History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Review of The Witches of St. Petersburg by Imogen Edwards-Jones

The Witches of St. Petersburg by Imogen Edwards-Jones (Harper Paperbacks, 2019) is a beautifully crafted novel of historical fiction, holding closely to actual historical events while concocting a more fantastical explanation behind some of them.

Set during the reign of Russian Tsar Nicholas, the story revolves around two Montenegrin princesses, Militza and Stana, who have married into the Russian nobility. In order to benefit their poor home country, they use witchcraft to their benefit and to influence the Tsar and his wife, Alexandra. Because of Alexandra’s beliefs, the two sisters parade a series of mystics and miracle workers before the Tsarina, culminating in their introduction of Rasputin to her.

Prior to reading this book, I hadn’t heard of Militza and Stana, despite my interest in all things Romanov. Seeing how they worked into the bigger picture and how they influenced events that ultimately led to the downfall of the Romanovs was illuminating.

If you’ve also got an interest in Russian history, particularly in the time of the Romanovs, check out The Witches of St. Petersburg!

Content notes: drug use and explicit sexual situations abound.


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