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The Romanov Prophecy, by Steve Berry

DETAILS

Title: THE ROMANOV PROPHECY
Author: Steve Berry
Publisher: Hodder
ISBN: 978-0340899311
Genre: Thriller

BACKCOVER BLURB

The brutal killing of the Romanovs meant the end of the Tsars.

Nearly a century later, the people of Russia have voted to bring back the tsar, a ruler to be selected from the distant relatives of the last tsar; Nicholas II, who was murdered along with the rest of the Romanov family in 1918. Miles Lord, asked to run a background check on one of the candidates, has a ringside seat as history is being made.

But excitement turns to terror when Miles is nearly killed by gunmen. Suddenly, he is racing across continents with only a cryptic utterance by Rasputin, made at the time of the Romanov massacre, as his guide. The implications of this prophecy are earth-shattering — not only for the future star and Mother Russia, but for Miles himself.

WHAT I THOUGHT

THE ROMANOV PROPHECY is another fast-paced thriller that is pure popcorn entertainment from the first page, till the last. A rip-roaring romp through the streets, and politics, of Moscow, in a possible near-future where Russia, looking for it’s roots, is set on the restoration of the Monarchy. And looking for the next in line, and most direct heir to the murdered house of Romanov, a Commission is assembled.

Straight out of the gate, Miles Lord—a black American lawyer and part of the firm looking into the background of the hot favourite to ascend the throne, Stefan Baklanov—is running for his life, as gunmen open fire on him in the middle of a lunchtime crowd. From here on in Miles is in a race to piece together who is shooting at him, and want him dead, and why.

Part of what makes a Steve Berry novel entertaining and fun is the twist he takes on the tried and tested formula, adding his own touches like having a tall, athletic, black man the unlikely hero racing against time, the odds, corrupt government officials, the Russian mob, and an unlikely group of men hellbent on making Baklanov their Tsar puppet.

Throw in a love-interest with a twist of her own—she’s a circus acrobat—and have the pair thrust into the midst of an ancient prophecy they have to solve along the way. And the story is ripe for plenty of action, near-escapes, shoot-outs, as the pair piece together the clues that take them from Moscow, to St. Petersburg, Siberia and back to America.

What I also love about a Steve Berry novel is the history he always manages to incorporate. Most of what’s quoted in THE ROMANOV PROPHECY is documented fact. What’s Berry has done is take those facts and created a very plausible, if somewhat fantastical story that has you thinking.

The settings are authentic, the secondary characters have some depth to them, and the dialogue is exactly what you’d expect for this kind of thriller. The plot and pacing are brisk, and play out nicely to a very satisfactory conclusion. All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Rating: 8 / 10

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