Thursday, May 17, 2012
Review of The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
I’ve always found the brief but violent history of Czar Nicholas II and his family so I’m aware of Rasputin’s macabre prophecy that if anyone from the royal family or their relatives assassinated him, the czar would die within two years. His prognostication came true.
In July 1918, Nicholas, Alexandria, their five children and four servants were shot to death in a basement in a house in Ekaterinburg. Their bodies were buried in the woods several miles away.
When the burial site was exhumed, two skeletons were missing, those of Aleksei and Anastasia. Berry’s book, The Romanov Prophecy, builds on the premise that the tow children survived the massacre by would-be assassins and secreted away.
The novel opens with Miles Lord, an Attorney from Atlanta, almost being assassinated on the streets of Moscow by mysterious men. A colleague is killed and Miles is on the run. In Russia to help restore the monarchy, Lord unknowingly stumbles on information that could jeopardize the current claimant to the throne, a man backed by millions of American dollars.
Lord finds himself criss-crossing the globe with beautiful dancer Akilina Petrovna, following clues to a cryptic message and trying to stay a step ahead of Russian hit men. Could Aleksei and Anastasia have eventually made their way to America? And if so, could there be direct descendants of Nicholas II with stronger ties to the throne than the man currently seeking the crown?
It’s a great basis and it makes for an exciting page-turner but anyone who has read Robert Massie’s incredible work on the Romanovs will know none of them made it out of the basement room alive. He has an interesting theory, well-grounded in facts, on where the two missing bodies are.
Nonetheless, The Romanov Prophecy is an intriguing novel, reminiscent of Dan Brown’s work. From the synopsis, I thought it would be more of a spy novel, the likes of Daniel Silva and Brad Thor, but I wasn’t disappointed. Berry’s story is a great thrill ride through the streets of Moscow and San Francisco.