The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
Ekaterinburg, Russia: July 16, 1918. Ten months have passed since Nicholas II’s reign was cut short by revolutionaries. Tonight, the White Army advances on the town where the Tsar and his family are being held captive by the Bolsheviks. Nicholas dares to hope for salvation. Instead, the Romanovs are coldly and methodically executed.
Moscow: Present Day. Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord, fluent in Russian and well versed in the country’s history, is thrilled to be in Moscow on the eve of such a momentous event. After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the monarchy. The new tsar will be chosen from the distant relatives of Nicholas II by a specially appointed commission, and Miles’ job is to perform a background check on the Tsarist candidate favored by a powerful group of Western businessmen. But research quickly becomes the least of Miles’ concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza.
Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, shadowed by nefarious henchmen. At first, his only question is why people are pursuing him. But after a strange conversation with a mysterious Russian, who steers Miles toward the writings of Rasputin, he becomes desperate to know more–most important, what really happened to the family of Russia’s last tsar? His only companion is Akilina Petrov, a Russian circus performer sympathetic to his struggle, and his only guide is a cryptic message from Rasputin that implies that the bloody night of so long ago is not the last chapter in the Romanovs’ story . . . and that someone might even have survived the massacre. The prophecy’s implications are earth-shattering–not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles himself. 1
Aprils book for my book club was any book by Steve Berry. I had never read a Steve Berry book before, and to be honest I had never heard of him before. That doesn’t say much though because I am horrible with author names and never remember any. Instead I remember the covers.
I have never read any of Dan Browns novels yet but I have seen the films and I pictured Steve Berry’s novels to be very similar. There were a few interesting titles but I needed to pick one of the stand alone novels. When I saw The Romanov Prophecy I knew that’s the one I wanted to read. I have always been interested in the Romanov family and the events of their execution. The Romanov Prophecy just confirms that I am a fan of conspiracy theories and I am more likely to believe these fictitious theories than I am the “truth” and “facts”.
Miles Lord is a African-American lawyer working in Russia. He has always been fascinated by Russia and it’s history. As the country is in ruin, the possibility of a Tsar being placed back in power is bringing hope to the Russian people. Lord’s job is to search the Russian archives to ensure there is nothing that can stand in the way of one of the candidates claims. His stay in Russia becomes more dangerous as his co-worker is killed right in front of him and he must run for his life from these unknown henchmen. When Lord discovers hidden documents from Alexandra, and clues from Rasputin, he sets off on a strange and intriguing journey with the hired murderers hot on his heels. With so many peoples interests, money and lives at stake, a secret societies clues may lead to the discovery of a direct Romanov descendant.
I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. I tend to stick to certain types of novels and normally wouldn’t pick up something like this. The mix of history and fiction always draws me in with the possibility of conspiracies and cover ups. Sadly the truth is never as exciting… But that’s exactly what they want you to think!
The problem with a lot of historical fictions is my lack of knowledge of actual history. This leaves me googling or else accepting certain things as fact until I research otherwise. The novel follows a series of prophecies made by Rasputin. The one thing that bothered me about the book was a prophecy stating that 12 people would die during the journey to find a possible missing Romanov. This leaves you on the edge and formulate plots in your mind of who will die and who will survive. There is a point in the novel that animals die but are not included in the final 12 count, but when breaking down the list of 12 in the end, there is an animal included on the list. This bothered me because it is either a plot oversight or a way to keep you in suspense to the very end while blatantly breaking the 12 death guide!
In the end it was still an entertaining novel to pass a couple hours. I would consider reading more of Steve Berry’s novels, if I have time to kill, but with my ever growing reading list they may have to wait.
1. Book summary courtesy of Steve Berry’s webpage.