to give the novel a full and satisfying depiction of the Imperial Court, seen not only through the eyes of the privileged nobility, but through a woman who is keenly aware of what goes on above and below stairs. She brings to life the plight of the less fortunate and the delicate balance of truth and lies necessary to survive in the murky labyrinth of Barbara’s world. Stachniak fills her novel with intricate details--the opulence is all but tangible--but never does so at the expense of her story, which moves along at a clipped pace. Her prose, lush and evocative, is as elegant as the fabled Amber Room at Catherine’s summer palace.

The Winter Palace should secure Stachniak a place among the best historical novelists. It is one of those rare books that grabs the reader and won’t let go, one that begs to be read again, one that lingers pleasantly in the mind long after the finishing the last page. And for me, it proved itself in a more simple way: the minute I closed the book, I wanted to get my hands on everything else Stachniak has written.

About the Author:

Eva Stachniak was born in Wroclaw, Poland, and now lives in Canada, where 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, Dancing with Kings, has been translated into seven languages. She lives in Toronto,where she is working on her second novel about Catherine the Great, also to be published by Doubleday

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Eva Stachniak
Editorial: Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom (2012)
ISBN 10: 0552777986 ISBN 13: 9780552777988
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
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Descripción Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the glittering, dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress s heir. Set to spy on her, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit liaisons and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court. But Sophie s destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780552777988

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Eva Stachniak
Editorial: Black Swan 2012-11-08 (2012)
ISBN 10: 0552777986 ISBN 13: 9780552777988
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Descripción Black Swan 2012-11-08, 2012. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-GRD-04918572

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Eva Stachniak
Editorial: Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom (2012)
ISBN 10: 0552777986 ISBN 13: 9780552777988
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
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The Book Depository US
(London, Reino Unido)
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Descripción Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the glittering, dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress s heir. Set to spy on her, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit liaisons and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court. But Sophie s destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780552777988

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Stachniak, Eva
Editorial: Black Swan (2012)
ISBN 10: 0552777986 ISBN 13: 9780552777988
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Descripción Black Swan, 2012. Estado de conservación: New. 2012. Paperback. When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress' heir. Num Pages: 512 pages. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 163 x 199 x 33. Weight in Grams: 358. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780552777988

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Eva Stachniak
Editorial: Black Swan (2012)
ISBN 10: 0552777986 ISBN 13: 9780552777988
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Descripción Black Swan, 2012. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería GH9780552777988

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Stachniak, Eva
Editorial: Black Swan
ISBN 10: 0552777986 ISBN 13: 9780552777988
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Descripción Black Swan. Estado de conservación: New. 2012. Paperback. When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for the Empress' heir. Num Pages: 512 pages. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 163 x 199 x 33. Weight in Grams: 358. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780552777988

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Stachniak Eva
Editorial: Random House
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Descripción Random House. Estado de conservación: New. pp. 512. Nº de ref. de la librería 49817188

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Eva Stachniak
Editorial: Black Swan
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Descripción Black Swan. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780552777988

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Eva Stachniak
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Descripción Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Not Signed; When Vavara, a young Polish orphan, arrives at the glittering, dangerous court of the Empress Elizabeth in St Petersburg, she is schooled in skills ranging from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Pr. book. Nº de ref. de la librería ria9780552777988_rkm

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Eva Stachniak
Editorial: Transworld (2012)
ISBN 10: 0552777986 ISBN 13: 9780552777988
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Descripción Transworld, 2012. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería F4-9780552777988

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